Today’s channel marketing professionals are certainly savvier than ever before. We’re recognizing the complexity of the marketplace and better meeting the needs of today’s self-empowered buyers. We’re providing an array of marketing and sales tools and leveraging channel marketing automation to deliver the content and resources our direct sales teams and channel partners need to engage and nurture prospects through the sales cycle. We’re driving social media efforts and tracking results with analytics – using all the latest outlets and consumption platforms to meet buyers on their terms.
Yet with all this progress we are still forgetting something. Call it the secret sauce for winning the channel game. It is what sales teams often say is more important than anything else: Delivering qualified leads!
Even with all of the advances we’ve made in marketing automation, many marketing and sales teams are still sharing and tracking leads manually or with “lite” technology. The result? Valuable leads and opportunities get lost, even by the most conscientious of individuals.
1. Close the Gap That Sales Qualified Leads Slip Through
It’s time to take care of leads in the same manner that we’re caring for other marketing assets. Put nurtured leads with all the event details directly into the hands of channel partners and sales teams by automating lead distribution management. Use tools that allow you to close the gaps that leads can and do slip through.
Instead of relying on risky, time-consuming and error-prone manual lead distribution, you can put qualified leads right into hands of the right people, at the right time, with intelligent email workflows or directly into the CRMs and SFAs they use every day.
2. Quality vs. Quantity
Of course, no one wants more “Lip Service Leads.” You know, the ones that are rejected by inside sales. Those warmed-over, never-will-buy, nurture-me-forever leads. Successful lead distribution management means focusing on quality over quantity.
Modern marketing software not only allows you to automatically distribute, route and share up-to-date database leads, but also couples them with real-time prospecting data, including lead status and pipeline data. Leads are delivered efficiently, complete with direct insight into buying behavior, scoring and even offers to partner sales teams to execute crisply.
3. Powering Collaboration
Automating lead distribution lets everyone stop wondering what happened to leads and start building a solid and sustainable collaborative sales process. Sales teams get the leads, coupled with in-depth prospecting data, they want and need. Everyone can see and track lead activities across the sales cycle. Plus, it’s easy to share valuable profile and historical data on each and every lead, including campaign and email details, previous marketing activities and more, to drive sales. The numbers bear this out – with customers that automate lead distribution seeing an increase in partner activity of 50% or more and sales lift of 20% and up.
Author's Bio: Scott England is the Vice President of Alliances and Strategic Relationships at Zift Solutions.
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