Wednesday Dec 12, 2012

Avoiding the Black Hole of Leads

Sales says, "Marketing doesn’t deliver enough qualified leads. So, we generate 90% of our own leads." Meanwhile, Marketing says, "We generate most of the leads. But, Sales doesn’t contact them quickly enough, while the lead is still interested." According to Sirius Decisions:

  • Up to 90% of leads never make it to closure
  • Sales works on only 11% of the leads supplied by Marketing
  • Only 18% of the leads Sales accepts convert to opportunities
  • Yet, 45% of prospects typically buy a product from someone within 12 months

The root cause of these commonplace complaints is a disconnect between the funnels of marketing and sales. Unfortunately, we often see companies with an assortment of poorly integrated marketing tools. It takes too long and too many people to move the data around, scrub it, upload it from one system to another, and get it routed to the right sales teams. As a result, leads fall through the cracks, contextual information is lost, and by the time sales actually contacts a customer it may be too late.

Sales automation alone is not enough. Marketing automation (including social) is not enough. Sales and Marketing must work together. It’s time to connect the silos of marketing and sales pipelines and analytics. It’s time for integrated Sales and Marketing automation.

Integrated pipelines improve lead quality and timeliness. Marketing systems can track a rich set of contextual information about a prospect–self-disclosed information about interests, content viewed, and so on. This insight can equip the sales rep with rich information to make a face-to-face conversation more relevant and more likely to convert to the next stage in the sales process.

Integrated lead to revenue (LTR) management provides end-to-end visibility, enabling the company to measure what is working. Marketing can measure its impact on revenue and other business outcomes, and sales can harness and redirect marketing investments to areas where they most help achieve sales objectives. It’s a win-win play. Marketing delivers more leads that are qualified, cuts cost per lead, and demonstrates a strong Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI). Sales spends more time with warm leads and less time on cold calls, achieves higher close rates, and delivers more revenue.

Learn more by attending our Integrated Sales and Marketing session at the upcoming CloudWorld conferences. Or, visit our Sales and Marketing Cloud Service site for videos and other learning resources.

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