SyncShow B2B Marketing Blog

Effectively Managing Leads – Separation of Marketing and Sales

Today, SyncShow is featuring a third guest post in a series on CRM from one of our partners, InfoGrow. Bob Sullivan offers great insight on how having a CRM system will make your team more effective and more profitable. As a company that runs results-focused lead generation campaigns, we could not agree more. Thanks again for sharing the insight, Bob.

Why, after spending huge sums on generating sales leads, do some companies mismanage those leads? Or, even worse, have no lead management system at all?

My experience shows that, in many cases, faulty lead management stems from company confusion over the basic difference between sales and marketing functions. This uncertainty often results in sales and marketing being grouped together, with sales usually coming out on top and being put in charge of marketing.

When a company becomes sales-focused only, marketing is usually reduced to the role of marketing support. Actually, this equates to sales support, but most marketers won’t admit that. Marketing then does little more than create ads, produce sales brochures and make list purchases.

Big mistake! While sales and marketing need to operate both independently and in concert, for the good of the company as a whole, there is a critical difference between the two functions. When that difference is not recognized, lead management suffers dearly or simply becomes nonexistent.

At the most basic, sales and marketing functions differ in the following ways:

Sales Takes a Short-Term View: This Month

Sales is focused on the present – today – what sells now. Their jobs depend on reaching quotas for the month or quarter. They need to be closing new deals, maintaining key customer accounts, and working on current customer cross- and up-selling opportunities. Anything and everything that helps them generate commissions and immediate company revenue. Sales doesn’t have the time, resources or experience to create and oversee marketing campaigns, generate and qualify leads, or chase after tire kickers. They need to sell now!

Marketing Takes a Long-Term View: This Year

Marketing, on the other hand, is more centered on the longer view. While marketing understands the importance of what sells now, they realize it is far more important to build on who buys now and later. Their jobs depend on providing sales with the right opportunities and tools to sell now and in the future. Real marketing - not sales support - position their companies to identify both current and future opportunities, and enable sales to convert those opportunities into profitable revenue in order to grow the company.

In addition to being responsible for lead management, marketing is often tasked with customer retention. These areas for responsibility shout out for prospect and customer data management. If you want to close the loop on what happens from lead generation through customer, then I suggest giving marketing the ownership of your CRM system. Marketing is the only area that has the vision needed to guide the system and most likely the only group with the attention span to make CRM work.

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