One way that the marketing team can better support the sales team is by adding the skill to call and qualify the needs of prospects and clients. This goes against the grain, because marketing typically doesn't follow up on leads. But the key message here is recognizing that it's not a good investment of the sales reps' time to follow up with prospects who have not been qualified. Many companies, Fortune 500 included, are looking at leveraging the time of the sales team as an area of great opportunity.
Here are several examples of how using lead qualification specialists—whether developed in-house or outsourced—can further process leads, leverage the time of the sales team and open opportunities for sales leads:
Event Marketing—Prospecting work needs to be done in a short window around webinar and seminar dates. A large number of calls must be made to generate interest and registrations before the event, and then more calls need to be made to follow-up immediately after the event. Often, even though marketing did a great job on the event, the follow-up calls after the event can be poor to non-existent. Two issues that can cause poor follow-up are 1) too many prospects that are not qualified and 2) the short window after the event. There is still work to be done before giving these leads to the sales team.
At trade shows, many companies stop by the booth just for the giveaway. Second, often the right company stops by the booth but not the right decisionmaker. Third is that the window of opportunity closes quickly right after the show. It's no wonder that 80 percent of trade show leads are never followed up on. The marketing team should call to follow up on the leads to beat slow-moving competition, make sure that no sales leads fall through the cracks and qualify needs to keep the sales team from spending any time with unqualified prospects.