More than ever it’s becoming critical that sales and marketing organizations within the enterprise align. No longer is it acceptable for marketing to hand “leads” over to sales that are really just “names” and no longer can sales expect to call on prospects without doing their homework, and without being hyper-relevant to that prospect.
The only way for Marketing to hand over real leads–qualified prospects, not names–is to have a systematic and in some ways, automatic approach to lead nurturing and lead scoring. They need to have the ability to qualify out bad leads efficiently, and nurture leads that aren’t ready to buy. And, to deliver effectively, Sales and Marketing have to have the same definition of the buying/selling stages, and a unified definition for “qualified lead” and, when it’s handed over.
So where does sales come in, what do they need to do to move closer to marketing? One way that Sales can work to get closer to Marketing is to consciously work with Marketing to define the value proposition, and work to stay consistent. Sales also has a greater opportunity to move closer to the top of the funnel, search for, and qualify their own leads through social media and social intelligence tools, while remaining consistent with Marketing.
Because technology is driving business change–communication and relationships–at a rapid rate, it becomes almost impossible for either Sales or Marketing to be truly successful without leveraging new technology and working together. It’s no longer sustainable for the two organizations to work separately, and technology is giving us the tools to really align through new methodologies and processes that maximize the use of technology.