The role of the marketing team is to generate good quality leads for the sales team by whatever jiggery pokery they see fit. Of course this is normally achieved by following a sound, well thought out marketing strategy that operates within a fixed budget. But what defines a good quality lead and is everyone 100% clear when the lead should be handed over from Team M to Team S?
An efficient company will clearly define what it considers to be a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). This simply means that the marketers are confident the lead is ready to speak directly to a sales rep as they are teetering on the edge of making a purchase. That is, a MQL is far more likely to become a customer than other, poorer leads.
If the definition of a MQL is ill defined, there is real danger that clients will slip between the gap which so often exists between Team M and Team S. The handover of the MQL to the sales team must be seamless. If a genuinely interested client has asked for prices and delivery dates from marketing, they will be unimpressed if, in a chaotic behind-the-scenes handover to a salesperson, their request is put on the backburner for a week. Don’t doubt that they will go elsewhere.
To define your MQL, consider two key aspects: the ideal customer profile and their level of interest in your company.
Profile – you may decide that the best leads for purchasing your product or service are likely to be found in mid-sized companies of between 100 and 500 employees. Furthermore you may identify that the most appropriate person to engage with is a Product Buyer, a Marketing Manager or the Head of the IT Department.
The marketing team will target their efforts to the clients who best fit your defined MQL profile. Now are they taking the bait? You need to monitor their level of interest.
Level of interest – if a potential customer has received several marketing initiatives but has not requested further information, then their level of interest is low. Conversely, if they have visited your website several times, requested a demo product or signed up for your newsletter and blog, chances are they have a high level of interest.
A good profile match plus high level of interest should immediately trigger action by the sales team.
A good profile match but low level of interest indicates that marketing team should keep trying to hook them in with their marketing efforts.
A poor profile match and low level of interest is a no brainer. Remove them from your contact database.
Interestingly a poor profile match but high level of interest shouldn’t be overlooked. You never know what is driving someone to buy your product, so just because they don’t fit your perfect profile, they should still be followed up by a sales rep. And if they just happen to think your company and products are great (even if they don’t want to buy or are restricted from buying) they may promote you to their contacts as a fan of all you have to offer.
When the definition of a MQL is clearly defined for your company, your marketing team will pass on only these to the sales staff. Consequently the sales reps won’t waste time on clients who aren’t marketing qualified, resulting in more efficient use of their time to close more deals rather than fooling round with non qualified leads.