One of Marketing’s primary responsibilities is to generate leads for the Sales organization to turn into new business. Incredible amounts of time, effort, and money are spent by Marketing to capture these leads including writing excellent content, running ad campaigns, exhibiting at conferences, being active on social media, etc. Each marketing qualified lead (MQL) is treasured by marketing because it is the fruit of all their hard work.
The Sales team must now reach out to the lead to engage them in a meaningful discussion to determine if there is an opportunity to help their business and sell your solution. However, most MQLs never respond to the salesperson. The picture below shows a traditional B2B marketing & sales process and pinpoints where this problem exists.
Why the breakdown between marketing & sales?
I’m going to break this down and explain why this happens because it is the main point of friction between Sales & Marketing. It isn’t as simple as “these leads aren’t any good” like many salespeople profess but the struggle is real.
- The majority of the time, neither Marketing nor Sales have context about WHY the lead is interested in your solution including what drove them to interact with your whitepaper, video, case study, social post, etc.
So what is driving their interest? Is their business having a big challenge? Are they just curious to learn more about you because someone mentioned you in a meeting? The MQL score assigned to leads tries to indicate buying intent based on activity but doesn’t explain the WHY.
- The Salesperson that reaches out to the lead struggles to add any value.
The salesperson knows very little about the lead:typically name, email address, business name, and sometimes information about their online activity (ex. downloaded or viewed some content). When the salesperson reaches out via email their email is not helpful because they have to guess about their intent.
Below is a common email sent to an MQL by sales. You can see in the email that the rep is struggling with the lack of context about the lead’s intent.
The sales rep:
- Doesn’t know if they actually consumed the content.
- Doesn’t know what they found interesting.
- Doesn’t know their business problem.
Without any context, the person receiving the email is thinking either of these two things:
- “I am looking to solve my business challenge, but this rep doesn’t know my business.”
- “I’m not interested in what you are selling, I was just trying to learn.”
In both cases the perception of the sales rep is negative, and the potential prospect doesn’t respond. This is incredibly frustrating to the salesperson but also to marketing that worked so hard to capture this lead.
How do you solve this problem? Click here to read Part 2, 5 Critical Steps to get Marketing Leads to Respond to Sales.