Improve accountability with smart lead distribution between marketing and sales

This is a guest post by Adriel Michaud, VP of Marketing at ActiveDEMAND.

When people think of marketing and sales, the first thought is that marketing’s role is lead generation and it’s up to the sales team to turn those leads into purchases or clients. However, there is a lot that happens in the lead process between those two points.

While lead generation is a numbers game, delivering qualified sales-ready leads is more about quality than quantity. In order to maintain good sales and marketing alignment and to avoid the finger-pointing of "Marketing gives us nothing to work with" or "Sales is not converting enough leads," businesses need to filter the lead distribution.

Lead distribution boundary

The sales funnel is a common, simplified way to visualize the lead-generation-to-prospect-conversion flow between the marketing automation platform and the sales CRM. The lead distribution boundary is the point when the contact moves from being a lead in the marketing platform to a sales prospect in the CRM.

A full-featured marketing automation platform like ActiveDEMAND will provide all the necessary functionalities to allow brands to decide what criteria they want to use to determine when a lead is considered a sales-qualified or sales-ready lead. Marketers will use various aspects of the marketing automation system to determine this, including:

Sales score: Lead scoring based on pre-configured conditions and contact activity.

Buyer’s journey tracking: Ability to track visitor and contact activity to gauge a buyer’s intent. Time and frequency on landing pages, email engagement, live chat interaction, phone call activity, and appointment/demo bookings are all aspects that can determine lead qualification.

Lead processing: Customizable lead processing workflows can automatically perform lead distribution based on the activity tracking as well as other factors such as geographic location, industry information, or other contact and organizational-based criteria.

CRM integration: Full-featured, bi-directional integration between the marketing automation platform and CRM is key to ensuring the clear, seamless hand-off across the lead distribution boundary.

Sales and marketing accountability

When a company has good sales and marketing alignment, agreement from both parties on lead criteria, and well-configured automation, they will have a good foundation for accountability from both teams.

A marketing automation platform that incorporates a lead-claiming system can improve accountability even more. This enables salespeople to claim marketing leads as their own and have that lead data automatically added to the CRM. Using automated alerts for leads that are not claimed ensures that no leads “slip through the cracks.” Another way to improve accountability is to make sure each lead gets to the salesperson with the best chance of closing the deal.

ActiveDEMAND has very flexible automation on how leads can be distributed or claimed. Leads may be distributed to the sales team based on:

  • First-to-claim
  • Round-robin assignment
  • Sales territories, industry verticals, or other categories
  • Sales activity (whoever makes the most calls/sends the most emails gets the leads)
  • and more

When companies have the right processes in place, smart lead distribution automation, and a well-integrated marketing automation and sales platform, they not only ensure accountability and alignment between the sales and marketing teams, they also have the best chance of closing more deals and growing their business.

ActiveDEMAND and Zoho CRM work together to streamline marketing and sales alignment and turn more leads into sales.

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