For a Sales and marketing team to be successful, it is imperative that the demand being generated by marketing is effectively consumed and processed by Sales. This may seem obvious, but the business processes adopted by many companies often inadvertently make this harder than you would expect.
Many companies reward salespeople in different ways for bringing in a deal directly (i.e. through cold calling or networking), and reward them to a lesser extent if the deal came in through the marketing effort. This seems reasonable on one level, because you want to pay salespeople for the effort they put in and for their initiative. The risk with this approach and process is that salespeople will choose to view but ignore Leads that come in through marketing and instead replace them with “new” opportunities from the same prospect that they have seemingly created from scratch. This will have the effect of making the Sales team more commission (or giving them more “glory”) while making the marketing effort look less effective. The fact that it is easier in Salesforce.com to create a “new” opportunity entry than to convert a marketing Lead into an opportunity exacerbates the practice. The net effect of this over time will logically be a disinvestment in specific marketing tactics that were actually working but were not being reported correctly. The long-term impact of this will be that Sales will be less effective and marketing will be investing in areas which are less efficient for the business.
This model happens in every B2B company to some extent, and it makes the whole process of sales and marketing less efficient and effective. Experience has shown us that fixing this specific problem is one of the most effective ways of both improving and measuring the ROI from the whole of marketing and Sales.
To stop this common Sales practice requires a consistent approach to Sales and marketing operations training and careful management of all customer relationship management (CRM) opportunities to ensure that Sales are not killing marketing Leads and replacing them with similar “new” opportunities just to pad the books and look like Sales superstars. Sales and marketing operations, along with a shared CRM process and attribution focus are keys to driving success, but as we all know it isn’t easy to change behavior, especially that of successful Sales reps.
B2B3 has developed a process and approach to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the interaction between Sales and marketing to stop this specific issue from happening and to ensure that all parties are rewarded for working together and enabling higher efficiency and true marketing ROI measurement.
Give us a call and we’ll explain how we can quickly enact this for your organization and remove this drag on your company’s success.