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How marketing can help make sales more productive

How marketing can help make sales more productive

One of the biggest lead generation mistakes that many companies make is poor alignment between sales and marketing.

When marketing and sales teams work in silos and fail to collaborate, neither side can work effectively. It takes both departments to generate and close qualified leads.

In this post, we’re sharing seven tips to help you align your sales and marketing departments to make your lead generation efforts more effective, including:

  1. Make sure sales and marketing are aligned
  2. Establish lead qualification benchmarks
  3. Add qualifying questions to your sign-up forms
  4. Create buyer personas
  5. Clean up your CRM data
  6. Automate routine sales administrative tasks
  7. Review marketing and sales metrics on a regular basis

Make sure sales and marketing are aligned

This is almost too obvious to include, but great communication is crucial for any team — especially for sales and marketing departments.

To increase productivity, we recommend setting up regular calls or meetings between sales and marketing to uncover what is and isn’t working.

In addition to regular calls, you should also create and send out regular reports that are shared with both the sales and marketing departments. You can take this a step further by having at least one or two joint metrics.

Establish lead scoring benchmarks 

If marketing is incentivized to send over as many leads as possible and sales is incentivized by the quality of the leads and the likelihood for a deal to close, then this can create a major disconnect.

You don’t want your sales team to spend a bunch of time vetting poor quality leads that marketing sent over, which are unlikely to buy your product or service.

To prevent this, marketing and sales teams should work together to determine what a marketing qualified lead, or MQL, looks like.

Teams should ask the following questions about a lead:

  • Do they have a budget?
  • Do we know what their needs are?
  • Do they know they have a problem? And if so, are they actively looking for a solution? 
  • Does your product or service solve their problem? 

Marketing and sales teams that answer these questions together will have a better understanding of what a qualified lead looks like and can potentially offer insights that the other department hadn’t thought of.

This is the kind of data that you should be taking into account with your lead scoring benchmarks.

Check out this detailed lead generation guide with additional tips on how to generate high-quality leads. 

Add qualifying questions to your sign-up forms 

When the prospect fills out their contact details, ask for additional qualifying data besides their name and email address. Additional qualifying questions may include the company size, website, estimate budget, etc.

While having more form fields can reduce your overall conversion rate on your form, you can use this additional information to score leads. This will save your sales team from spending all of their time on unqualified prospects.

Create buyer personas

Customer personas are essentially profiles of your ideal customer(s) that can help you understand what your prospect values, their top pain points, and how they find and consume information. This ensures that your marketing messaging resonates.

If you are not sure who your target customer is, this post on defining your target audience is a great starting point.

Clean up your CRM data

If you use a CRM, then you know how messy and unorganized it can get if you don’t have solid sales administrative systems and processes in place. There can be duplicate information, forgotten manual entries, fields not properly filled out, and a bunch of old contacts and deals cluttering up your CRM.

When using a CRM platform, take a couple of hours out of each month to clean out your system. Look for errors and correct them early on before they become a bigger problem. It’s going to be tricky to revisit leads if notes haven’t been entered, and you don’t know if the prospect was ever emailed or called.

Automate routine sales administrative tasks

Sales tools — especially CRMs and proposal software — can greatly improve productivity by automating the process and removing more tedious, time-consuming work.

In fact, the average salesperson spends less than 36% of their time selling.

Automating any routine tasks that a salesperson does over and over again can free up a ton of time. Here are a few examples of tasks that can be automated:

  • Eliminate all of the back-and-forth emails to schedule a sales call with a tool, such as Calendly. 
  • Create a sales proposal template.  
  • Set up sales playbooks with common objections as well as call and email scripts.  

Review marketing and sales metrics on a regular basis 

To make your team more productive, you need to understand where your sales activities are currently. CRM dashboards are great tools for this. They can help you measure key performance indicators (KPIs) like the number of new MQLs each week or average time to close a new deal. You can narrow this down to the company as a whole or individual sales reps.

Staying on top of the data will allow you to make improvements on a regular basis. 

In conclusion

With everything you do to improve the productivity of your sales and marketing teams, it’s important to remember to celebrate the wins. Not just the big contracts that are landed, but the little wins that make both teams more efficient and effective. Taking a moment to acknowledge the wins makes for a more collaborative work environment and helps boost morale, ultimately leading to bigger results (and more sales).

Briana Strauss

Briana Strauss

Briana is the partnership marketing manager at JotForm, where she spends her time building relationships with other exciting SaaS companies. When she's not in the office, she loves going to a yoga class and running along the Embarcadero in San Francisco.

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