If there was ever a good reason for marketing and sales to drop the walls and find new and better ways to work together, the priority the market has placed on generating high quality leads would be it.
In some companies it’s possible that sales is completely out the lead generation (better known in sales circles as “prospecting”) game. But I speculate that organizations with a marketing organization that enjoys the budget and the staffing to be able to keep sales supplied with a stream of high quality leads are few and far between. And that means that in thousands of companies, sales reps are still hitting the phones and there is one very good thing about that. In spite of the difficulties that they face, when an experienced sales rep does manage to develop a lead for their use, chances are it’s a good one.
What is this statement based on?
A few things actually, all of which revolve around how most sales reps prospect for their own leads
- Sales reps tend to work from more targeted lists. They will spend more time calling into those markets that reflect their current customer base – accounts where there is already a better chance of finding a fit. Cherry picking can have its advantages
- Sales reps call to the titles who they have found in the past are actually involved in the different aspects of the business decision.
- Sales reps use a one-on-one more personal outreach than the one-to-many approach that marketing teams are required to follow. As difficult as it might be to register a message these days, are you likely going to pay more attention to an individual calling you or just another mass message from a faceless corporate entity? (Granted, every message has to be a good one)
- Messages that sales reps leave are more tailored to the companies and the titles that they are reaching out to than many mass marketing messages will ever be.
- Sales reps tend to reach out in different ways. Email, phone and regular mail feature prominently instead of just more and more low-cost online messaging
- Sales leads are finally developed though a live dialogue, with some qualification questions and an indication of interest..
So, when you add up all the factors that are contributing to the sales prospecting process, its pretty easy to understand why and to accept, that when a sales rep develops a lead through their own prospecting efforts, it will almost inevitably be a better quality lead than will come from most mass efforts.
The problem of course, is the time and effort it takes for sales people to get those leads and their failure to consistently keep feeding their own sales funnel….which is why the sales/marketing relationship needs some co-operative effort.
….more to come