How collaborative is the relationship between your Marketing and Sales teams? Research conducted by Conversica finds that Marketers and Salespeople want positive, cohesive relationships with one another, but often suffer a mismatch in expectations. Marketing assumes Sales isn’t following up with leads fast enough or often enough, and Sales thinks Marketing is sending over bad leads or too few leads.
Inefficient lead follow-up—coupled with poor visibility into sales performance—can cause disappointing ROI and diminished lead-conversions. This is especially frustrating for Marketers who have limited control over which leads Sales teams follow up with.
When Marketing and Sales teams properly align, your business can convert more leads and enjoy higher marketing revenue. Therefore, during Marketing and Sales processes, it’s critical to follow the “4Ps” of Promptness, Persistence, Personalization, and Performance.
This post will cover how to better align Sales and Marketing teams with the 4Ps to gain more opportunities and close deals.
Why the Misalignment?
Poor visibility: One of the most prominent issues for Marketing is that there isn’t much insight into the follow-up process from Sales. Marketers need to see where people are converting or dropping off so they can better adjust their strategies. Are these leads being worked effectively? Are they good leads, hot leads, bad leads, or at-risk? Without insight, Marketing and Sales leaders are left in the dark.
Limited capacity: While the Marketing and Sales teams do their best to touch and qualify leads, there’s only so much time in a day. In fact, a shocking 77 percent of leads lack thorough follow-up. This includes leads who Sales never touched and leads that they touched only once, lost in the shuffle or ignored. Because of limited capacity, triaging leads is a natural response. However, neglecting warm, or even lukewarm, leads can mean lower revenue.
Relying too heavily on lead scoring models alone: Lead scoring is essential, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end-all-be-all. It’s just an estimate of how likely a lead is to convert based on their digital body language compared to other users. To know for certain whether a lead is sales-ready or not, you have to ask. Otherwise, you risk missing out on opportunities which is bad for Marketers and Salespeople alike.
What are the 4Ps?
To realign Sales and Marketing teams, follow the 4Ps of sales effectiveness. These four principles will overcome some of these barriers and help teams become more effective in their messaging and in building client relationships.
When teams make connections faster, they are more likely to convert that lead into a customer. According to data from Conversica’s 2020 Sales Effectiveness Report, contacting a lead within the first hour increased the likelihood of qualifying the lead by seven times compared to a two-hour window, and 60 times compared to 24 hours or longer.
A best practice is to follow up with all inquiries within five minutes of the prospect making contact. If your organization consistently falls short in promptness, it’s wise to investigate what is holding you back (Sales team capacity issues, high lead volume, slow MAP to CRM syncing, etc.) and find ways to remedy the issue. By promptly following up with leads, Marketers and Salespeople make the most out of their investments in time and resources.
Because of busy schedules, buried emails, or missed phone calls, companies need to be more persistent than ever to capture potential customers. In fact, companies with the fastest-growing revenues are most likely to contact a lead five to eight times.
It can take 18 follow-ups to connect with a potential buyer. According to original research conducted by Conversica, 60 percent of companies followed up with a lead only once or twice. Your Marketing and Sales teams must maintain persistent and timely outreach so leads don’t exit their buyer’s journey.
Personalized communications with a lead significantly increase the likelihood of successful engagement and conversion. To be considered truly personalized, an email must contain an individual sender (rather than a department name in the “From” line) personalized greeting, signature and contact information, content relevant to the contact, and a ‘call to action’ to drive the conversation forward.
Effectively personalizing an email takes time, which means that it’s sometimes difficult to deliver a quality email promptly or to craft multiple personalized emails for persistent outreach. For this reason, many companies use automated email platforms to reach out to contacts. But not every automated email platform can deliver a truly personalized message. Some only do the bare minimum of referencing a contact’s name in the subject line. This alone is not enough to capture someone’s attention. Make certain that emails coming from Marketers and Salespeople are personalized enough to cut through the clutter and attract the recipient’s eye.
Your messages must reach the intended target to be effective. Performance refers to whether your outgoing emails land in a contact’s Primary inbox (where it should) or somewhere else (where the contact is less likely to see it). It should come as no surprise that personalized emails tend to perform better than non-personalized emails.
Due to the high number of touches necessary to garner a lead’s interest, many companies deliver personalized emails written by Marketers or Salespeople in tandem with mass emails about upcoming webinars or new content. In either case, it’s vital to craft quality emails that land in the Primary inbox rather than a Social or Promotional email folder. This helps make the most out of your communication coming from either the Marketing or Sales teams.
Lead follow-up and engagement is a highly personalized activity with lots of room for error. Business professionals and automated systems working together can provide Sales teams with the Promptness, Persistence, Personalization, and Performance they need to work qualified leads effectively and at a greater scale.
Admittedly, this is a tall order for even the most dedicated Marketing and Sales teams. For this reason, many organizations choose to adopt an Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) to autonomously deliver personalized emails at scale.
Intelligent Virtual Assistants are built with best practices in mind, so Marketing and Sales teams can rest easy knowing that these AI-powered conversations follow the 4Ps.
A Conversica AI Assistant integrates with your CRM to pull relevant information (such as a person’s name and title) to autonomously craft personalized messages that drive conversations to a desired end (like scheduling a Sales meeting). Our AI Assistants read and respond in two-way conversations, taking necessary action like updating contact information in your CRM. Better still, AI-driven conversations are omnichannel across email, SMS text, and website.
With context-sensitive messages, a Conversica AI Assistant focused on Conversational Sales and Marketing can smoothly bridge the gap between Sales and Marketing. Whether the team needs to engage leads, re-activate their interest, or win back past buyers, our AI Assistant empowers teams to send leads messages proven to determine interest and respond accordingly.
With an Intelligent Virtual Assistant, it all happens automatically, quickly, accurately, repeatedly, and with personalization. Organizations can expect 100 percent follow-up on all leads without overburdening Marketing or Sales teams. By taking on important, repetitive tasks like crafting conversations with your leads, organizations improve communication with prospects and allow for Marketers and Salespeople to focus on what they do best—educating the market and sealing the deal.
Want to learn more about the 4Ps? Explore the 2020 Sales Effectiveness Report from Conversica today!