April 19, 2017
April 19, 2017
"She said, with a somewhat quizzical look on her face, 'What do you mean lead management? We have a CRM system; what else do I need?'"
This is how Sales Lead Management Association's (SLMA) article, "The incomplete marketing manager: A Story," begins.
The story details the work of Elvira, a marketing manager at a software company. Elvira is known for her technical understanding of the company's products, writing skills, and social media strategy. She uses Hubspot for marketing automation and has hired an agency to handle SEO for the company's website. As far as lead generation goes, Elvira has used methods like trade shows, forms on the website, webinars, and pay-per-click ads.
While Elvira's company does have a CRM system, she has left it up to the sales manager to run. With lots of turnover in the sales manager position, the company has changed CRMs quite a bit to accommodate the preferences of each new manager.
From strictly a marketing standpoint, it may seem like Elvira is doing everything that is asked of her—and rocking it. But to truly have control of the company's marketing, she needs to collaborate with sales.
By isolating her marketing work from the sales department, Elvira isn't getting the credit she deserves for driving leads to sales. She also isn't aware of which marketing campaigns are responsible for the successful lead generation since she isn't using the CRM's reporting capabilities. Lead management is a big part of a marketer's job, and working with the sales team is essential.
If you find yourself in a position similar to Elvira's, don't worry; we'll help you get organized and build a lasting relationship with your sales department. The following are five crucial mistakes marketing managers make and how to remedy them:
You might think marketing and sales are on opposite ends of the spectrum, but their work is very closely related. Marketing is all about driving people to sales—but it shouldn't be a handoff. Marketing needs to know which leads make it through to close, so they can evaluate the marketing campaigns that got them there.
But even before we get to generating leads and closing sales, it's important for marketing and sales to collaborate on strategy. What does the sales staff look for in leads? What makes a lead "sales qualified" or "marketing qualified"? For more advice on making marketing/sales collaboration work, check out this article from Hubspot.
Marketing staff should be able to view customers in the CRM and use its tools to reach potential ones. In order to properly market to the right audience, marketers need to have access to current customer data to ensure their view of the leads that are converting is accurate. Knowing your audience is the best way to find marketing success, and having access to lead records is one way to stay close to them.
Whether they use the reporting capabilities of the CRM or marketing automation, marketers absolutely need to pull together reports on their campaigns. In addition, they should be sure that the sales team is keeping accurate records, including follow-ups. Without this information, marketing can't determine which campaigns helped close sales.
Okay, we'll cut marketers a little slack here—marketing automation platforms (MAs) come with a LOT of tools. MAs can be overwhelming at first, but marketers will really be missing out by only utilizing them to capture leads and transfer them to a CRM. Most MAs are equipped to execute so much more, like email nurturing campaigns, lead scoring, lead behavior tracking, event planning, landing page creation, and campaign reporting.
There are lots of resources out there that can help marketers learn how to use all of the tools their MA carries. If you need some guidance, part of what we do at MarketNet is help clients manage their Marketo accounts. If you're interested in this service, talk to us about it any time. Contact MarketNet >
Although we might not always think of it this way, marketers create wealth for the company. Their efforts draw people in and turn them into leads, who eventually turn into customers. However, it's difficult to see the exact correlation without properly analyzing campaign data. Look at where leads are coming from, track their behavior using marketing automation tools, and present your findings to the rest of the company so they can understand just how influential good marketing is.
As SLMA pointed out, once Elvira realized her role as a wealth builder, her attitude changed, her aggressiveness was jacked up several notches, and she now has enthusiasm for her work. All you have to do to get going on managing a more complete view of the marketing cycle is to set up a meeting with your company's sales manager. The more the two departments collaborate, the stronger both will be.