In light of the success of our recent webinar, Four Steps to Align Sales and Marketing, I thought I’d write a brief post outlining the information we covered. As I thought more about the webinar, I started to realize that one important issue wasn’t completely addressed: why your Sales and Marketing teams need to be aligned in the first place...
When we include this point, the 4 steps are easier to understand:
1. Defining the Lead Management ProcessA basic yet frequently forgotten step, defining your lead process is the first way you can open up communication between your teams. A strong process sees all leads (not just hot leads) through the ‘tunnel.’ A defined process like this helps both Sales and Marketing teams stay focused on all leads, maximizing revenue generation. By defining your process, you can then better utilize customer relationship management tools such as
2. Developing the Lead Process through Communication Passing leads through this ‘tunnel’ requires strong communication between Sales and Marketing, and another step in opening up that communication is having the teams agree on common terms and definitions:
• Do both teams agree on the definition of a lead?
• What are the criteria for a qualified lead?
• What are the common metrics set in place?
Agreeing on common terms leads to a greater issue — agreeing on a common goal. Sales and Marketing need to align their goals, the most important being revenue generation. The goal is not to generate leads, but to generate revenue, also known as a “Lead to Revenue Management” mindset (a term borrowed from Forrester Research). When both teams are aligned with this goal, they can better view each other as integral parts to the process, rather than separate entities.
3. Measure Each Part of Your Process If your teams have successfully aligned on a common goal and terms, it’s time to start thinking about metrics in your lead management process. Metrics are key to understanding successes and losses in your process, and they enable teams to take an approach to lead management that is fact-based and unbiased.
The Blame Game between Sales and Marketing
Metrics provide proof of what’s working and what’s not working in terms of generating revenue. Without factual measurements, the tendency for Sales and Marketing to shift blame to one another is high.
Maybe you’ve heard things like, “Sales can’t close any of the leads I give them...” or “Marketing doesn’t hand me enough leads...”
The blame game is removed when metrics are set in place, and both teams can get over the biases to focus on the common goal: generating revenue.
4. Change Your Mindset I’ve mentioned this idea in the previous steps, but getting your teams to change their mindset about themselves and each other, and focus on the “Lead to Revenue Management” process is the most difficult step.
Making this change starts with ourselves and our expectations about our own position and job. We are not just sales people or marketers — we are part of a team with a common goal. And we can no longer complain about the “other” team not doing its job or complain about lead flow.
We need to take ownership of revenue generation as a collective team and let go of the bias. Doing so will allow for growth in a transformative way, not just for the teams, but the organization as a whole.
If what I’ve described here sounds like your Sales and Marketing teams, please watch the full webinar for a more in-depth understanding of how you can align your teams using the 4 steps.
For more information on utilizing Dynamics CRM as an integral part of you lead management process, contact us at [email protected]