Optimising and improving your building product business’ lead management process is an important aspect towards really getting the most out of your sales and marketing activities.
A key pillar to this is sorting out your sales to marketing hand-off, making sure it’s an effective system and one that prevents any leads from falling through the cracks.
This section of your sales pipeline is actually a common bottleneck for many companies, especially ones which are suffering from poor sales and marketing alignment.
In this article, we will discuss what is essential to get right with your sales to marketing handoff and how you can improve yours, to more successfully grow your business.
What is the Sales to Marketing Handoff?
Handing off leads from one team to another may seem like an easy thing to do, but you would be surprised how wrong it can go. Businesses with misalignment between their sales and marketing teams are often a victim of this, and the consequences it can bring.
When leads are not effectively passed from Marketing to Sales, you will first notice the accuracy of your sales forecasts suffer, followed by red flags on your conversion rates, and finally poor ROI of your marketing budget and resources.
You may also begin to notice tension bubble up between your sales and marketing teams.
Sales say leads they are receiving are poor fit or not qualified, Marketing rebuts with “they so are!”, plus a rant around leads not being followed up in time, if at all.
Poor lead management can be a small issue that turns into a breakdown in your entire pipeline.
The issue can be traced to the root of the problem being based in sales and marketing alignment, as we have covered in our series of blogs on the topic, where both teams are not on the same page, never mind their perspectives on what a ‘good-fit lead’ even is!
How to Fix Your Lead Handling Process
Firstly, you need to take a step back and make sure the first stages of identifying and defining a ‘good-fit’ lead have been carried out. This means creating and using(!) buyer personas to guide and manage your lead management process. If you don't have personas yet, you can compare your leads to your best current customers.
Your sales and marketing teams then need to revolve around your buyer persona. You can decipher exactly how to approach your leads by how well they align with your buyer persona:
- High interest, good fit leads are opportunities that should be passed straight onto Sales (who should follow up promptly).
- Low interest, good fit leads need to be nurtured by Marketing to maintain a good relationship.
- High interest, bad fit leads are opportunities that should be put on a watch list but aren’t in the right position currently.
- Low interest, poor fit leads who are unlikely to ever become a customer but could become referrers.
But this doesn’t solve everything quite yet!
Best Practice for Lead Handoff
In most organisations, a manual handoff process usually occurs. Marketing is responsible for ensuring leads reach the right sales rep, or at least the Sales manager.
In digital-driven businesses, technology is implemented to automate this process, with triggers and notifications managing the manual steps.
The CRM assigns leads to the ‘correct’ rep, whatever way you organise them whether by geography or type. Thie CRM also allows Sales and Marketing to both have a view of the contact’s activity history, information, and what makes them a good fit lead.
This process for passing on qualified leads allows you to prioritise them based on how ‘hot’ they are, helping sales reps with time management and organisation. Using technology to manage the handoff process improves efficiency whilst also making sure every lead is accounted for.
The final step is to standardise the follow-up system for your Sales team. Called a ‘service-level agreement’, this document is a great way to set up a best practice in your company for how fast and how many leads are followed up each week/month/quarter.
What About Mediocre-Fit Leads?
So, what about the leads which neither Marketing nor Sales know what to do with. Maybe they are ‘content’ downloaders or webinar attendees. This is where you need to make an official process that both teams can follow.
Recycling leads back to Marketing who don’t become a sales opportunity is an important step. These prospects may become better-fit leads in the future, or when the timing is better.
Nurturing leads in different segmented groups will mean you are continuing to engage and build relationships with your database in case they ever do become 'high-interest' or 'good-fit'.
The key to building a successful lead handoff is to make sure there is alignment between Marketing and Sales. Once everyone is on the same page and knows how to manage leads in the same way, the muddy waters which were once your pipeline will soon become clear.
Making sure your system for scoring, handing off, following up with and tracking leads is as effective as possible will mean everything you invest in your business won’t just trickle out the gaps. You’ll now be able to effectively scale and increase your sales pipeline.
At Insynth we deliver a predictable flow of leads, customers, and specifications for building product brands through our inbound marketing approach, proven to reach a technically demanding audience.
We use the latest marketing techniques such as construction inbound marketing, to equip building product companies to grow sustainability in this era of digital transformation.
As the only HubSpot certified agency to major in construction marketing. We have a proven formula of bringing a variety of functionalities together including CRM Implementation, Web Design, Sales Automation, SEO, and Email Marketing to achieve your ultimate aim: Growing your business and gaining new specifiers and customers.