When it comes to generating new business for your company, having a large lead list or prospect database is crucial. But how you market to those prospects through an outreach strategy is what will bring that new blood into your pipeline. By conjoining your marketing and sales efforts, you are more likely to have a specific strategy and bring the two teams together as one. In fact, companies who have sales and marketing alignment tend to be more successful. According to HubSpot, "1 in 4 companies say their sales and marketing teams are either 'misaligned' or 'rarely aligned.'" However, HubSpot also states that "'Tightly aligned' companies achieve 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth and misalignment between sales and marketing costs B2B companies 10% or more of revenue loss annually."
What is it:
Definition: Lead scoring is the process of assigning values, often in the form of numerical "points," to each lead you generate for the business. - HubSpot
Using marketing systems, you can scale your lead qualification process to better identify and target the most qualified leads, while nurturing those who need more time. To set up your scoring criteria, lists and workflows effectively, identify what actions taken by prospects should affect their lead score and the points each action will receive. When a contact gains a certain score, you can trigger a workflow, setting up a series of actions. You can score your leads based on multiple attributes. The first group of attributes is personal. These include: job titles, persona indication, knowing their email or phone number or other personal questions you might want to know about the prospect throughout the sales process. The second set of attributes is how they have engaged with your company. This includes: how they've engaged with your website and brand across the internet, email opens, clicks and unsubscribes and even social media interactions.
How To Do It:
Determine with your internal team how prospects will reach the threshold and gain various points. Talk to your sales team to figure out what questions are the most important that they need answers to and learn about the top qualifications that made your current clients work with you. Once you have the criteria, set the proper points for each action. For example: visiting your website = 2 points, answering a question on a form = 3 etc. The last step is to determine your lead scoring threshold. Meaning, how many points do prospects have to get until they become a marketing qualified lead and they’re ready to pass to your sales team for outreach. Once a lead reaches that threshold, create an outreach strategy. Have one person in charge of distributing the leads to your sales team and have a process in place on how the prospects are distributed. For example: sales person A gets leads in the financial industry, while sales person B gets leads in the education industry or all leads are distributed in round-robin format. Make sure to also create a tracking system, so you know how many leads your sales team is able to get in touch with, set meetings with or most importantly, convert to sales.
Why should you do it:
Implementing lead scoring is critical for both your sales and marketing teams. Creating lead scoring points helps integrate the two teams together to prioritize leads, respond to them appropriately and increase the rate at which those leads become customers. If you have a large database, this prioritizes who you should reach out to first. When a lead hits your determined threshold and becomes a marketing qualified lead (MQL) it pushes them one step closer to a sales qualified lead (SQL). As prospects engage with your brand, download your resources and answer questions your company seeks answers to, they are warmer leads than those who don’t engage. Having this system set in place will help nurture and work leads that you might not necessarily reach out to, but who still might be a fit for your product or service.
Drip marketing is a strategy that allows you to nurture leads, communicate regularly to your customer base, increase your sales and stay in front of opportunities that are in various stages of your sales cycle. Drip campaigns have been a proven value add to help reach your business objectives. Whether they are new prospects, halfway through the cycle, or close to signing on the dotted line, it is critical to provide your identified target audience with relevant and helpful information.
Often times we see data management as one of our clients main pain points. They either don’t have the resources or lack the expertise to go through the process of building and executing their list. Over the past couple weeks, we have discussed how to clean up your database, build and nurture your pipeline, how to work your prospect list and how to measure metrics. To keep all of those things running smoothly, you must have someone in charge of your database along with metrics for accountability for your sales team to meet.
In order to properly track the health of your pipeline, designate someone with the big picture in mind and authorize ultimate ownership. They will need to have the time to continuously manage all the data. Measuring your metrics isn’t something you can do once a year or whenever someone has time. It has to be monitored and tracked on a regular basis. To see if you have accountability sufficiently covered, ask yourself these questions:
-Who’s in charge of your sales and marketing lists and database?
-Are they focused on it all the time?
-Do they have the tools they need to clean, merge and assess your database?
-Do they have too many other responsibilities that can distract them from database management?
-Have they assessed the value of your data in the past?
After evaluating the accountability within your company, you may realize you need to hire a data specialist or assign someone in-house to begin overseeing the database. The route that is best for you will depend on the size of your company and the resources accessible to you. This role should be done by someone that understands how to work with data and is good with spreadsheets. They should also be analytical as they will have control over the CRM and will need to effectively have a handle on all the information.
Every company will structure this role differently, but ultimately they will be the master of the database. The data specialist will work at keeping the sales reps and marketing team held accountable. Activity should be monitored weekly and evaluated monthly to see if any trends are happening. Continually assessing the data will alert the data specialist to any areas that may need adjusting.
It’s also import to note that there are different levels of accountability. In addition to having a data specialist hold the team responsible, sales reps will also need to maintain integrity on their own. They should be continually tracking their progress by recording calls, taking notes and updating the list all while maintaining the overall structure of the CRM. Sales reps must work with accuracy and input their information properly into the database.
If you can’t dedicate someone to manage your database, you then need to consider outsourcing at least some of the responsibility to resources that focus on basic list management fundamentals everyday. It’s truly surprising the number of companies with insufficient and outdated databases. Having the lack of resources or experience can cost a company lots of money in wasted sales and marketing efforts. The 5 pillars we’ve touched on this past month are essential to effectively manage your databases. If you need assistance in any of these areas, from cleansing to developing your data, our staff at MPI are here to help.