You've worked hard to turn the engagement from your recent marketing campaign into leads. Once your suspects have become prospects who've finally reached the scoring threshold, you toss the leads over the proverbial wall for sales to work. Later, you learn that after an initial push, your warm marketing leads have gone cold. This is because sales prioritized their list over the leads you sent to them. Moreover, sales doesn't want you to do any marketing to their prioritized list because you lack the context of the relationships they are actively cultivating. This results in them not sharing data with you.
Misaligned goals. Poor execution due to a lack of communication. A dearth of shared, reliable data. All of it culminates in low trust between the two teams. It's an illustration of the kind of scenario that can cause a deep divide between sales and marketing. And it impacts revenue. So what do you do? Let's take a look at how to fix the funnel.
- Use a Buying Group Marketing strategy: Buying Group Marketing (BGM) focuses on engaging the key decision-makers inside your target accounts. This approach is about continually monitoring sentiment and engagement with buying groups within your target accounts to curate marketing and sales experiences accordingly. For instance, a finance buying group member likely has different concerns than an IT buying group member. Your content, creative, and delivery should be designed around that.
- Rethink the MQL: In the life of a lead, the Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is typically the link where 'ownership' passes from the hands of marketing into the hands of sales. Marketing and sales often work independently on either side of the MQL wall. Marketing casts the content net wide into the sea of possible prospects. Sales goes narrow, addressing specific needs and hot buttons of individuals. When the lead is qualified by marketing, it passes from one world to the next--broad to narrow. If the MQL is the main KPI you report on as a marketer, it's not enough. A holistic effort such as this focuses on the buyer's experience. A Buying Group Engagement score is a sales and marketing shared metric that could help to better align the teams and provide valuable insight to push the entire account across the finish line.
- Sales and marketing teams working together: In many companies marketing and sales alignment begins and ends with a joint meeting to define an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) so that teams target the right prospects. While BGM requires sales and marketing collaboration through the entire funnel, it's also especially important messaging is aligned through each stage of the journey. Without an MQL, the sales development team can prioritize the buying group engagement to hold warm conversations. But keep in mind that while priority goes to buying group engagement, any engagement with marketing effort is a sign of interest. If a target clicks on your ad, there is interest, so salespeople should be aware of every click.