If you’re a marketer who thinks you can hand a marketing-qualified lead (MQL) to sales, breathe a sigh of relief and go back to nurturing prospects, you may need to look for another line of work. This is old-school thinking and has no place in a 21stcentury integrated enterprise, especially if it uses a good marketing automation platform.
Sales is a partner, not an internal customer. You need to do everything in your organization’s power to support the people who are trying to convert that lead to revenue. It is a true fact that marketing’s primary responsibility is to produce hot leads for sales but it is also important to participate/contribute after the lead is passed to sales. This could include:
- Assisting sales with running their own qualification process – if one exists – to create sales-qualified leads (SQLs).
- Continuing to nurture the lead during the latter stages of the sales cycle.
- Providing collateral that is designed specifically for late stages of a sales cycle.
- Sharing insights and expertise about the segment that might help to close the deal.
- Generating additional market research, especially about competitors and competitive products.
- Helping to overcome objections.
- Calculating ROI for potential customers.
- Facilitating long term relationships with customers.
- Preventing boundaries between information systems from inhibiting the sales process (poor synchronization, late updates, etc.).
- Leading the way on establishing a collaborative infrastructure and processes to facilitate alignment and integration across marketing and sales.