Posts Tagged ‘Lead Management

17
Aug
08

Customer-centric lead scoring

We have always seen that companies struggle to manage the leads that they generate. Either they are not followed-up effectively or there is a conflict of what is defined as a hot/warm lead by sales and marketing or there is no defined process of managing unconverted leads to extract more value out of the marketing investments made.

Tim Wilson has an interesting prespective on the same:

Old school lead-generating efforts often fail because Marketing and Sales initiatives are dependent on each other but disconnected. The image often associated with this relationship is a funnel. At the top of the funnel is Marketing, which finds and lures leads that are then pushed down to the lower portion of the funnel, which is Sales.

This funnel image is fundamentally flawed because it suggests a linear process. Rather, to succeed, the process must be ongoing and circular, like cogs that continue to rotate and engage each other. One cog is Marketing (tactics), and this must be in alignment with a Sales cog (engagement), both of which are driven by a third cog: the continuous process of lead marketing optimization.

Complaints from the Sales department often occur because Marketing prematurely hands over leads to Sales, which creates efficiency problems. First, some of the information that needs to be gathered could have been gathered automatically through a Marketing dialogue. Second, the lack of that information results in lead handoffs that have little or no near-term potential. Over time, these inefficiencies cause Sales representatives to lose trust in the value the Marketing department is providing. In the worst case, it results in the salesperson starting to cold call himself, which makes the level of inefficiency even greater. According to Anders Grondstedt:

“Non customer centric thinking organizations are organized to efficiently produce and distribute goods. They relegate customer management and brand building to marketing and communication departments and agencies that sequester themselves in separate offices, isolated both from each other and from the customer, churning out advertising and other communications material to an information overloaded world. They make a virtue of outspending and outshouting the competition. Run more ads. Maximize the numbers of impressions. Get more ‘ink.’ They are frittering away millions of dollars in “marketing.”

 

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03
Aug
08

Sales & marketing silo syndrome: a real problem

The CMO council recently released the findings of the Sales & Marketing Silo syndrome in organizations. Since data between sales & marketing need to be fused for better returns on marketing investments. At Cequity, we too see this gap existing in companies as a part of our client assignments. Enterprises need to effectively harness this data for better ROI. Many companies have recently started to take steps in breaking this silo and ensuring there is better synergies between these two departments. Here are the survey findings:

  • Less than 20% of respondents said that their sales and marketing organisations were “extremely collaborative”, and most others felt that the two groups had “intermittent relations and interactions”.
  • Looking at the ways in which sales could add value to marketing messages and communications, survey participants felt that engaging strategically with customers to better understand their problems and needs was the most valuable contribution.
  • Two of the most important roles that marketing can play in optimising sales performance were cited as “fielding campaigns that generate and nurture leads and opportunities”, and “providing customised value-selling content and presentation materials”.
  • Only 12% of sales and marketing professionals said that they have a well-integrated, real-time view of all customer interactions, and only 37% reported good visibility into prospects, sales pipeline, deal flow and conversion rates. At the same time, 20% indicated that marketing currently hands leads to sales but has no insight into conversion and sales closures.
  • 13% said that most sales leads are never captured, qualified, or acted upon, while 11% reported that they have no on-premise or on-demand CRM system in place.
  • Among those who have CRM applications, only 13% viewed the application as “highly valued and widely deployed”, while 42% reported growing acceptance and adoption. And, while CRM systems tend to be mandated and adopted across the sales function, they tend to be more selectively embraced by marketing teams.
  • Data analytics, reporting, and forecasting tend to be the biggest deficiencies in optimising the functionality and usability of current CRM solutions. The top three areas highlighted by nearly 50% of respondents were: the ability to easily create analytical reports; customisation of the application; and forecasting capabilities.
  • While 50% said they had “pretty good” or “extensive” visibility in to customer accounts and business activity, the remaining 50% said that they often had trouble finding customer account data, did not have enough information, or had no information at all.



At Cequity, we believe customer intelligence will be the biggest competitive advantage enterprises will have in the next decade or two. Successful enterprises of tomorrow will be the ones who can organize and leverage this information at speed to optimize their marketing performance, increase accountability, improve profit and deliver growth. Cequity insights will bring to you trends and insights in this area and it’s our way of sharing best practices so as to help you accelerate this culture and thinking in your organization.
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