In 2018, digital marketers will face continued pressure to optimize their efforts online, to generate marketing qualified leads, and to enable sales teams to close those with leads. Marketers are taking more responsibility for the sales funnel and are needing to prove the impact of their work with data. The key to success is a modern digital marketing strategy that is measurable, repeatable, and delivers results.
Luckily, platforms that support data-driven, user-first strategic marketing campaigns are stronger and more integrated than ever. (Read how Hubspot and a modern strategy increased pipeline by 194% for Learning.com.)
While digital tools can support collaboration between marketing and sales, your first step toward success is defining the rules for that partnership. By aligning the two teams around a defined lead-generation strategy, you’ll be ready to delight your customers no matter the platform you choose.
Here are three ways your marketing team can take the lead and enable sales teams to do their best work in 2018.
Align around lead scoring
Sales and marketing need to work together to define the scorecard for ranking leads and determining their sales-readiness. You’ll become more agile and effective when you’re focused on this shared vision of your target customer Once you’ve established this rubric for scoring leads, make sure to optimize your marketing efforts–spending the most time and energy on the leads your sales team is looking for.
Define lead generation metrics
Bring marketing and sales together to outline what qualifies a lead as a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), Sales Accepted Lead (SAL), and Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). The importance of clear, unified goals cannot be overstated and the quickest way to align on these goals is collaboration. Teams support process they help create, so bring both teams together to draft a clear process that enables sales and marketing to work efficiently and with a united purpose.
Stick to your service level agreements (SLAs)
Outlining what happens at each phase of the revenue cycle is essential to your modern marketing process. Each team should clearly understand their roles and responsibilities. Clear goals and a stepped process means marketing can be held accountable for delivering the right leads while sales understands precisely how much time it has has to respond to a new lead.
For too long sales and marketing teams have worked in silos, focused on their own goals and metrics, while missing the mark as an organization. In the modern digital landscape, alignment between the two departments is imperative for success. In 2018, marketing and sales teams must collaborate to improve lead generation and develop new revenue streams or they will suffer the consequences of haphazard, inconsistent efforts.