<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=159779227907527&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Welcome To Our Blog

Bridging the Great Divide

sam | 8 September 2015

Sales and Marketing

When it comes to sales leads and the quality of those sales leads there has always been a conflict between Sales and Marketing but with a little collaboration and a lot of qualification, there’s no reason why this conflict can’t be dealt with to the best interests of both parties.

We all know that the functions of Sales and Marketing are deeply interconnected but more often than not, they will operate as separate entities in an organisation and this is when the conflict can start. When sales performance is disappointing, marketing will tend to blame their poor execution of the plan. On the other hand, Sales will blame Marketing for being out of touch with the customers and setting prices and targets too high. And this is when the two functions lock horns with each other, a lot of posturing takes place and the relationship begins to get fractured. At the end of the day, it is the company that suffers and the overall revenue performance starts to dip, causing further anxiety for all concerned.

The nature of the conflict

Understandably Sales want qualified leads that mean they don’t waste their time with tyre kickers and can produce more opportunities for less work. They get annoyed when Marketing pass over lukewarm sales leads that are barely worth their effort. The pressure of sales targets exacerbates this situation and the mindset of the sales team can soon get quite negative if there is a continuous drip feed of leads which are of a poor quality.

Equally, Marketing is under similar pressures. They are often tasked with generating as many leads as possible (which will never be enough to satisfy the sales team) and there is often not enough time to generate the quantity and quality of sales leads they want. Further annoyance is then caused if it is perceived that the sales team are not following up quickly enough or not placing enough value on the leads they are receiving.

So what can be done to bring the two together?

Sometimes it can feel that only a professional mediator can help with this situation but it doesn’t have to be this way. There will always be a bit of tension between Sales and Marketing but this tension can be alleviated by having a proper game plan. Organisations need to:

  • Agree the point at which the leads are handed over – identify the gap. Often Marketing think the hand over point is a lot sooner than the sales team think.
  • Agree what qualification marketing will do on a lead and what qualification the sales team are prepared to do.
  • Create a plan of action for those leads that nearly match the qualification criteria but not quite. These will need nurturing by someone!
  • If the gap is too large, consider bringing in external help such as a new team member or an agency to qualify and nurture the leads.

Bringing in external expertise

This last point can be a solution that works for everybody. By bringing in an external expert telemarketing team to qualify and nurture sales leads, Sales and Marketing can concentrate on the specifics of their own role to build better campaigns and better ways of implementing them.

Sales leads that have been fully qualified can go straight out to the sales team to follow-up and close whilst the ‘lukewarm’ leads that we alluded to earlier can go through a nurturing process that maintains an ongoing dialogue with the prospect until they are in a position to buy. Only then is the lead passed on to sales.

A strategy like this can start to bridge the gap between Sales and Marketing, go some way to resolving the conflict between the two, and improve the overall performance of both departments.