Funding a skilled and well-versed marketing department should be a necessity for any business. But if the leads you’re attracting don’t turn into potential buyers, you could be throwing your advertising money down the drain.
On average, only about one in four of all leads are sales-ready, according to data compiled by KISSmetrics. Half are qualified but not yet ready to buy, and almost eight in 10 never convert into sales-ready leads. No wonder nearly seven in 10 CEOs feel their marketing spending is wasted, according to Forbes Insights.
One cause of this underperformance is a disconnect between marketing and sales teams. Typically, marketing teams aren’t kept apprised of the sales and so-called nurturing process that goes into converting a solid prospect into a surefire buyer.
How can this problem be solved? Through closed-loop marketing or the sharing of data between sales and marketing teams, companies realize the biggest ROI when they’re successful in converting customer analytics and insights into actionable sales in the long term.
Knowing all this, here are three ways to break down the silos between your sales and marketing departments to improve the quality of your leads and convert more prospects into buyers.
1. Track the Sources of Your Leads
When implementing your closed-loop marketing strategy, experts say you will experience the most success after setting up a system that enables you to uncover, in a wealth of detail, the specific marketing campaigns that turned prospects into buyers, according to HubSpot.
Ultimately, implementing such a system would allow your marketing and sales teams to identify which leads are converting into sales, what the characteristics of your best customers are, and which campaigns are attracting them to your business. Your marketing team can then focus on attracting prospects who are more likely to convert into customers, while your sales team can focus follow-up prospecting efforts on your hottest leads.
There are a few major strategies you can use to track your lead sources effectively. One is to set up your website so that when a visitor arrives, a cookie is placed to track the source of their traffic, along with any associated contact information, such as their email address. The visitor can then be steered toward a landing page with a lead capture form that can be used to collect additional information.
To achieve heightened tracking efficiency, consider adopting a cloud-based call contact center into day-to-day operations. This will allow you to integrate information about your website visitors with information gathered from your customer service channels, including live phone support, online chat, and social media, providing you with a more complete view of your leads.
2. Score Your Leads
To optimize your lead tracking system, a best practice is to score your leads so that you can measure prospect quality and marketing performance. A lead scoring system allows you to prioritize your prospects by identifying which are most likely to become buyers, how much they’re inclined to spend, and any estimated timelines before they make a purchase.
All things considered, a good lead scoring system should measure two key factors: how well a prospect fits your buyer profile and how interested they are in buying from you. For B2C business owners, you can measure how well a prospect fits your buyer profile by creating a scoring system for demographic data, such as gender, age, and income level.
Meantime, B2B business owners can use criteria like industry, company size, and company revenue to get a better picture of their customer base. To measure a prospect’s interest in buying from you, track any sort of activity that indicates engagement, such as submitting a web form on a landing page, opening an email, and clicking on a newsletter link. Use a scoring system from 1 to 100 to measure these variables.
3. Share Your Data to Optimize Your Sales and Marketing
Your lead tracking and lead scoring data can be shared between your sales and marketing teams to optimize coordination efforts. In particular, sales members can use the company’s CRM platform to flag top prospects, thereby focusing on those who are most likely to buy and spend the most. Your sales manager can then delegate your available team members to nurture your best prospecting opportunities to maximize sales productivity.
Similarly, those serving on the marketing team can further optimize overall productivity by noting which beliefs, characteristics, and habits are representative of the average customer. You can then adjust your marketing campaign to focus on prospects who represent the closest fit to your ideal customer. Additionally, your marketing team can also focus its budget on the campaigns that generate the most leads.
Steer Those Qualified Leads to the Table
The tracking and sharing of data by your sales and marketing teams can help close the gap and create new sales opportunities between these two otherwise disparate groups. Meantime, tracking your lead sources lets you know which marketing campaigns are yielding the best results, enabling your marketing team to relay better leads toward your sales team.
And scoring your leads lets both your marketing and sales teams gain a clearer picture of its customers, allowing the company to focus its advertising and prospecting activity accordingly. Ultimately, implementing these closed-loop marketing strategies will steer more qualified leads to your site and boost your sales conversion rates, translating into more sales and revenue for your business.