Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Buying Has Changed Forever - Part II

Marketing and sales alignment is a popular topic that is frequently discussed but not universally practiced in today's B2B businesses. The basic principles of good lead nurturing are predicated on marketing and sales teamwork at every stage of a single revenue cycle.
In today's web-centric world where buyers are reluctant to engage with sales until much later in the decision-making process, there are at least three areas where marketing and sales collaboration become a necessity:
    * The definition of a sales-ready lead derived from co-defined lead scoring values.
    * The appropriate type of customer communication, associated cues and optimal timing.
    * The lead profile and history that is most valuable to sales, expecially for recycled leads.
Similar to the trusted advisor relationship your company is building with prospective customers, marketing and sales must share a common revenue goal, an interdependence that relies on earned trust and respect, and joint credit for revenue achievement.
The Return On Investment Of Lead Nurturing
A discussion on the value of lead nurturing would not be complete without exploring ROI.  Let's take a look at some compelling statistics gathered from several research organizations.  Companies that excel at lead nurturing:
    * Generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost per lead.
    * Reduce the percent of marketing-generated leads that are ignored by sales.
    * Raise win rates on marketing-generated leads (7% higher) and reduce "no decisions."
    * Have more sales representatives make quota and a shorter ramp up time for new reps.
Additional, anecdotal evidence suggests that nurtured prospects buy more, require less discounting, and have shorter sales cycles than prospects that were not nurtured.
Next time: Tips to develop a lead nurturing program.

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To share common sense lessons learned with 40-plus years experience in marketing, sales and as a B2B publisher.