Let’s take a scenario where your marketing team is crushing it. All the metrics they use to measure success have ticked green. At the same time, your sales time is not feeling the effect of their efforts and are spending way more time prospecting than they should spend closing. There seems to be a form of disconnect. In many organizations. a disconnect happens between marketing and sales. The sales team says that the leads coming are unqualified. Marketing says the sales team is not closing enough. There seems no system in place to tell warm from cold leads and how to separate high-value leads. If this is the case, the first step to have it rectified is to develop a sales process.
Sales development defines the process of warming up leads or prospects and readying them for the eventual buying decision. Any complete sales development process entails a series of 6 steps. Prospecting, connecting, researching, presenting, handling objections, and closing. Sales development is very important when it comes to inbound marketing. Many prospects may not be ready for sales outreach at the time they become a lead. If the lead is not ready, the sales team will be left in limbo. When sales development is used effectively, prospects will be primed for decision-making when they have handed over to sales closers.
There are three stages that should never be overlooked when it comes to creating a sales process. You need to start by identifying marketing and sales-qualified leads. Be ready to engage those leads and qualify them for real sales opportunities. Sadly, this will never happen when marketing and sales teams are not aligned. To make the implementation work, be sure to follow a couple of steps including the following;
You need to define the qualities of each lifecycle stage after a prospect becomes a lead. The work of the marketing team is to nurture leads that are not ready yet and identify ones that are close to making a purchasing decision. A marketing qualified lead is one that the marketing team flags as ready for a sale. Understand that the marketing team could be right or wrong and that is the reason the next lifecycle is important. On the other end, a sales-qualified lead is a marketing qualified lead that the sales team has flagged as being a qualified prospect.
You also need to identify any gaps in the pipeline. Once you have identified each lifecycle stage, have a look at the whole process to see if there are any gaps. Ask for feedback from key individuals from each department. They should be able to tell you about the best fit leads, the qualities that immediately disqualify a lead, what needs to be done before a sales rep reaches out for the conversation to be productive, among others. By looking at these questions, you will be better placed to understand where you are wasting the most time prospecting and engaging with leads.