Go-to-Market Strategies just sent out their newsletter with the "Top Five Marketing Mistakes Companies Make..And How to Recover!" The information gained is certainly of interest, but one of the points is very accurate in terms of working with a lead generation company. The information stands on its own when you consider a purely internal company with a marketing and a sales department, each needing to accomplish their own goals. It isn't necessarily quite as obvious when dealing with an external company that is providing you with sales leads or even generating strong referrals.
The mistake mentioned by them is: #3: NOT INTEGRATING MARKETING WITH SALES EFFORTS.
According to their newsletter:
Common Mistake: Developing marketing programs or materials that fizzle out in the sales process and never get used by the sales team.
Often marketing teams spend a considerable amount of time, effort, and perhaps most importantly money to create a collateral kit and sales presentation for a new program or product offering. The sales team rejects the materials because they don’t address the most compelling selling points and produces their own one-off presentations and brochures that send mixed messages to prospects and customers. To further illustrate the point, many times a marketing team will launch a new direct mail program to “generate sales leads” for the sales team, only to find that sales doesn’t follow up on them because they don’t feel the leads are “qualified.”
Not having a clear integration between sales and marketing can only result in failed marketing programs, costing you lost revenue opportunities and wasted expenses.
The information is very accurate fo a lead generation company as well. When working with an outside partner, it is crucial to ensure that communication is at a very high level. What are the expectations for the referral generations from your partner Are you expecting:
- Someone that "could possibly maybe but probably not" be interested in your product, but that a good sales person could swing into a customer?
- Someone who is most definately interested in learning more, but may, or may not, be ready quite yet?
- Someone who is ready to be shown how the product can best benefit them through a demo or product trial?
- Someone that your sales person can speak to, give a quote to, and then turn into a customer all on the first phone call?
If the requirements are not defined when dealing with your referral generation company, YOU are falling into the common mistake of "not integrating marketing with sales efforts". As the side of the partnership with the details and the sales force, it is imperative that you convey the needs of your team. In general, your team would want someone in category #3 and #4, but #2 could still be interesting to you. #1 may, or may not, be what you're looking for — it really depends on your current level of customers and response.
Just remember — don't make the mistake of assuming that the generation company working with you knows what you want. You need to be sure to let them know.