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Get Sales Input and Agreement
Marketing and sales need to be on the same page, so first and foremost, get input from sales on the lead grading schema. Be sure to gather input form all levels of the sales team that work with the lead - not just upper management or one member responsible for sales operations. Consensus building is key, and is your best protection against a failed lead grading schema. When setting up your lead grading schema, identify all the data to be collected over the entire sales cycle. Account for cross-sell opportunities. Sales should then prioritize the collection of data with an emphasis on building "actionable" vs. "complete" profiles. Marketing should then incorporate that priority into the multi-touch communication / cultivation strategy.
Sales should define when leads meeting certain criteria are worthy of diverting their attention away from existing opportunities. When implementing a lead grading schema, this typically results in fewer, but better quality, leads being delivered. Volume tends to improve over time, as marketing allocates more budget to the sources driving the higher percentages of leads that meet sales
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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