The relationship between Marketing and Sales can be contentious.
It’s an old story: Sales accuses Marketing of sending them “bad” leads, or not generating enough good ones, while Marketing accuses Sales of not following up on leads they’ve generated, or not following up quickly enough.
So what’s behind this tension and what can be done to help Marketing and Sales rekindle their love so they can work together more effectively as a revenue generating team?
Eliminating bad leads
Let’s start with what salespeople mean when they say a lead is “bad”. Often, sales can’t see the value in the leads marketing generates because they’re not immediately actionable. When leads are missing key contact details, such as direct dial phones, or the data provided is incorrect, salespeople end up wasting time on manual research and/or reaching out to people who aren’t qualified. And if there’s one thing good salespeople hate, it’s wasting time.
Sarah Strid, Senior Manager of Demand Generation at FloQast, understands these issues all too well. As noted in a recently published case study, FloQast was generating a high volume of leads through numerous marketing programs, such as events, webinars, and third-party partnerships. But unfortunately, a lot of contact and account data being generated was incomplete, and oftentimes, inaccurate.
“If there’s ever a bad list or contact data is inaccurate it bounces—that’s huge from a systems and programmatic aspect—but it’s also really detrimental to the relationship between our Sales and Marketing teams because they’re not going trust that what Marketing is providing to them is really high value,” says Sarah.
She continued: “Pre-event lists and leads collected at conferences were always a challenge because the data is often incomplete or incorrect, resulting in a lot of time wasted trying to manually enrich data instead of reaching out to prospects or following up on leads.”
FloQast was able to overcome their “bad lead” issue with on-demand lead enrichment. They’ve re-verified and updated their CRM data and enriched contact data to drive better results for their campaigns and provide more value to the Sales team.
“With complete, accurate data, we’ve been able to do more pre-event outreach, such as booking demos prior to a conference—something that we historically had greater difficulty doing. We’ve also been able to run more targeted programs,” says Sarah.
“We’re running several campaigns and if we’re generating X amount of contacts and none of them are accurate, it doesn’t matter at all. Marketing isn’t driving value to Sales or to the company as a whole,” she concluded.
Teams that create target personas together, stay together
Another way to align Marketing and Sales, avoid bad leads (and the bad feelings that go with them), is to have your teams work hand-in-hand to develop detailed target personas, as well as ideal customer profiles (ICP) and lead qualification criteria. This prevents future misunderstandings and you can work together more effectively to target your total audience and drive conversions.
With agreement on your target personas and ICP, you can measure your total audience (TAM), evaluate the coverage in your CRM and marketing automation platform, and perform contact discovery to fill any gaps with complete, accurate data. We’ve performed thousands of TAM analyses and people are always surprised to see how many target contacts they’re actually missing—we find the average TAM coverage is only 17%!
An ABM love story
Jeremy Middleton, Senior Director of Rev Operations & Digital Marketing at Pramata knows about getting Marketing and Sales aligned to reach their total audience.
As detailed in this ABM case study, Pramata wanted to complement their inbound and events programs with an ABM and account-based sales approach, but lacked complete and accurate data for the contacts in their target accounts, so they were wasting a lot of active selling time on research and dead ends.
Jeremy worked with the business development reps to align their teams and re-focus on their very largest target accounts, to further refine their target personas, and enrich their CRM data, increasing TAM coverage from just 30% to 99%. The teams also worked together to create detailed account engagement plans with personalized content and customized messaging.
“Now that we’re enriching our SFDC deployment with fresh accurate data, we can confidently take a highly-personalized approach to ABM—and it’s having a positive impact at every level. Our email open rates have doubled, click rates have quadrupled, and we’re seeing a 4x lift in sales conversions,” says Jeremy.
“Our Sales team is more efficient—we have significantly reduced time spent searching for direct phone numbers and spend less time chasing untargeted prospects. We now have valuable ammunition to personalize our outreach to our target market and personas to engage them more effectively. This has enabled us to move deals through the pipeline with a greater velocity and increase our conversion rates,” he continued.
Good data is the gift that keeps on giving
Take a lesson from Sarah and Jeremy. Forget chocolates and flowers and give your Sales team what they really want: complete, accurate data for all the contacts in your target accounts.
Imagine their happy faces as they open your CRM to find verified direct-dials, up-to-date titles and account profiles, and accurate emails for all the contacts that fit the target personas that you created together—your total audience, perfected. They’ll love being able to hit the phones without wasting time on research and you’ll love having the complete, accurate data you need for more targeted, personalized campaigns. A match made in demand gen heaven.