How Organizations Manage the Pipeline from Lead to Sale
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Closely aligning marketing and sales is essential to creating a productive new business pipeline. As this chart demonstrates, many marketing and sales organizations are collaborating at the shallow end of the pool " by mutually engaging in best practices like defining what a sales-ready lead is " but few are diving deeper to make the pipeline flow in both directions.
This two-way flow requires feedback from the sales organization about leads that are not ready for conversion. This feedback results in highly effective practices like the closed-loop tracking of leads from source to conversion. A pipeline flowing in both directions can also enable a process for sales to hand leads back to marketing for re-engagement and continued nurturing; creating opportunities for the sales force to pursue again in the future when timing is optimal.
Lead scoring has also become a very important factor in the effectiveness of a marketing-to-sales process. 44% of organizations today have a system for rating leads, often in simple descriptive terms, such as "qualified" or "warm". But as rating systems evolve, the characteristics used to determine a leadís "score" rapidly increase. Many scoring systems have become overly complex, often discouraging both marketing and sales from using them diligently.