At the opening of Law & Order is a line that I think every CEO, VP of Sales and VP of Marketing should memorize and remind themselves of every day: The police are responsible for investigating a crime and the District Attorney’s office is responsible for prosecuting it. This is their story.
If you substitute Marketing for “Police”, Sales for “District Attorney” and Lead for “crime”, you have a good rendition of how a modern sales and marketing team should work together – Marketing investigating an opportunity (lead) and Sales prosecuting (closing) it.
And when the lead doesn’t close, just like the police do when the suspect isn’t successfully prosecuted, you don’t close the file – you put it aside in case new evidence comes to light. In this analogy, a lead that did not close but continues to respond to offers for webinars, white papers or other marketing activities may once again become a lead later.
Sadly, it often doesn’t work this way. Many times we see the equivalent of the US Justice Department where the same team is both investigating and prosecuting a lead – and it’s a special person indeed who is good at both disciplines.
The marketing process in today’s digital, search driven world, has to encompass the entire customer buying process – including sales. From the first impression a prospect gets (when you don’t even know they are looking at you), through the sales process (no matter how many times it starts, stops and resets), on to the close and finally in making sure that a customer is a long term, delighted evangelist, your marketing and sales team (along with support/customer service) must be fully aligned. If not, you are leaking leads and losing share of wallet and delight.
If you think (or know) that this is an issue in your organization, the time to fix it is now; before you spend more money generating leads that don’t close or trying to save customers that aren’t thrilled.
Take the time and man power to track your opportunities from source through to close and then experience as a customer. Or spend the money to get someone to do this for you (and yes, we do this every day).
Waste and inefficiency is a standard in government – there is no incentive to do more faster. But in business, your bottom line depends on stopping the leaks and speeding the process.