In Velocify’s recent webinar with TOPO and the American Marketing Association (AMA), I had the opportunity to speak with TOPO Founder, Craig Rosenberg. TOPO is an analyst firm that helps 100’s of high growth demand generation, sales development, and sales organizations grow revenues in a scalable/repeatable manner. Craig and I teamed up to discuss sales and marketing alignment and talked through 6 key factors that are driving the modern inbound sales and marketing engine.
1. Lead Scoring: More Than Just Content Engagement
Marketing automation technology initiated the idea that we could apply a score to a prospect based on the content he or she consumed. That score could then be used to determine whether that prospect was ready to talk, ready to buy, or not ready at all. It’s not a real indicator of who’s the best potential buyer. It’s just a measurement of who likes your content. To really accurately score leads, we need to take into consideration other data points.
With the predictive analytics movement, marketing has been able to add new scoring elements to hone algorithms and provide increasingly relevant guidance to sales. Sales can then make decisions on rep assignment, touch patterns, first call approaches, and more. Here are a few applications of what predictive models can measure:
- Level of Intent: A lead that has completed a high converting registration form that has historically proven to have the highest conversion rates. Lead forms such as “contact sales” and “receive a free benchmark.”
- Prospect Fit: A lead fits into company variables that predict whether the company is more likely to become a customer. Multiple variables beyond traditional variables like customer size. For example, a marketing firm used predictive analytics and found that leads with Vidyard on their website were more likely to become a customer.
2. Lead Routing: Assignment by Rep Fit Versus Random Assignment
When we first thought about lead routing, we based it on fairness. The predominant lead routing methodologies are round-robin or geography. However, one of the bigger sales trends is to assign leads based on who is the best rep to serve the prospects needs. Identifying which rep is most likely to convert and close the prospect based on historic performance. This benefits marketing because they know they’re bringing in qualified leads, but the best lead might be going to a rep who’s not a good fit.
- Account-based: Reps are assigned to specific accounts and all leads from those accounts are routed directly to them.
- Vertical-based: Reps are vertical specialists and leads from their assigned verticals are routed to them. For example, healthcare reps are well versed on compliance, etc. and are better suited to convert healthcare leads.
- Company Size: Another common practice is to assign leads based on the size of companies. The sales approach for an enterprise account differs from the approach for an SMB account.
- Fit-based or Performance Based: In this highly-advanced methodology, reps are assigned to leads based on their historical ability to close that type of persona.
If you use more than one of the automated distribution methods mentioned above, we have good news for you. Research has found that the use of multiple automated distribution methods can improve conversion rates up to 107% when compared to those who use manual sales lead distribution.
Download the Research: Best Lead Distribution Methods for Optimal Sales Performance to learn more!
3. Lead Response: Immediate Lead Response is Table Stakes
Top performing teams have optimized their workflow to enforce immediate lead follow up. They achieve this milestone via process, dedicated resources, and technology. Not surprisingly, organizations with the fastest follow-up have the highest inbound lead conversion.
4. Touch Pattern: Standardized Multi-Touch Follow-Up Patterns Increase Connects
A couple years ago, the B2B tech industry became VERY email-centric. Now, the phone is back! But that doesn’t mean emailing is out of the picture. In fact, the top performing sales teams have standardized multi-channel, multi-touch follow-up processes that include phone, email, and social media channels.
It’s impossible to predict the channel that will work, so you have to use multiple channels to reach a prospect. Use all three communication channels – phone, email, and social media – for the best results. Advanced organizations are A/B testing touch patterns and tweaking the touches and timing for optimal conversion, then automating the process.
- Triple Touch: Using phone, email, and social together to follow up with buyers.
- The “Triple Touch” follow-up strategy is used by 50% of salespeople today.
- Average Number of Touches: 8-12 touches.
5. First Sales Call: “Silent Conversion Killer”
On the first sales call, are you selling, or are you really just showing? Many salespeople are anxious to show the product to the buyer, and jump right into the demo without understanding the buyer’s needs. Marketers trust that the leads they send to sales are not only being followed up with, but they’re being followed up with in the right way. However, what worked for one prospect does not always work for the next. The initial conversation needs to speak directly to the prospect. Failure to personalize the first sales call could cause the prospect to lose interest.
Marketers – talk to your salespeople about first call optimization. If you haven’t looked into your team’s first call metrics, you could be HURTING your conversion rates.
Salespeople – optimize your first sales calls by changing what is said and shown to each individual prospect. Smart organizations that have optimized first calls have seen incredible results.
6. Analysis Data is Driving Optimized Results
Data is driving great decision making across the entire marketing and sales process. Marketing feeds data to sales so they can make better decisions on who to talk to, what to say, who should say it, and when. Sales feeds data back to marketing on what works and what doesn’t work. As a result, conversion rates increase.
To succeed in today’s modern sales environment, all of your business decisions need to be based on data. If you can make every decision quantifiable, you’ll be unstoppable.
Unite Sales and Marketing
For marketers, use marketing automation for more than just marketing. Use it to drive sales.
For sales, take advantage of marketing data to build a highly-optimized follow-up strategy. A well-documented, closely-monitored, enforced or automated sales process helps increase contact rates, conversions, and, ultimately, revenue – which benefits both sales and marketing.
Watch the webinar recording: Sales and Marketing Superstars: Beat Top Sales Challenges Together
Register for the TOPO Sales Summit: Join 600+ sales leaders responsible for $50B in revenue and learn how they drive growth at the TOPO Sales Summit, April 7-8, 2016.
Velocify Pulse enables organizations to optimize, standardize and scale sales processes. With Velocify Pulse, you can do the following:
✔ Build contact and account activity workflows
✔ Power through call lists via an integrated dialer, send and track emails without navigating to multiple records
✔ Create and enforce insight-driven sales workflows so that every sales rep takes the optimal action for every lead
✔ Full visibility of the sales cycle so you can isolate optimization opportunities, identify high performing activities, and drive continuous sales process innovation
✔ Drive sales rep engagement with short and long term motivation tools impacting daily behaviors and long-term performance.
Unite sales and marketing with the Velocify Pulse sales acceleration platform! Learn more.
Not a Salesforce user? Click here to learn more about Velocify LeadManager.
Learn how to use smart lead assignment and modern motivation techniques to build a stronger, more engaging contact strategy.
Download the eBook: Rewardification 101 – Motivation Tools for Sales Teams
Meet the Author: Joshua Pittman is the Vice President of Inside Sales at Velocify. A seasoned Inside Sales expert with over 10 years of experience, Joshua specializes in architecting, growing and leading sales organizations within the technology space. He has built numerous high performing teams throughout the country; most recently designing and executing the sales growth plan of California-based startup, Cargomatic. Joshua also architected and implemented the sales structure and growth plan at Minneapolis based Sport Ngin, a leader in the emerging sports technology space. During his 4-year tenure at the high growth Washington DC social commerce startup Livingsocial, he built out an industry leading 100+ rep Inside Sales team while driving numerous successful pilot initiatives. Joshua studied at Anoka Ramsey in Minneapolis with a focus on business management and administration.