We’ve all seen track and field relay races. Whether through our own eyes, watching from the scorching hot bleachers at a high school meet, or from the comfort of our couches heading into a second straight hour of “sports bloopers” videos on YouTube.
You know the drill. Shorty-shorts number one comes around a turn clutching a baton in his sweaty hand and must gracefully pass said metal rod to shorty-shorts number two, so he can take off running with it.
The passing period usually goes off without a hitch. However, sometimes gravity takes over and the results can be pretty comical – there’s fumbling, often a bit of galloping, brief moments of unintentional hand-holding, and baton drops. Baton drops are the worst.
Sounds a lot like the lead handoff from marketing to sales – awkward.
Here are four ways to avoid dropping the baton when passing leads from marketing to sales:
- Focus on qualified leads: Don’t chase every person who bats their eyelashes at you. Filling your sales funnel with unqualified leads is a waste of everyone’s time and energy. Drive prospects to lead capture forms in your website through inbound marketing techniques – this separates those that are just flirting with the idea of your product and those that are chasing it down.
- Pay attention to data quality: In other words, clean out your CRM. If the system is clogged with duplicates, stale leads, or even deleted email addresses, sales reps will get confused and have a skewed understanding of quality lead activity. Taking the time (yes it’s long, yes it’s tedious) to clear out unnecessary information will speed up the time it takes reps to engage leads.
- Introduce colleagues via email: Leads are much more inclined to work with sales reps they trust – and trust is established through familiarity. Whether in a newsletter to leads or through a page on your website, introduce sales reps to the world with a picture, brief professional bio, and some hobbies/facts to humanize them. Reps are people – not just deal closing robots.
- Change your internal interactions: Sales and marketing share a lot of the same responsibilities. Ten years ago, their roles were clearly defined with an obvious hand off point. But today, with the continued rise of self-education and digital content, marketers and sales reps are both expected to post social content, share engagement opportunities, and help each other throughout the sales cycle.