Often sales people do not actively follow up on marketing generated leads. This may be a result of poor sales behaviors, but it is more likely that sales teams are not confident in the quality of the sales leads they are getting. Marketing Automation is a powerful technology, but it is important not to “over automate” the classification of the lead.
If you are working on a lead scoring program you need to determine what constitutes a marketing qualified lead (MQL), a sales ready lead (SRL) and then the sales team can determine if the lead is a sales qualified lead (SQL). These terms and constructs are widely accepted in B2B marketing and we use them when we develop lead scoring programs with our clients.
To align marketing and sales teams, marketing should provide insights and intelligence around leads and let the sales teams determine priority focus and the SQL. Some leads look great on “paper” with high lead scores, yet they fail to fulfill real time sales criteria. Conversely, a lead may not fulfill all the agreed criteria for an MQL, yet the sales team may determine that an immediate follow-up is justified. If you provide rich information about leads in the system, you can let the sales team evaluate the full range of leads using lead scores as guidance. Approach lead scoring communication as a decision support process and you will enhance marketing’s value to sales.