Too many unqualified leads going to sales?
Since the B2B sales cycle is highly involved and requires a number of key players, lead qualification is important. With Internet lead generation, marketers have greater access to their prospects, but if they pass an unqualified lead to the sales team, it can result in a lost deal. This contributes to sales and marketing misalignment.
However, without lead qualification, the marketing team won’t know when prospects are ready to make a purchase. An online marketing system helps the team nurture leads and engage them through the buying cycle before they pass them on to sales representatives. Although marketing teams are often in a rush to gain high numbers of qualified leads, nurturing is essential to the process, according to an article in Business 2 Community.
Many B2B purchase decisions are made after a defined set of steps. Potential clients identify a need within the company and then obtain authorization and a budget, Econsultancy said. Many of these purchases involve enterprise software or technical equipment, and making the wrong choice can impact a company’s profits, so it’s no surprise that buyers take their time to research and make a decision.
Marketing automation enables better lead nurturing procedures
Since there are different stages of the buying cycle, marketers need to offer separate types of content for each. Someone who is just beginning to research different options won’t want to read the same thing as a prospect close to making a decision. Most importantly, marketers need to lead their target customers through the process to qualification. All content should help prospects take the next step.
Nurturing needs to be more involved than just emails, although marketing automation can schedule and send these communications. The marketing team still needs to engage with prospects through other channels, such as social media.
Since nurturing is necessary to qualify leads, marketing automation can ease the burden from marketers and prevent them from sending unqualified prospects to the sales team. Additionally, these tools help marketers know their customers better, which allows them to improve their marketing materials. The analytics capabilities in marketing automation help marketing teams more accurately segment their leads, and this can make it more easy to know when a lead is ready to talk to a sales rep. Lead qualification criteria needs to reflect how your customers find your products or services.