Who Should Own Teleprospecting: Sales, Marketing, or Neither?


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I’ve often written about the chasm that can exist between sales and marketing. Everyone aspires in some way to attempt to build that theoretical bridge, but as most of us know, it ain’t easy.

From what I see, the instinct for the teleprospecting team that happens to be sandwiched between the two is to bow to the requests from both sales and marketing, whether or not it makes sense for the organization globally.

Well maybe it’s time to stop playing nice. Rather than scrambling around attempting to meet every request, I’ve found that a voice of reason between the two departments general tends to be very necessary. That buffer can offer unbiased feedback (good or bad) which can provide insight on flawed approaches from both sides. In my humble opinion, teleprospecting teams are an untapped resource in determining the true effectiveness of the teams (Sales or Marketing) they support. Think of them as an internal consultant that can provide a neutral analysis on what is and isn’t working.

So maybe it’s time to think about creating a third department, completely separate from sales and marketing all together.

What do you think we should call it?

Problem is we all have different terms for this function. Marketing tends to call it “Demand Generation” and Sales prefers to call it “Opportunity Generation”. As a result it creates a shared ownership issue which can lead to each department tending wanting to dictate or impose their own agenda onto the program.

From what I’ve seen, Lead Generation is probably the way to go. I realize it isn’t particularly sexy, but it doesn’t seem to lean toward either team; which ultimately is what we want this team to do in the first place. The term “lead” is used by both departments and is ambiguous enough to be used as that bridge between the two.

If you’re considering building a teleprospecting/telequalification team you need to start by identifying where they sit within your org chart. In a perfect world all 3 departments (Sales/Marketing/Teleprospecting) would report up to the same department head. This would create the continuity between all departments that is required for organizational success.

What are your thoughts? In your opinion who should own teleprospecting?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Craig Ferrara
Craig Ferrara is a Director of Client Operations at AG Salesworks. He joined the company in 2004 as a Business Development Manager, transitioned to Client Account Manager, and was promoted to his current position in 2007. Craig's daily responsibilities include inside sales team oversight, reporting, training, ongoing contact list development and refinement, and managing daily client engagement from a high level.


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