Despite the cold weather, there is a lot to feel warm about in February. From Valentine’s Day to Family Day, Lunar New Year for some cultures and even cheering on our nation’s team at the Winter Olympics, there is a great sense of building community and nurturing relationships.
In lead generation, relationships are the basis for closing and executing sales. In the B2B space, the relationship with clients is paramount. It requires research, nurturing and ongoing maintenance, but even before a sales person can reach a prospect, the relationship between sales and marketing teams has to be just as smooth.
Marketing and sales may be the most complicated relationship there can be in lead generation. While the teams rely on each other to hit targets, experts are still talking about how businesses can better align the two. According to The Black Report, 48% of executives and business leaders said internal company issues lead to poor B2B lead generation performance. Every relationship could use a little help and when it comes to your marketing and sales teams, better align them up by:
Developing a sales-focused marketing plan
Break down the silos and include information and experience from your sales people to develop a marketing plan that has a combination of direct, inbound, outbound and digital methods to reach potential prospects and convert them into qualified leads.
Tracking, scoring and understanding leads
Just like any relationship, contributing your strengths will better help you achieve your goals – and enjoy the process. Marketers should understand what their sales people value in a lead and what they qualify as a hot lead. This will better help both teams track their efforts as well as target more qualified leads. Marketing automation, website traffic, metrics and lead scoring will help make for a full and clean sales pipeline.
Supporting marketers and sales reps
With insight from sales on valued leads and buyer profiles, marketers can provide more support for sales by simplifying the sales process and offering good data and prequalified leads.
When the wheels are turning efficiently in-house, the results will speak for themselves. But just as marketing and sales teams must continuously communicate to make things work, salespeople and the company overall must ensure their relationships with clients are sound and nurtured. A conversion can lead to several more if you offer different ways to help meet your customers’ needs. Lack of nurturing was the cause of 79% of marketing leads never converting into sales. Don’t let these leads slip through the cracks, better nurture your client relations by:
Creating a sticky relationship
Whether you provide a product or a service, identify all the ways your company can help contribute to the success of your customers. The more imbedded a company is with a customer, the more difficult it is for the customer to disengage. The key is providing something that is of value to the customer – listen to your customer’s pain points and ensure they know how your business can help.
Don’t trust that leads will develop on their own. If a prospect was interested, but the timing was off, mark your calendars to follow-up, or if you told a prospect you were going to send information make sure you do it. One of the top reasons for sales effectiveness failures is lack of follow-through. You’d be surprised to know how many people keep your information and refer to it when the need arises – make yourself present and see your leads grow.
Having a win-back and retention plan
Everyone wants new customers, but marketing to existing and former customers is just as beneficial for the bottom line. A win-back and retention strategy incorporated into a sales lead campaign means more avenues for more results. Don’t let leads cool off after that first conversion, instead— nurture, nurture, nurture. The 360 Leads Black Report found that companies who communicate three or more times with leads they generate are more than twice as effective at achieving their targets.
If you have any lead generation questions or are interested in how 360 Leads can help, contact us today.