In B2B, shortening the sales cycle has become an absolutely essential issue.
It is now the responsibility of marketing to minimize the search time and to fuel sales with qualified leads.
Previously, a major synchronization effort between Sales and Marketing is essential.
Since the vocabulary: « contact », « prospect », « lead » … to the process steps and their assignment on which you will have to agree, this article explores the various milestones for the company. Marketing and Sales will have to define together what a qualified lead is and contribute to the development of the process that will lead to its identification and its transformation into a qualified lead.
Different states from the simple contact to the customer
Develop an efficient lead generation process requires a solid preparation phase and the alignment of sales and marketing organizations.
Among the pre-requisites:
- A common understandingof the market
- Trends and competition
- A detailed segmentation of the target (level contacts, function, location, …)
- A good knowledge of customers’ buying process and sales cycle associated.
- A shared vision of the offer to promote with customer benefits statements, a strong value proposition, consistent marketing messages
- A shared definition of qualified lead and scoring method to use (prioritization)
- A formalized processand a clear definition of roles and responsibilities of Sales and Marketing throughout the process.
- The establishment of a process of exchanging information and constructive a permanent end to the other of the « funnel »
- A shared planning for future campaigns with their detailed objectives (in relation to sales targets)
- Building a marketing database and defining rules to update it
- Generating contacts
- Participations to trade fairs and exhibitions
- Telephone prospection
- Web campaigns
- Managing the marketing database
- Qualifying contacts and leads
- Transferringqualified leads / prospects to sales
- Follow the progress of the conversion to sales
- Analyze the cost per qualified leadImprove the process
- Lead nurturing
- Accompany the lead throughout the decision-making process
- Develop and maintain a library of value-added content
- Formalize the definition of different sequences with the cooperation of Sales
A continuous improvement process
The steps are formalized; the objectives are measurable and the sales conversions, quantifiable.
By nature, lead generation is a rigorous process that enables the control and implementation of corrective actions in the context of cooperation between Sales and Marketing.
The use of marketing automation tools can be extremely useful to better manage the lead nurturing phase.