Get leads, close deals.  That’s the game we play.

But before the leads become live they almost always have a relationship with you. There’s a story to tell about this potential sale. Information that can be gleaned from their previous engagement such as:

  • What are their interests?
  • What offerings did they respond to become a qualified lead?
  • How keen are they?

Unfortunately what happens in most situations, when marketing hands off leads to sales, is that marketing simply provides a list of names and phone numbers.  So sales can miss out on a lot of this intelligence.  At best, sales will ‘recreate the wheel’ by finding this information out again. At worst, they’ll alienate the lead by giving it a cold call feel.

Without aligning marketing with sales, you can expect longer sales cycles, larger attrition rates and increased cost of sales. Not an efficient way to manage those costly attained leads.

With a quality CRM in place, you can better know-thy-customer before they even receive that first introductory sales call.

Here are 4 features that a quality CRM can do to combine the efforts of marketing and sales.

Sales collaboration

This is just a fancy name to viewing the activity history. Each activity should be listed in chronological order. What outbound marketing was completed and when? As the sales user picks up the lead, they should be able to see what marketing efforts have historically they responded to. Using the one activity management system in CRM, sales and marketing share the same view of the customer journey.

Lead scoring

Rank your leads against a scale that represents a perceived value of each lead based on their marketing engagement. That way, sales can follow up on best contacts while the marketing learns which campaign efforts can work better and you begin to attain the state of business Zen – to sell as a team.

Multi Channel inbound/outbound marketing

Email is all the rage these days but then there’s the lost art of letter writing. Also what about faxes, SMS, postcards, with compliments slips, contact us forms? Every interaction with contacts should be seamlessly tracked in your CRM to give sales the full picture.

Marketing automation based on triggers

Create “if-then” rules in your database based on engagement. Maybe you require 2 speeds of marketing flow, one for high value leads, another slower lane for less engaged prospects.

Creating a customer journey that is easy yet information rich is possible using today’s CRM technology.  Working with your solution partner and identifying lead milestones, goals and reports is key here.