How Do I Generate More Qualified Leads?21 September, 2022
Converging Generations in Your Sales Team5 October, 2022
How Do I Engage Sales in Lead Generation?
Lead Generation in the Information Age
Sales Participation Misnomers
- The company doesn’t understand how to engage their sellers effectively in the Marketing Funnel. As a result, we see salespeople being intentionally kept on the fringes until they are determined as marketing-qualified leads (MQL).
- Sales teams are expected to continue producing results in an entirely new landscape. New sales skills are needed to effectively engage in business development activity (lead generation) that heavily relies on unfamiliar digital tools and communication methods. Essentially, the sales playbook has changed and the sellers weren’t given or trained on the new copy!
- There is a misunderstanding by sellers on what their role is regarding prospecting activity in the digital age of lead generation.
Many entrepreneurs patiently wait for sales to come to them. They don’t market aggressively or compete for their share of business against competitors until they are notably underwhelmed by they inbound leads they get.
This isn’t surprising when you consider how so many digital marketers are promoting inbound marketing strategies focused around branding and content, and plastering articles and eBooks all over the internet about cold calling is dead.
These approaches suggest that the seller doesn’t need to have an active role in the buyers journey until the lead is ready to enter their sales pipeline; until it “falls into their hands”.
In the live business settings I engage in every day, this is the way things can go…
- Sales wants and needs to play an active role in lead generation, just as they do in prospecting. These functions are the lifeblood of their sales pipeline. They need to be executed masterfully for the seller to capture the amount of lead flow required to achieve their sales goal.
- Marketing wants and needs sales to be more engaged in progressing leads through the Marketing Funnel, especially when the lead starts interacting in the “Interest” and “Evaluation” stages. They want to see their creative, brilliant work turn into tangible ROI… closed deals; not just marketing qualified leads (MQL) handed off to the sales department.
- Top executives absolutely want and need to see both sales and marketing functions hitting on all cylinders to maximize the company’s ROI on these high-impact resource investments.
If you are a top executive faced with changing these dynamics in your organization, I’m happy to be a sounding board to help you get started.
Navigating the Sales Pipeline
Now it’s time to introduce Sales Pipeline methodology. Notice how the last pipeline stage is “Sale”, and the lower Marketing Funnel stage is, “Purchase”? These two methodologies both focus on driving a lead from inception to close.
Marketing owns the Marketing Funnel. When a new lead enters the Marketing funnel, it’s up to marketers and salespeople to draw them out with targeted marketing efforts. Once they’re engaged enough we can convert them into qualified leads or Marketing Qualified Leads(MQLs). This is where the handovers start to happen in the Sales Pipeline where further qualification takes place before an offer is made, finalizing your deal.
The pipeline is a way to draw in leads from various methods and sources, including your marketing funnel’s contribution.
- The information age marks the most substantial shift in B2B marketing we’ve ever seen. Use the guidance provided in this 2-part article series to integrate your sales and marketing functions.
- Attract and secure “the right” new business by defining your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and training marketing and sales resources accordingly.
- Utilize a mix of lead generation methods to feed your sales pipeline with healthy, diversified lead flow that is paced correctly to achieve current and long-term sales growth goals.
- Take note of the Marketing Funnel and Sales Pipeline intersect points and design your sales playbook to make sales and marketing roles and key accountabilities incredibly clear.
…and remember, no matter what your sales results show quarter over quarter or fiscal year-to-date, your sales team should always be prospecting.
I also invite you to follow me on LinkedIn to gain exposure to future article posts that will offer more valuable selling insights.
I am part of a national group of Senior Sales Leaders who collaborate to share insights like the examples shown in this article. We formed because of our shared passion to help business leaders exponentially grow their revenue.