It’s no surprise that many marketing activities have a deadline of yesterday, since marketing pipeline contribution is so important to a business’ bottom line. That being said, there are a few things that should be considered from a sales, marketing and CRM perspective before getting started on any new tele campaign.
Define the MQL criteria & notification process with the sales team
o Define criteria – Clearly defining the marketing qualified lead (MQL) criteria is a critical component for the success of any lead qualification effort, on both the front and back end. Marketers must gain an understanding of the sales managers’ expectations for qualified leads, and then ensure their teleprospecting campaigns are aligned to the criteria. In many organizations, sales reps receive different types of “leads,” including content syndication responses and web inquiries, in addition to fully qualified MQLs. Thus, it’s a good idea to educate sales reps on how tele-qualified MQLs are different than a general marketing response, and why they should be prioritized.
o Determine notification process – Next, you should determine how the sales reps will be notified of new tele-qualified MQLs and what they will look like within the CRM. Provide visual examples to your sales reps and show which fields within the CRM will display the most valuable pieces of information for their follow-up. If possible, lead notifications should be done via the CRM to ensure consistency and campaign-tracking. Consider any nuances that would keep an automated notification from being delivered, and consider a back-up plan to ensure sales reps are always notified of new MQLs.
Understand the sales follow-up process and CRM next steps
o Know the sales follow-up process – Work with Sales management in order to clearly understand and document the steps that occur after the MQL has been created and provided to Sales. This information is important so that the teleprospector may set the right next step and expectation with your qualified MQLs. The following are a list of questions you should ask:
- How soon will sales follow-up occur? Is it possible/appropriate for an appointment to be scheduled by the teleprospector?
- Will an MQL with a timeframe to buy of 6-12 months receive an introductory call from the sales representative?
- Do MQLs receive a phone call, email, or both?
- What is the agenda for the initial conversation with a lead? How does the agenda change depending on timeframe to buy?
o Define CRM “next steps.” In order to properly document and understand your marketing contribution, it will be important to establish CRM rules with your sales organization prior to launch. Consider these questions:
- What is the criteria and process to convert an MQL to an Opportunity?
- What disqualifies MQLs from conversion and advancement?
- At what intervals will opportunity advancements take place?
- What encourages consistent CRM behavior?
Determine MQL closure criteria and nuances that impact ROI tracking
o Utilize closure reason codes – In order to track and clearly understand reasons for pipeline leakage, ensure a mechanism is in place to categorize and code closed MQLs and Opportunities
- What are the options for closing a lead/opportunity in your CRM? Are the options adequate?
- What actions are required before a lead can be closed (e.g. minimum attempts, communication mediums, determining fit, etc.)?
- Determine the level/type of notes that are required to close a lead or opportunity.
o Consider how to merge leads & opportunities – To ensure that all leads and marketing-influenced opportunities are tied to your marketing campaigns, you may want to “merge” leads and opportunities (e.g. if tele campaign yields a services lead at an account with an active or open product opportunity). At a minimum, you should consider the ROI impact if leads are closed rather than merged.
o Account for adding new contacts – If teleprospectors are working within your CRM, consider how referral (i.e. new contact uncovered within a target account) leads will tie back to the marketing investments. This is especially important for contacts that don’t already exist in your CRM.
o Decide a process for leads that are closed as “lost” – TeleNet recommends having these accounts funnel back to your teleprospecting teams for future follow-up.
It goes without saying that the alignment of teleprospecting, marketing and sales teams can help you realize more return for your investment, but it’s equally important that behaviors and treatment are consistent within and outside of your CRM to gain real ROI visibility.