Service Level Agreements keep everything on track

Every Marketing Director’s focus is on Lead Generation and Lead Qualification. That’s why I am dedicating our blog post today to this topic.

First and foremost a structured hand-over process is essential for being able to harness and further develop generated leads.
Therefore every lead management system should be based on so-called Service Level Agreements (SLAs), which exactly define what happens with a lead over his various stages, who is in charge of it, and which activities should happen within a certain timeframe. If such agreements are missing, it is nearly impossible to ensure consistent standards for the development of leads.

Find a common denominator for Marketing and Sales

Each and every one of us is aware of the discrepancies between the departments of Marketing and Sales. It is no surprise then that opinions and expectations differ considerably. As a consequence, it is particularly important to have both parties represented in your process definition workshops, and to come to an unanimous decision as to what a “lead who is ready to buy” (the so-called „Marketing Qualified Lead“) really is.

What is the definition of a qualified lead?

Before the implementation of a lead management system, a lead often reaches the stage “qualified” as soon as his name, salutation and email address are known and he can be provided with personalized information. This information however is not sufficient for Sales to find out, if a lead actually wants to buy your product. No conclusion can be drawn as to whether the lead is a potential buyer or perhaps only a prospect.

This is why it is so important to understand the expectation of the Sales team, and commonly agree on the absolute minimum of required information, which eventually should be defined as standard in the SLA.

The next step is to consider how you would like to classify the buying interest of a lead. This can be easily interpreted and activated from the so-called digital body language. Targeted email communication offers good support as it aims at certain activities. Depending on the reaction to it, you as a company can make conclusions regarding the lead’s interest in your product: is there strong or little interest, or has possibly any interest been lost? Usually, the more activities a lead demonstrates, the greater his interest.

Follow-up and Feedback

As soon as a lead has been passed on to Sales, it is essential to initiate an activity within a specified time – whether it is the acceptance of this lead, the creation of an opportunity or the agreement on a follow-up activity. In case the lead can not be accepted by Sales, it is recommended to distinguish between two different paths: further qualification, if the lead is currently not yet ready to buy, or disqualification, if he will never qualify as a future customer.

Find out which marketing solutions can help your marketing team to create personalized, innovative and successful marketing campaigns.

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