The Sales Force Thinks Your Marketing Leads Are No Good

May 23, 2013 at 7:00 AM

your marketing leads are no goodHave you ever heard, “send us better leads” from the sales force? Or have you wondered why the sales force ignores your leads? If you ever find yourself in this situation, it’s time for a quick diagnosis.

A quick diagnosis can identify common mistakes between lead generation and field sales teams. Here are common indicators for mistakes in your diagnosis.

Marketing Captured Leads Are Qualified Too Soon

A common complaint by sales is that the leads were not ready to buy.  Review the time window of when the lead first converted and advanced to the sales team. A good rule of thumb is that no more than 15% of the leads should advance the first day.  Rapid advance leads should be rare as they reflect a prospect late in the buying process.

If you’re equipped with buying process maps, this can help you identify where the lead is in the buying process. Late buying stage leads should accelerate quickly. The bulk of marketing uncovered leads are in the early awareness stage of the buying process. These early stage leads should continue on a nurture path.

A major warning sign occurs when a large percentage of leads (20%+) are going straight to sales in a single day. If this is the case, you may have one of these 3 problems with lead scoring below (use this Lead Scoring Worksheet example to help identify problems).

1. The activity by the lead is scored too high:

Scoring of a lead represents a powerful driver of how a lead progresses to sales.  Lead Score is used to quantify the level of interest.  The score is determined by the level of activity performed online as well as participating in events.

The score you set for specific activities or content consumption asset may be too high. As a rule of thumb, the score should represent 2-3 interactions with your company.

Often content consumption is scored without considering the total score of all early stage activity. A well-developed buying process map will help you refine these scores. The more accurate the scoring, the better qualified lead you will send the sales force. If the sales rep gets the lead before it’s truly qualified, he will reject the lead.

The best practice method of testing your scoring model is to play out typical scenarios of contact.  Look at each scenario point total and determine strategically where the lead should be at that stage of the process.

2. The lead scoring threshold is too low.

This often happens when the marketing team is eager to show results. They want to prove themselves and show quick results. However, this short term success in qualified leads will yield lower sales converted leads at the end. The conversion rate will suffer and your sales force will say your leads stink.

To test the threshold amount, perform sample scenarios of the most common paths of new prospects.  Determine at which step sales would want to receive a lead.  Make sure the thresholds are set to advance the lead at the right time through the lead management process.

3. Routing rules are not thought out

This usually happens when there’s high excitement of capturing a lead.  This can come from receiving an inquiry from a dream account, or interest in a new product.  These types of high excitement inquiries often get a score high enough to advance to sales.   The mistake of sending these leads straight to sales is they aren’t ready to buy. The sales rep is immediately turned down and thinks the lead is terrible.

If any of these indicators are present on a quick diagnosis, you most likely have lead scoring issues. Download this example template of a lead scoring worksheet. I’ve included an example of a misaligned worksheet so that you can identify a model with activity scores that are too high, and a threshold that is too low. Also, you can see where a single visit and series of interactions can result in a qualified lead.

Key Takeaway:

If you ever find yourself in the situation that sales is ignoring your leads. It’s time to take a fresh look at your lead scoring for indicators of mistakes.  Make sure you have buying process maps and that your lead scoring is aligned. Download this lead scoring template for examples.

 

 

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Topics: Lead Generation, Leads, CMO, Marketing Resources

Posted by John Koehler

John Koehler
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