Marketing Sales Handoff: Why Aren’t My Leads Converting?
We’ve all been there. The marketing team is proudly delivering inbound inquiries in what they think are both admirable quantities and quality.
The sales follow-up process is just one aspect of moving from lead to sale. Before the sales follow up happens there is usually a lead handoff of between the marketing and sales teams. Whether the leads are generated by people filling out forms on your website, signing up for webinars, or social media followers, in-depth research is important. The data enrichment and follow-up process is key to keeping leads engaged and interested in your product.
We have found that the disconnect in the marketing sales handoff is usually due to a lack of data enrichment. Simply handing the sales team a stack of names with contact information doesn’t seem to generate many conversions.
Why do you need to enrich leads?
Well, sales will generally follow the easiest, most obvious leads. And many times the leads generated by marketing don’t look like they are super-hot. And let’s face it, sometimes they aren’t. This is why enriching leads before the marketing sales handoff is important—it transforms what looks like a spreadsheet of random-looking Gmail addresses into a call sheet of clearly qualified leads.
Researching leads help the sales team visualize the quality of the leads that marketing has generated as well as customize their follow-up approach.
Enriching marketing leads with quality data helps the sales team with personalized follow-ups. When salespeople send the same cut-and-paste email to every lead and only change the recipient name, customers can tell. Personalized emails will help your product stand out. As always, some lead nurture may be necessary to get the sale — but if the team can address some of the prospect’s likely questions and concerns ahead of time, it will make the customer feel cared about… and more likely to respond.
What kind of information should you use to enrich leads?
So what kind of information does the sales team really need? What kinds of useful insights can you provide in the marketing sales handoff to promote the most effective follow ups?
LinkedIn is the best source for lead research.
- Focus on the individual and their position:
- Professional title
- Position within the Company (manager, head of the department, CEO etc.)
This may seem elementary, but having insight into the basic aspects of their job can help the sales team understand what products or services might best fit their responsibilities.
- Gather details about the company they work for:
- Number of employees
- Size (profit, number of locations, number of customers/clients)
Depending on your product, this information can help answer some of the customer’s potential questions like pricing estimates or implementation time.
- Accumulate any other information that will help you promote your specific product or service:
- Similar companies already using your product
- The compatibility or integration with key technologies and applications used by the prospect
- Understanding the customers’ current solution (to explain additional features that you offer, or how you do it better)
Anticipating some of the questions a potential customer might ask or put together a list of FAQs from current customers is an easy way to figure out what types of information are most useful. Every company has unique needs, your product and services can fulfill those needs differently, so this third step helps you understand what they might be looking for so you can tailor your sales strategy appropriately.
Support your sales team by providing enriched customer data that can help them in making sales.
Having some trouble?
Sometimes finding this information can be a challenge especially if your leads are from social media. It will take some extra digging to find their contact information before you begin the detailed research and enrichment process. However here are some things to keep in mind:
- Gmail addresses and non-active domains are not dead ends. Gmail addresses will require some digging and investigation but WHOis can give you information as to who/where a non-active domain is registered.
- Unusual names will most likely pop up with a simple LinkedIn search, especially if you have a large circle of connections or get creative guessing job titles.
- If you only have a personal email, look into how their company’s email addresses are set up. You can try to guess their business email or just send LinkedIn InMail. Consider requiring a corporate email by disallowing gmail, yahoo, and similar free email addresses in your forms.
- If you are searching for someone with a common name (and have their company information) try refining your search to search for names within a specific company, or search for names in a specific areas based on the company’s contact address.
Once leads have been enriched with this kind of data, the marketing sales handoff becomes much easier. Salespeople have the information they need to tailor their follow-ups to the individual in a personalized way.
We find the reason most leads never result in sales is too many leads get disqualified or ignored without any additional research. The process does take some work, but it is worth it.