Office, work, employee, employer, plan, strategy

How many times have you begged sales to report on where their leads are coming from? Do you feel you have to constantly chase on the marketing source of their converted leads? How would you like to fix the broken link between sales and marketing?

You think it would be simple. You do the marketing, you get the lead for sales, sales work on the opportunity and then the deal is won or lost. However, that linear approach doesn’t always work because leads don’t always covert straight away. In fact, the average sales cycle is between 6-9 months long.

Marketing -> sales lead -> opportunity -> won/lost

The problem with such a long sales cycle is that it can be hard to report on. Often sales are expected to close off their sales by the end of the quarter, so it’s easier for them to close off a lead as “dead” rather than keep it hanging in the balance.

Other reasons sales could cut leads off instead of placing them in the CRM as converted marketing opportunities include:

  • Focusing on closing the quarter and promising to upload the lead details the next quarter but forgetting.
  • Not uploading the lead because they don’t want the pressure of trying to close the deal before the quarter ends.
  • They don’t want to affect their win : loss ratio.
As time goes on, sales create new opportunities from this lead. Perhaps they start building a relationship with someone else in the company or the lead gets back in contact as an inbound lead. However, now they don’t have any history because the lead was cut off as “dead” last quarter. Therefore, you can’t identify the lead source or the marketing activities connected to them. And there goes the marketing value in the sales pipeline.

So, how can you combat this? It’s simple. Implement lead management into your CRM to track the lead as soon as they are in your system from marketing. You can track the whole company and every individual from there, so you don’t lose the history of any lead again. Combine this with dispelling the stigma around leads crossing over quarter target goals and you’ll soon see the link between sales & marketing start to fix itself.

By Lee Chadwick, CEO and Founder of WOW Analytics and CommuniGator