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Sales and Marketing are relatively expensive functions within any organization and it is critical that each plays their position when it comes to efficiently generating revenue. On one end of the spectrum, Marketing will focus on demand creation planning and execution to increase awareness and generate qualified leads. At the other end of the spectrum, Sales will take the hand-off from a qualified opportunity and drive to a sale. The challenge for most companies is the chasm in the middle. The best practice is to have a demand management function that collaborates with demand creation planning and Sales teams to follow-up on inquiries, quickly uncover those that are ready, willing and able to purchase and prioritize them for follow-up by Sales Representatives.
Often times, lead follow-up is an after thought in many organizations and is not formalized in the marketing plan. The best-run organizations design, develop and execute against a demand management blueprint for optimal results. Specifically, people, terminology, processes and systems are documented and diagramed to ensure that each inquiry and lead is developed to the point where it becomes a qualified sales opportunity, enters a nurture path or is disqualified. The goal with an effective demand management plan should be to act within minutes on inquiries and leads. Prepare a call guide for Sales Development Reps (SDRs) so there is a managed, repeatable process for them to invest at least a 10-touch model (phone calls and emails) over a thirty-day period or, ideally, a 30-touch, ninety-day model.
Setting expectations is a fundamental in every relationship and this holds true when dealing with Sales and Marketing. It is imperative for Sales and Marketing to agree on the criteria that describe a hot, warm, cold and dead leads. Through a series of conversations, questions around demographics, psychographics, BANT, customer environment, technology, access to decision makers, a champion and compelling events need to be uncovered and objectively quantified to calculate a composite score that can be used to segment leads. As Sales and Marketing resources are scare and expensive, it is imperative to segment leads to determine the appropriate follow-up protocol and resources to apply. Most importantly, the development of a lead scoring model will serve as a self-regulating mechanism for Sales and Marketing to work in harmony.
Because many inquiries and leads are not ready, willing and able to buy when they first appear on the radar, it’s critical to incorporate nurturing into the demand management planning process to build a sustained pipeline and to maximize return-on-investment (ROI) on marketing program spend. Segmentation is key for any successful nurturing program so that the right information is presented to the right person at the right time. Meaningful content will serve to engage your audience and that will facilitate the development of a relationship. Once a relationship is established, the propensity for purchase and referral (when the prospect is ready, willing and able) will increase exponentially. In short, it’s critical to be in front of prospects when they are ready to buy and that requires developing and implementing a systematic approach for demand management.
VP Marketing On Demand founder and CMO, Peter Buscemi suggests that organizations spend some time to understand whether the demand management function needs be formalized, rebuilt or advanced to the next level. One pragmatic approach to accomplish this task is to conduct an assessment to understand what is in place, how it is performing, what is missing and what it will take to advance to the desired state. The scope of the analysis should span organizational structure, people, operations, systems, processes, terminology and compensation models. Immediately Download the Marketing Assessment Template Now >>
About VP Marketing On Demand
VP Marketing on Demand was founded by Peter Buscemi, a CMO with 30 years experience that spans start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. The sole purpose of VP Marketing On Demand is to provide marketing insights and a huge head start to those tacking key marketing projects, through managed, repeatable processes. Over decades, in working with various boards and executive management teams (CEO's, COO's, VP's Sales and Development)