So if you have invested in Content Marketing as part of your inbound efforts then super. On average Content Marketing returns 3 times the number of leads per $ than paid search so well worth the investment. At some point on your journey you will likely face a common challenge involving accountability and something of a war between Sales and Marketing.
Too Much pressure on Sales
If you make sales overly responsible for turning all leads into business then as soon as things get tough you will find them blaming marketing for bad leads. This happens all too often and simply creates a barrier in communication and the start of a blame game. This also distances Marketing from any responsibility for providing quality leads.
Too Much pressure on Marketing
Putting too much responsibility on marketing is equally troublesome. Marketing have little to no control over the sales process and closing business, so they feel disconnected and blame the sales team for not closing enough business. This also allows sales to further blame Marketing for poor lead quality.
The Answer... or at least some ideas
So, the answer is teamwork and shared responsibility. The structure should reward your individual departments in some aspects so they have control, plus additional rewards based on collaboration.
- Ensure that Marketing has a realistic lead target per week/month which is shared with sales and carries accountability
- Ensure that Sales has a realistic revenue target based on your marketing departments input and shared with Marketing
- Make Marketing's rewards higher for leads that convert to sales than simply leads and encouraging a numbers game (quality not quantity)
- Ensure that Sales track leads that come from marketing so you can see them move through the funnel and share the successes
- Ensure that you have a definitive structure for the hand off, ensuring that all the good, timely leads hit the sales team first before they lead source themselves
- Have a weekly meeting between sales and marketing to open and honestly discuss the leads, quality and what is working/not working
- Encourage Sales to be fully involved in the process by sharing content on Linkedin, Twitter etc
- If things are not working, change them! There are many variables that vary from business to business and things evolve... talk them out together and agree the metric for success as a team
The most important element here is COLLABORATION. Sales and Marketing should not be seen as 2 separate departments they should seen as one process and a constant conversation. Encourage dialogue by making targets overlap and make sure the rewards are based on encouraging the right behaviours.