Follow The Lead

From click to customer: uniting sales and marketing


Guest Blog

By Scott Holden

Scott Holden, director of product marketing at Salesforce.com

In an ideal world, sales and marketing teams would operate hand-in-hand, yet oftentimes these two departments are at odds. Leveraging each of these groups’ goals, strategies and tactics can actually elevate both to a level of greater efficiency and even accelerate the customer cycles. In order to do this, marketing and sales must work together from end to end. Many marketing groups stop at lead generation while sales execs are trusted to close deals, but both must deliver value throughout the entire sales process.

The first step to uniting sales and marketing, is addressing their challenges – lead generation, lead follow-up, cross-functional visibility, and performance measurement. Here are a few key integration tips that will help businesses understand these issues and make strides toward bridging the gap:

  • Quality of leads – Marketing often focuses on the quantity of responses and leads, but it’s important to take a step back and zero in on quality leads that generate pipeline and ultimately result in closed business. Taking time to do this, and scoring the quality of your leads, allows sales reps to prioritize.  By focusing on the deals with the highest probability of success win rates improve and more deals are closed.
  • Getting on the same page – Aligning resources prior to launching a new is a great way to improve the likelihood of success throughout the sales process. Understanding messages, metrics and the forecasting process early on helps each team determine how to make the most impact on winning business.
  • The right tools – Resources are stretched thin so leveraging the right tools for both sales and marketing is very important. Empower sales reps with timely, relevant, and up-to-date materials so they can understand and communicate core messages coming from marketing. Sales can amplify marketing messages, so failing to update them effectively reduces both sales productivity and marketing effectiveness.
  • End to end visibility – Marketing visibility into the sales process should not end with the number and quality of leads generated.  Marketers also need to know which leads actually turn into closed business.  With full visibility, marketers can justify their spending and focus their future efforts on generating more of the leads that are resulting in closed business.

Disclosure: Salesforce.com is a partner of ZoomInfo

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Scott Holden is director of product marketing at Salesforce.com.

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September 17, 2009 - Posted by | Sales & Marketing | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. B2B marketing consulting expert B2BLeadsNetwork: Get more sales leads with qualified lead generation that works. Consultant, speaker, and training services.

    Comment by Thomas | August 17, 2010 | Reply


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