Unlocking marketing lead potential with social sellingNov 10, 2023
As a marketer, you may often feel a sense of frustration regarding how salespeople handle the leads you provide. This blog post aims to shed light on why salespeople often undermine the potential of marketing leads and offers insights on how to rectify this situation permanently.
A story of misunderstandings
Before embarking on my journey as a social selling consultant, I spent 13 years in sales, where a lead was synonymous with an arranged meeting. Transitioning to marketing, I was astonished to learn that a single webinar could generate 400 leads. This experience illuminated a stark difference in the perception of leads between sales and marketing, often leading to confusion and miscommunication.
The dynamics of Sales & Marketing collaboration
Salespeople often anticipate receiving high-quality leads from marketing. However, when these leads are delivered, they are frequently neglected or rejected. This happens because salespeople assume that marketing leads are synonymous with customers ready to engage. Such high expectations can be detrimental to future collaborations, as disappointment with leads can lead salespeople to undervalue marketing efforts.
Redefining leads in the age of social selling
Platforms like LinkedIn have transformed how marketing leads are perceived. In the realm of social selling, marketing leads present a significant opportunity for sales, even if customers are not ready to make an immediate purchase. Establishing the right expectations towards marketing leads can be transformative.
Is marketing lead a sufficient indicator?
A considerable challenge for salespeople is that customers often engage them late in the purchasing process. Salespeople, by leveraging social selling, can interact with marketing leads early on, thereby recognizing the intrinsic value of these leads.
Building a common language
To foster better understanding between marketing and sales departments, defining what constitutes a lead is crucial. This can be achieved through discussions focusing on:
- The objective: Acquiring new customers or nurturing existing ones?
- The profile of an ideal customer, considering factors like industry, location, company size, seniority level, function, and presence on LinkedIn.
- Identifying roles in the client's organization that influence decisions.
- Differentiating between a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) and a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).
- Determining the optimal time to transfer the lead from marketing to sales.
- A proactive approach for salespeople
Salespeople can take proactive steps such as calling the client, assessing long-term potential, connecting on LinkedIn, sharing valuable content, and engaging with the customer's content. This method facilitates trust-building and relationship development, increasing the likelihood of being engaged when the customer is ready to purchase.
Adopting this mindset allows companies to generate higher revenue by effectively utilizing marketing leads and social selling strategies. This approach not only enhances sales but also establishes marketing as a revenue-generating department.
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