The best thing you can do for your sales team is set up an awesome marketing automation and lead scoring system.
Your sales team shouldn’t be talking to leads until they’re warm! Instead of cold calling, they can be focusing on talking to prospects that have already bought into the premise of what you’re selling, and have even qualified themselves to buy.
Lead scoring is where your marketing automation system automatically gives points to a lead based on their buying signals. You can customize these, so signals like form submissions, page views, social media engagement, ebook downloads, and video views all allow you to understand a prospect’s level of interest. This means less wasted time for your sales team! So, how exactly should you set this up?
1) Engage your sales team.
They’re the ones who know when a prospect is ready to buy, and how your leads should be prioritized. They’ll be able to identify the triggers and actions that you should weight most heavily.
They’ll also be able to tell you what leads are most likely to buy. Your automation system should be able to flag properties like annual company revenue, number of employees, and so much more.
2) Understand your buyer journey.
I know that’s a phrase we use a lot, but it’s critical to understand your buyer, and the steps that they and their organization have to take before they make a purchasing decision.
In some buyer journeys, social engagement might be a much stronger indication of intent than a pricing page view.
3) Make sure you weight intent and interest differently.
Blog views might indicate interest in the industry you’re in, while downloading a case study tells you that there’s interest in your particular solution.
Once you’ve set up your lead scoring system, make sure you continue to update it. A lot of automation systems will make updates based on the success rates of your sales team, if you manage your deals in the system as well. Even if you don’t have updates happening automatically, make sure you revisit your system monthly with input from your sales team. What’s working? Are bad leads slipping through? Are prospects who watch a certain video all the way to the end buying 100% of the time?
If you don’t have a marketing automation system set up already and you’re a B2B business, it’s something that we definitely recommend. Automation systems allow you to connect and track all of the activity on your website. You can get enhanced analytics on who’s viewing what content, and how they’re progressing through your funnel.
Our favourites are HubSpot, Marketo, Eloqua, and Pardot. All of these do a great job of tracking the results of your marketing campaigns and integrating lead scoring.
So, what’s the bottom line? You can and should automate the handoff of a prospect from marketing to sales. It will help you streamline your sales cycle, and ensure your sales team is talking to better qualified leads who are more likely to purchase.