The success of a business relies on its ability to reach prospects and convert them to customers. Most websites see a conversion rate of 2.3%. The way to achieve this is for sales and marketing teams to work together. Unfortunately, many companies operate under a silo mentality, keeping departments separated and working independently from each other. Teams who aren’t willing to share information reduce the efficiency of their efforts and can destroy productivity.
With a disconnect between sales and marketing, each department is running a different side of the sales funnel. This presents a problem when it comes to lead generation, creating major gaps in the transition of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) to sales qualified leads (SQLs). By streamlining the hand-off between MQLs and SQLs, companies can create a more effective conversion process that leads to sales growth and increased revenue.
Understanding the Relationship Between MQLs and SQLs
The marketing team identifies MQLs as people who have shown an interest in your products and are more inclined to make a purchase. These MQLs are typically identified by their behavior and level of engagement. The more frequently they visit your website or download special offers, the more likely they are to become a customer.
An MQL typically meets three main criteria:
- Target personas: MQLs maintain positions of authority with purchase power.
- Firmographics: They are employed by companies who purchase your products.
- Interest level: Through clicks, views, and downloads, MQLs have shown they are interested in your offerings.
From there, the MQL is sent to the sales team. They determine whether the lead is, in fact, ready for the buying cycle. If the answer is yes, then the lead becomes an SQL.
An SQL is someone who:
- Has the budget: They can afford your products
- Holds the authority: They’re qualified to make a purchase decision.
- Has the need: Your products provide a solution to their specific pain points.
- Ready to commit: They’re fully prepared to make a purchase.
SQLs have been warmed by the marketing team and can be contacted by the sales team to answer specific questions and close the sale.
The key to a seamless transition from MQL to SQL occurs after the marketing team has vetted the contact. They must nurture the leads to ensure they deliver them to the sales team at the right time. After all, a lead that is given to the sales team too soon can be a waste of resources if they’re not ready to purchase. Likewise, a lead delivered to the sales team too late can cost the company a sale. It’s at this point in the process where many companies struggle and where gaps between MQLs and SQLs occur.
3 Ways to Bridge the Gap Between MQLs and SQLs
It is up to both the marketing and sales teams to generate business revenue. Often, marketing feels the sales team isn’t capitalizing on their efforts. Meanwhile, the sales team feels the marketing department isn’t delivering high-quality leads. By working together, the departments can benefit from each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Here are three ways these departments can bridge the gap for a seamless MQL to SQL transition.
1. Gain an Understanding of What Each Team Needs
Closing the MQL and SQL gap begins with gaining an understanding of what each team needs to succeed in their role. This can help everyone identify ways both departments can help each other.
Only 35% of salespeople think marketing understands their needs. To be effective, sales teams need quality marketing materials that highlight products and features that will show prospects you’re the solution to their problems. Conversely, marketing teams need feedback from the sales department to understand what pieces are working and what needs to be redesigned for more impact.
The marketing team finds new prospects and gets them interested in your products. The sales team works to persuade people to commit to a purchase. With a better understanding of how teams can support each other, both can be more powerful and more successful.
2. Open Communication Between Groups
Lack of communication among teams is one of the biggest reasons for MQL and SQL gaps. 33% of sales and marketing teams don’t have a regular meeting to touch base and talk about leads they’re working on. A sales team has the experience and first-hand knowledge of what a quality customer looks like. They can share trending characteristics of the ideal prospect, saving marketing time and resources in identifying these people on their own.
Marketing teams can recommend effective tools to help close a sale. They’re aware of communication trends and the best ways to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time. By working together, both teams can help the company reach their shared goals of best lead generation and sales growth.
3. Encourage Feedback from Both Teams
Sales and marketing teams must continue to work together even after MQLs become SQLs. Any time a customer has completed their journey through the marketing-sales funnel, both teams should follow up with each other to discuss final results. These outcomes can reveal patterns that shape the strategy for future marketing and sales efforts. Not only can you then duplicate that process. You can improve upon it for continued success.
This feedback loop can help marketing and sales departments with goal forecasting. Any time there’s a planning session to map out goals for the year, both teams can rely on each other’s feedback to identify what levels of support they can provide the other for higher conversions and increased revenue.
Televerde Provides the Tools You Need for Success
Marketing and sales departments are both working toward the same goal. It only makes sense they would join forces to create a smooth lead generation and conversion process. While it’s important to develop an alignment strategy to grow and compete in new and existing markets, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
Televerde can help you target your prospects to identify their needs and help channel them through the marketing-sales funnel accurately and efficiently. Your sales and marketing teams will have the resources they need to collaborate for higher conversions and ultimate success.
Ready to start driving results? See Televerde Resources and Events Hub’s webinars, resources, and tools to help you succeed.