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High quality data is half the battle to successful lead generation marketing
Best case as an organization, you run multi-channel lead generation marketing campaigns to utilize your valuable data. To do so effectively, you should have a formal, internally published data entry policy and a visual how-to guide for all sales force automation (SFA) or customer relationship manager (CRM) users. The documents should outline exactly what data is acceptable for all leads, contacts, and accounts to create a solid framework. And the documents should be part of the onboarding process. Helpful data entry guidance tips, or hints should also be incorporated into the SFA/CRM software.
Yes - lead definition, digital scoring, marketing automation, qualification, recycling, service level agreements, closed-loop reporting, and dashboards foster sales and marketing alignment… to a point. Do you want to know how to take alignment to the next level?
I've been involved in dozens of companies' sales opportunity pipeline stages over the years. To drive accurate forecast reports for Executive Management and The Board of Directors, my recommendation is to keep the sales stages simple and easy to understand in a sales force automation (SFA) and /or customer relationship manager (CRM) tool.
Below are various sales stage names and probability percentage suggestions:
This reflection comes from a thoughtful comment and question on one of my earlier posts titled Sales Pipeline Stages & Probability Percentages.
Question: "Great information. What is your opinion about what percentage of your total opportunities should be Qualified, etc. For example, if I have 281 opportunities and 54% of those are in the "Target" stage, is that not enough or too many? We don't have enough accurate historical data to track opportunities from cradle to grave, and our current method is manual."
1. Today for a business to survive and thrive, marketing departments must have a documented content marketing plan. “NO plan” equates to inconsistency and poor inbound marketing results.
2. It’s vital to create and distribute a variety of compelling content daily to educate, provide value to suspect contacts and help them accomplish their objectives and goals. My recommendation is to create whitepapers, webinars, videos, microsites, direct mail, seminars, blog posts, case studies, social posts, infographics, ebooks, e-newsletters, ads, demos, email, comparison tables, etc. for your target personas and vertical industries.
3. To follow-up impressively fast via phone and email,
Throughout my career I’ve seen and have had a lot of real world experience with Lead Generation Departments (Market Development, Account Development, and Business Development Departments) that have reported to Sales, to Marketing, and wildly…to both at the same time.
As a consultant I regularly advise that appointment setting Lead Generation Departments report to Marketing and not to Sales. This is especially true as demand generation and inbound marketing continue to become commonplace with customers, who today do more research online before purchasing products or services. The best case scenario is to have a Lead Generation Manager, not just Lead Generation Representatives (LGRs) reporting directly to the marketing leader.
10 Reasons why Your B2B Lead Generation Department should report to Marketing, not to Sales:
Social selling techniques and activities will help you drastically improve and warm up connections, emails, LinkedIn InMails, Twitter DMs, videos, and phone calls. Try these 10 strategies and see your results improve: