Many companies (whether they are selling software or electrical supplies) downplay the “rocky” relationship between sales and marketing, but having common goals and processes between these two teams can do wonders to improve the quality of the buyer’s journey. Think about it: if marketing and sales are both working from the same list of leads — but neither team knows which to prioritize or follow up with — how optimized can your lead nurture process really be?
Fortunately, putting an automated lead nurture process in place can improve tensions between your two teams and align them behind shared objectives and goals. But what does this process actually look like?
Step One: Create a joint process for lead identification
The most important thing you can do when setting up your automated lead nurture process is to get your sales team involved—right from the start. After all, your sales team deals with your prospects on a daily basis; they’re the experts on recognizing when a prospect is ready to buy, and likely have a wealth of knowledge on how to recognize leads that should be prioritized. Start by asking them the following questions:
What constitutes a qualified lead?
What types of activities typically indicate that a lead is ready to talk to sales? What activities indicate that a lead should be nurtured further by marketing?
How often would sales reps like to get alerts of prospect activity? What would be their preferred method of delivery?
Deep dive into the current sales cycle and what it takes to close a deal. Who are the different stakeholders you are selling to, and what obstacles do you encounter at each stage of the sales process?
Which content is producing the most qualified leads today? What is working vs. not?
Once each team has an understanding of the questions above, it’s time to put an automated lead nurturing platform in place, like Sky Blue Technology, to help nuture and prioritize the leads that sales should be following up with. Using Sky Blue, you can easily identify the leads with the highest activity levels (who are therefore the most interested in your product) and pinpoint the leads that best fit your ideal prospect profile. A combination of these two criteria can help qualify the right leads for your sales team.
Step Two: Develop a distribution and follow-up strategy
Once your leads have been qualified, how do they get routed to the appropriate sales rep for a prompt follow up? According to a study by Harvard Business Review, companies that followed up with leads within a few hours were 60x more likely to win the business than those who followed up later — demonstrating the importance of a prompt follow-up strategy.
Sky Blue can help facilitate this as proactive email alerts are triggered when an action (contact us, or request a demo) is filled out by a prospect from within a Sky Blue experience. Work with your sales team to establish the activities that indicate a lead is sales-ready to make sure they’re passed over to reps at the right time (hint: you should have covered this in the round of questions during step one).
Step Three: Determine what’s working and what’s not
The simple truth of the matter is that you probably won’t build a perfect lead nurture process the first time around. To get the most out of automating lead nurturing, the best thing you can do is communicate with your sales team to periodically reevaluate and adjust your approach. Pick a time to revisit your lead nurturing process (it could be three weeks or three months, depending on how confident you are about what you’ve built) and ask your sales reps about the quality of leads they have received in that time period. Use the data you’ve collected to look for patterns and key indicators you might have missed — then give it another shot.
Visit www.skyblue.technology to learn more about how Sky Blue can automate lead nurturing and help to make peace between your sales and marketing team.