Ah yes, the good ole marketing vs sales clash; quantity vs quality – where should we start to in order to solve this conundrum?
To be frank, sales reps need fewer leads, to be precise, fewer unfiltered, unrefined leads.
If a lead is properly and consistently nurtured and developed its chances of “flourishing” into a completed sale increase.
The main problem within companies is that the marketing teams are rewarded for quantity, and not lead quality. Technology also helps with generating those leads at an astounding pace at a relatively low cost. Also, the fact that more than a third of sales reps are missing the quota, doesn’t help either.
To simplify, the usual report from marketing looks like this “Great quarter in lead generation. We generated more than 1564 leads from all sources – that’s a 20% gain over last year. Despite higher PPC cost, we managed to keep our leads under the standard price.”
So when sales executives take a closer look at these not-so-awesome leads, their response is quite harsh:
- No defined budget info? Begone!
- Not a senior enough lead? Bye, bye!
- Planned for next year? Toodles!
The whole mess goes back and forth, without a proper resolution. It’s quite insane, marketing teams think they are keeping their end of the bargain, and they are if you consider things from the volume only standpoint, while sales are dismissing leads, rightfully so, since they are not nurtured.
Companies are also to blame, gambling with leads is a common practice. Why pay twice the average price for a well nurtured, quality lead when you can, pay half of that and gamble a bit, while receiving double the amount of leads with a conversion rate ranging from 20% to 60%.
Lead vendors that dabble in such practices are equivalents of “sweat shops”, pumping out leads “en masse” without consideration for quality. In return, companies waste millions on low quality, poorly qualified leads. There’s also a metric to justify this sort of behaviour, ROMI (return on marketing investment) – sometimes, as little as 20% close rate is considered good. Although, the actual return is, in fact, close to zero.
Since quantity over quality, simply doesn’t cut it, what steps should companies undertake?
- Measure the quality and cost per ACTUAL lead.
- An “overseer” (c-level executive) that keeps sales and marketing in check, evaluating their work and making sure both departments have the companies best interest in mind, and not their own.
- A special group whose focus is nurturing leads till they are sales ready if a particular lead can’t gain momentum this special team will “look under the hood” and diagnose.