When it comes to sales, marketing and sales ops, results matter more than anything. That’s why constant improvement of performance across the board can make or break your success. Here are the top 6 ways sales; marketing, and sales ops leader can deliver better results:
1. Understand your existing data, systems and processes.
If you have not mapped out your lead flow process, I would map it out from the top of the funnel all the way through close to customer. You need to understand how leads are captured (website, booth at event, list pull, product, etc.) and entered into your CRM (customer resource management) system, how they route to your sales team, and how your sales team prioritizes, qualifies and converts the leads to opportunities. You need to work with your CRM administrator to understand the fields and how they are populated. And determine the level of accuracy and age of the data. You most likely will need to spend time cleaning up the data before you can make the better business decisions off of the data. Bad data in makes for bad decisions out or at least not fully accurate ones.
2. Form a cross-functional team:
Create a team that has stakeholders from marketing, sales, sales ops, IT and product teams. This will help you understand each department’s viewpoint and how their needs impact your data and how leads are inputted into your CRM system. To help effectively manage your team I’d recommend creating a RACI chart. This will help clearly lay out what each person’s role and responsibilities are on the team.
3. Implement the processes:
As a follow up to step one, you need to document what you learn to educate your existing and future teams and post the information to a central location (such as a corporate Box.com folder) that gives transparency to the organization. The more you educate your cross functional team on the systems and best practices, the better decisions they can make within their organization and the cleaner and more accurate the systems will be. The central organization will manage the marketing automation platform, implement lead scoring and nurturing, and train the greater marketing organization on email marketing use, as well as the sales team on leveraging the sales enablement tools provided for prioritization and qualification to communication.
4. Standardize your campaigns.
Campaigns are a key component to your ability to measure effective spend. From a marketing standpoint, you need to implement a campaign taxonomy that can be used across the organization and be tracked within your CRM. I recommend enforcing a campaign assignment for all marketing spend and grouping campaigns by type (whitepaper, webinar, tradeshow, paid search, etc.). And with this, you should roll out a naming convention for your company to follow. Our team goes as far as to provide an online naming convention tool for the organization to use for consistency. This will simplify future reporting and the ability to locate campaigns. Sample tool: http://esign.docusign.com/campaign-name-generator
5. Standardize how you measure success.
I have found the SiriusDecisions waterfall methodology to be extremely effective for a sales and marketing integrated approach. SiriusDecisions has become the B2B established standard definition for Marketing’s contribution from Cold-to-Close. Being able to show top of funnel all the way through the pipeline to close is extremely important for understanding not just the quantity of leads delivered, but also the quality of those leads. And applying the SiriusDecisions methodology has Sales, typically Marketing’s biggest critic; validate the quality in an indisputable way. Being able to measure the conversion of your leads to opportunities, and the revenue dollars associated to those opportunities, allows you to measure effectiveness of your campaigns and spend. If you cannot measure the effectiveness of your current spend, you won’t earn the right to ask for more budget dollars in the future.
6. Agree to a lead scoring model with sales.
An important part of the Marketing and Sales partnership is building a lead scoring model. Before you can implement lead scoring, you need to have an agreed upon model. The model does not have to be perfect out of the gate, but you’ll want to build it in partnership with sales in order to have their buy-in on the results. Sales will assist with validating the effectiveness on the score as you start to monitor leads through the pipeline. Lead scoring is an iterative process that will evolve as you learn about what converts and what doesn’t. You need an automation platform that can be flexible for your lead scoring needs. I recommend the Eloqua modelof looking at a mix of demographics and engagement. They use a letter for a quick indicator of demographics and number for quick assessment of engagement with your business.
Figure 1. Give sales a quick way to assess the quality of the lead, so they can prioritize whom to contact.