Marketing and Sales synergies

# 31 – Janauary 2013

Have you had the experience where you visit a business exhibition, express your interest, leave your name and never hear back?  Or you filled in an online contact form and are never contacted.  It’s confusing and frustrating.

Are you certain your company is not doing the same thing?

You can avoid these lost opportunities through a tighter coordination between the marketing and sales team.  Maximizing the return on your marketing investment requires target setting, follow-up procedures and using scoreboards. A precondition for success of the entire process is that you first develop a common perfect prospecting profile.

Perfect Prospecting Profile
It is critical to define the ideal prospect.  It is equally vital that the marketing and sales departments have a common view of this profile. Otherwise there is a risk that the marketing department will generate leads which the sales organisation will find irrelevant and of low quality.

Who are we selling to? What companies and organisations are we talking about? What are the roles of the people we should approach? Are there other criteria which need to be fulfilled in order for us to have a meaningful contact?

Set clear, measurable targets for the marketing activity. Number of relevant leads is an excellent target. By relevant we mean that the generated lead is in line with the prefect prospecting profile. The targets could be further refined to measure the number (and value) of qualified opportunities and the number (and value) of closed deals.

When setting the target, involve both the sales and marketing side to create a common commitment. Make a budget with all the estimated costs associated with the campaign so that all involved parties are aware of the investment the company is doing.

Assign responsibility to each individual sales rep for following up his or her campaign responses. Ensure that they do so with a high frequency. If a campaign is expected to be concluded within a month, you need to follow-up and update your scoreboard on a weekly basis. The sales manager has the responsibility for this follow-up. At the end of the campaign you should present the results – compared to the targets – for all involved parties.  Include an analysis comparing all cost associated with expected future revenue, based on the number of qualified opportunities the campaign generated.

Use a scoreboard throughout the campaign to visualise the results. This should be presented to all participants as well as management. You should be able to see how each individual sales person is doing, converting sales leads to business opportunities and to closed deals (if the sales cycle is not too long). On top of visualising, you can also combine the follow-up activity with a sales competition, where you reward high follow-up activity and conversion rate.