When we begin working with a new client, it’s not uncommon for there to be outside parties managing certain aspects of the online marketing mix. Many times, it’s a pleasure collaborating with outside teams. When everyone’s in sync, working towards the same goals, these partnerships work well. However, if it appears that one party isn’t aligned with the overall inbound marketing strategy and can’t deliver ROI to the client, it’s time to call it like it is. I personally believe that we wouldn’t be serving our clients’ best interests if we didn’t.
A common problem I see when working with outside parties is that they miss the mark when it comes to aligning marketing efforts with the clients’ sales processes. This causes extreme disconnect between an organization’s sales process and its lead management strategy. No real value can come from collecting leads for the sake of collecting leads. It may look good on a marketing performance report, but it does little for a company’s bottom line. In fact, the costs associated with sales actually increase when there is a lack of collaboration between marketing and sales.
Ultimately, a good inbound marketing strategy will improve lead quality, increase the marketing team’s contribution to the sales pipeline and optimize the entire sales funnel. Once marketing teams place more emphasis on the sales funnel and begin evaluating effectiveness based on the quality, not quantity, of leads, sales teams can spend more time closing business versus qualifying and disqualifying leads.
To ensure marketing efforts effectively move prospects through the various stages of the marketing-sales funnel, it's important to focus on the 5 following steps:
- Document the sales funnel
- Identify areas in the funnel where online marketing can contribute to the sales process
- Develop a strategy for integrating all online customer touch-points
- Create targeted content
- Establish a process for marketing automation
Not sure if your marketing team is missing the mark? Try to answer these questions. What percentage of your leads has high quality scores? What's the ROI of your lead generation campaigns? Do you have a lead nurturing strategy in place? How much time does your sales team spend nurturing leads versus actually selling?
If you are still unsure, drop us a line! We are more than happy to review your inbound marketing strategy and help you determine if your current marketing efforts are contributing to your sales pipeline and optimizing the entire sales funnel.