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By: Carolyn Edgecomb on May 13th, 2013

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Sales and Marketing Alignment Checklist: Coordination is Key


Sales and Marketing Alignment ChecklistGenerating a lead is great news for any company, but the level excitement will depend on what type of lead you have.  Is it a marketing qualified lead, or is your lead sales ready?  If your marketing and sales team are not on the same page, it will be very difficult to nurture this lead and convert said lead into a customer.

The key to successfully nurturing and converting your leads is having effective coordination between your marketing and sales teams. Below is a checklist that will help you get your sales and marketing teams on the same page.

Sales and Marketing Alignment Checklist:

1. Agree on Quality Lead Identification Statement

If your sales and marketing teams have a varying definition of a quality lead for your company, it’ll be impossible to sell or market effectively. Both teams need to meet and identify your ideal prospects together based on demographics and behavior. This ensures your marketing team is generating the right type of leads so that your sales team can close at a higher rate.

2. Identify Actions that Represent Sales Readiness

Once you’ve determined what makes a qualified lead, how do you know when a lead is sales ready? Work with your sales team in order to identify what makes a lead sales ready, and also which content is currently assisting in the sales process. Consider closely monitoring page views, email clicked, and conversions to identify sales readiness.

3. Utilize Lead Scoring

One of the best ways for your sales team to separate the good leads from the bad is through lead scoring. This enables you to attach a point value to specific actions performed by your leads or certain demographics that they meet. This ensures that only the most qualified, sales-ready leads are being delivered to your sales team so no time is wasted on the phone.

4. Set an SQL Goal

In order to achieve your business goals on a monthly basis, you’ll need to identify how many SQL’s need to be delivered to your sales team. How many leads do you generate each month? How many become opportunities? Customers? Use these numbers in order to identify how many SQL’s are needed to achieve your business goals.

5. Nurture MQL’s

By now you know that not all leads are sales-ready. This is where marketing comes in. Educate and nurture your marketing qualified leads to help push them down the sales funnel. Utilize workflows to send your leads automated emails based on their interests and activity on your site.

6.Implement a CRM

Implementing a CRM helps track and measure your sales activities. A CRM provides you with easy access to lead intelligence for sales, better sales and marketing alignment, can help sales prioritize your pipeline, as well as help you initiate closed-loop reporting.

7. Integrate Marketing Software and CRM

If you have marketing software and a CRM, you can actually integrate the two, allowing them to talk to each other. By integrating HubSpot and a CRM like Salesforce, not only are the leads automatically entered, it allows lead intelligence to easily pass between them. Known as closed-loop reporting, this allows you to track and identify how leads came to your site, their actions and behaviors and at what point they became a lead.

8. Setup Sales & Marketing Reports

Once you’ve developed your sales and marketing goals, it’s important that you track the progress of your sales and marketing teams against the goals you’ve set for the month.

Your marketing report should include a lead waterfall graph. Your sales report should include two different graphs; one for monitoring your sales teams speed to follow-up with leads and the other monitoring the number of leads that sales is following up with. If you’re not setting up these reports, you won’t know whether sales and marketing are on track to hit their goals. Don’t just set your goals and check them at the end of the month. You should proactively be checking and adjusting your strategies in order to identify problems and address them early.

9. Implement CRM Best Practices

To get the most out of your CRM, it’s essential that your team is fully trained to master the software. Once this is achieved, ensure best practices are followed, which means staying on top of lead statuses, opportunity stages, and all client notes are accurately recorded. This is critical, as accurate information passed between sales and marketing also ensures a more powerful campaign.

10. Open the Lines of Communication

In order to meet your sales and marketing goals for the month, both teams need to continually work together to identify problems in the sales process and where they originate from. Sales knows what closes deals, therefore there should be an open line of communication in order for marketing to adjust their content and overall campaign to assist in the sales process.

Want to see more checklists like this???

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About Carolyn Edgecomb

Before moving into a portfolio management position, Carolyn was a key contributor to the IMPACT blog. (In case you thought she sounded familiar.) Nowadays, as our Community Coordinator, she manages and maintains the logistics of daily, weekly, and monthly operations from a portfolio management perspective to ensure each client, Pod, and the overall Community is performing at an acceptable level. You might call her the queen of post-it notes and organization. With a passion for all things inbound marketing and project management, she is always looking for new ways to improve our client services department. Outside of IMPACT, you'll find her on Pinterest, listening to country music, reading a book or trying out a new recipe.

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