Marketers work hard to generate good sales leads and the best marketers know that an agreed-upon set of qualification criteria with sales is an essential ingredient in a high-performance sales process.
Inbound marketing, content marketing, paid programs, and search optimization all work hard to drive interest into the very top of the funnel and then via form completion, back-end data enhancement, or activity scoring via marketing automation. This all leads to the creation of a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) that is then (generally) handed to sales for further qualification and pursuit. These leads become Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), then Opportunities, with the goal of converting them to customers.
The nature and type of content needed by the sales team for engagement varies pretty significantly from the content used to attract interest at the very top of the funnel by marketing. More often than not, there is no understanding about what is being used, how effective it is, or even if the right things are available at the right time. Marketing leads are measured on a cost per lead (CPL) basis that calculates the cost to actually get someone interested and to a qualified state. This can be expensive, so vigilance on spend is essential. What is even more expensive is sales engagement, especially if it is with the wrong prospect (not qualified) or if it is not taking advantage of the most up-to-date and accessible sales content to drive the conversation and buyer’s journey.
Sales enablement done right puts the right content at the right time into the hands of the salesperson through intelligent sales playbooks or just a better way to search and find the piece of content needed to move the prospect through the buyer’s journey.
Adding a closed-loop approach that connects what marketing creates to what sales uses to what actually matters to the customer is what sales enablement should be and what we are working on here at Highspot. So, remember to think about life after the MQL. As a marketer, your job is not over as you need to enable the sales process, and as a salesperson, your job is just beginning.