One of the largest factors contributing to a dysfunctional lead generation program is the separation of sales and marketing. In so many B2B companies, these departments sit in different locations. In so many companies, these departments work on completely separate demand generation initiatives. It's time to break down the walls between these departments to create a Revenue Generation TEAM.
Today's recipe for mediocrity in lead generation for B2B companies!
Where we see the most frequent separation, is marketing departments that concentrate on traditional marketing (print, broadcast, tradeshows), and haven’t utilized Marketing Automation & Social Selling to build effective lead generation programs. Unfortunately even firms with Marketing Automation software are pushing out lead generation email campaigns that have little to do with sales’ efforts.
Why does this separation occur?
1. Marketing doesn’t have hard ROI targets like Sales
Old-school B2B companies see marketing as a necessary evil, or cost-of-doing business. They know that sales drive suspects into prospects and prospects into opportunities – but how does marketing do any of this? Old-school companies create a budget for their tradeshow booths, press releases and a few golf tournaments, and hope for the best.
2. The company is perplexed on how to measure Marketing’s success
There are endless ways of measuring marketing’s direct contribution to revenue (click here) – yet companies still see marketing as an art form (not a science). The best-of-breed B2B companies realize that marketing (specifically great content) is the high-octane gasoline for fueling the lead generation fire.
3. Client Services/Account Management also lacks hard upsell/cross-sell targets
Post sales have as much or more opportunity to drive greater business than pre-sales. A great post-sales team has not only got client churn to a minimum, but selling more to your easiest audience. Unfortunately, companies see account management (and especially client services) as the group “to just keep clients happy.” Unless you have a plan to compensate reps on happy times, it’s not concrete enough. Did you know that account management can track your clients’ employees using LinkedIn Signal + competitive sales reps to drive new opportunities you’ve never thought of???
4. The company doesn’t understand “Synergy” – the whole is greater than the sum of its parts
Think of your company as a football team. You have the VIP players (QB & RB = CEO & VP Sales) and the sales reps (WR), but your team is going nowhere fast without a great offensive line (your client service department) and defense (your account management department). The reason why Baltimore and San Francisco are in the Big Dance this weekend is SYNERGY. Synergy is “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, meaning without everyone planning and campaigning together, you will have a broken team (see Philadelphia Eagles).
What does Utopia look like?
The ideal description for your new department is “Revenue Generation” – sales, sales support, marketing, client services, account management are all 1 department. They eat, sleep, learn, plan, everything together. There is no initiative that any subgroup is doing that the other isn’t aware of and all campaign strategies are built together.
The Bottom Line!
If you don’t want to be left behind the 8 ball – you need to start to take action. The following dozen blog posts on utilizing Social Selling strategies using LinkedIn can help you start. If you are really looking for some hidden gems on how you can attract a very specific prospect, I recommend you check out – 42 LinkedIn Tips
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