Executive Vice President
What if there was one area of opportunity for your marketing organization that would fundamentally shift your sales revenue results and drive more marketing ROI for each dollar invested in your marketing programs?
Well believe it or not, there is an area of opportunity that will significantly improve your results and lead to a higher return on marketing investment spent on opportunity development.
If you are like most marketers, the lion share of your marketing budget is being invested in new customer acquisition programs. Yet, for this critical area of opportunity many marketers continue to focus on leads and conversions when they should be focused on delivering marketing qualified leads (MQL’s) to your organization to be developed to Sales Ready.
The reason for this shift will be discussed in more detail below, but the number one reason is that this process delivers more revenue per lead generated and shortens the overall sales cycle.
This is an important consideration for all marketers because not all leads are created equal. Many of the leads you deliver today are simply looking for more information to start their assessment of you as a potential provider or they are simply researching information on a potential area of opportunity for the future.
Yet, many marketers are sending these leads directly to the sales team for follow-up.
Does that make sense? Is that the best approach?
Let’s take a quick look at some of the data that suggests that may not be the best course of action.
According to industry study data there is a huge gap in the quality of leads marketers are delivering to their sales organization. Henry Bruce, President and Founder of The Rock Arnard Group said it best., “When I reflect on the state of marketing automation, three stats paint a very ominous picture:
- 70% of the buy cycle is complete before sales engages with buyers
- Only 50% of a typical sales team achieves quota
- Only 10%-15% of new leads are considered sales ready
Think about the data reported above…if 70% of the buy cycle is complete before your sales team engages with potential buyers, your ability to convert those leads drops significantly. Additionally, if only 10-15% of the new leads are sales ready, we are wasting the sales teams time. The leads need to be nurtured further before sales engages with these opportunities. This also negatively impacts your Marketing ROI data and you are probably getting a false read on your marketing results and blaming sales for their inability to convert leads to sales.
Since so much of a prospects time is spent researching online before they ever contact a prospective company, you need to have an engagement program that starts a dialogue with these prospects well before they realize they are ready to invest in your solution. You also need to leverage all of your marketing response channels in order to offer the prospect a chance to provide you with insight on why they are inquiring and what they want right now. By taking this step you have an opportunity to provide them with high value content and start the nurturing process for future engagements.
By building their awareness, trust and confidence, in you as a potential provider, as well as providing high-value content to educate them, you start an ongoing engagement that ultimately leads to sales ready status.
The days of one and done programs are gone. You have to build ongoing nurturing programs that both step your prospects through a cycle of high value opportunities to learn more, and provide you critical insight on their current and future needs.
Once you have built a nurturing and scoring program you will be able to deliver high quality leads (sales ready) to your sales team and you will be on your way to improved marketing and sales results in all areas.
By taking your existing program and leveraging technology and messaging in a more strategic and focused manner you can start to transform your overall program results for the long haul.
If you are looking for more information and insight on how to achieve this approach for your business feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask your Rider Dickerson representative for more information.
Blog created by Joseph Manos, Executive Vice President, MindFireInc