All marketing and sales teams want high quality, sales-ready leads. Why wouldn’t they? However, more often than not, marketing delivers poor quality “leads” (maybe the right title or company, but didn’t exhibit real buying- signals). Just because one or more basic qualification metrics are met…is a lead sales-ready? No way.
If that is the case, why does marketing do this? Impatience? Lack of understanding of their buyer? Pressure to meet their lead quota? Might be all of them. However, whatever the reason, there are both short-term and long-term repercussions from delivering sales “un-ready” leads.
Sales and marketing misalignment – If marketing and sales continually disagree on lead quality, alignment issues invariably result. Sales will cherry-pick leads and ignore the lead management process. The system starts to fall apart, impacting overall pipeline health and revenue.
Loss of productivity – If sales starts trying to “qualify leads” on their own, ignoring the established lead management processes, a significant productivity loss occurs, as well as a reduction in revenue potential. Scoring models and lead management rules are there to increase productivity and save time; ignoring them is a big mistake and sets a negative precedent.
Buyer dissatisfaction – If sales and marketing start to ignore real buying signals and contact or communicate with leads that are not ready, your potential customers suffer. They will begin to opt out of your communications and you will forever lose the opportunity to connect with them. Once your prospect opts out they are gone and you can’t get them back. That hurts revenue.
The bottom line is that it is the job of marketing to deliver high quality, sales-ready leads. That is no easy task, but providing leads that do not meet sales-ready criteria opens up a Pandora’s Box. Nothing good comes from it. You might meet your short term lead quota goals, but you lose the trust of the sales team, and ultimately your buyer. Keep up this practice of delivering poor quality leads, and loss of revenue will occur. Deliver quality from the beginning, and see the difference.
Part two of this blog will talk about how to deliver higher quality leads to sales and how to address potential issues like poor lead scoring criteria or lead management issues that might be contributing to your sales “un-ready” challenges.