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Each time we interview a new client, we see up to seven common mistakes around the lead handoff. Most of the time, marketing is already aware of a couple of these issues, but since customizing the CRM is not a viable option, the shortcomings are typically viewed as "something we just have to live with." This career limiting structure is one of the main reasons why an automated lead nurturing and delivery engine needs to complement the CRM. Without one, odds are high that revenue is being compromised by a poor marketing-to-sales lead handoff. If any of the following issues describe your lead hand-off process, don't be surprised when the CFO turns down your request for more marketing budget.
1. The lead is passed to sales too earlyA recent study by the Industrial Performance Group indicated sales on average spends only 38 percent of their time selling. Spending too much time sifting though low quality leads is a recipe for disaster and quickly leads to finger pointing between marketing and sales. B2B Marketers are much more successful when they focus on automated lead nurturing and optimizing the lead hand-off rather than investing in putting more leads into the top of the funnel at a lower cost per lead. Imagine the revenue potential of a modest 5 to 15 percent lift in opportunities. Now imagine the lift in revenue if the close ratio also increased 20% as a result of sales being much more focused on better opportunities.
Jeff Kostermans is CEO of LeadGenesys ( www.leadgenesys.com ) a B2B direct marketing and lead generation firm, he can be reached directly at jeffk@LeadGenesys.com. He is a direct marketing veteran with over 12 years of experience managing lead generation and relationship marketing programs for companies ranging from technology and service start-ups to Fortune 100 firms. He is author of the Email Marketing Imperatives and has written numerous other best practices papers. A UC Berkeley graduate, Mr. Kostermans also serves as an Army Reserve Psychological Operations Major, consulting allied governments and militaries in target audience analysis and influence methods.
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