Your Third Teammate: How Lead Generation Helps Align Marketing and Sales
For as long as they’ve existed, the marketing and sales departments in most organizations have been a team.
In the digital age—at least theoretically—cooperation between these teammates is even easier. Marketing departments can create appealing, interactive content that identifies interested potential customers with just a few clicks. Then, sales representatives can sweep in to vet those prospects and pipeline them directly into discovery meetings.
Of course, the process is rarely as easy as it sounds. Often, the sheer volume of leads generated this way is simply too vast for a small internal sales team to handle. This can lead to a disconnect between sales and marketing—sometimes, even friction.
In such cases, a third-party lead generation firm like VSA can step in as another teammate. Though we start most of our campaigns from scratch, we’re also more than happy to apply our appointment setting expertise to the cumbersome task of culling through a long list of marketing-qualified leads. Such campaigns are almost guaranteed to produce a high return on investment—and just as importantly, they’re an effective way to get sales and marketing back on the same page.
Here are three recent examples:
1. Engaging a passive audience
A few years ago, VSA partnered with a company that sold software to hospitals and health clinics. At the time, these institutions were being asked to adapt to a slew of new reporting regulations. Our client had produced a white paper that explained what to expect and how to adjust, establishing them as an expert on the topic.
The client’s marketing department collected the contact information of everyone who’d downloaded the white paper. Of course, many of these people weren’t sales-qualified: some didn’t have decision-making power, others didn’t work at healthcare institutions, and some had even clicked on the link by accident.
Sifting through all of these leads would’ve been extremely frustrating for the client’s skilled sales reps—which is why VSA stepped in to do the heavy lifting. We called through the entire list to determine which prospects were both interested and worth pursuing. Ultimately, we were able to take the data collected by marketing and convert it into exactly what the sales team wanted: a steady stream of well-qualified appointments.
2. Driving student enrollment
One of VSA’s clients offers professional development through a series of highly individualized training courses. Their marketing team had created detailed course descriptions, landing pages, and interactive web ads that some potentially interested professionals had engaged with.
They needed VSA’s help, though, to see whose interest was genuine. Our BDRs called through several lists’ worth of these marketing leads, reminding prospects of the course registration deadlines and answering any questions they had. In this way, we helped the client to bridge the gap between merely spreading the word about their course offerings to actually filling seats.
3. Converting from trials to sales
Even when marketing tactics are highly engaging, a lead gen firm like VSA can sometimes step in to give prospects a final push. This was the case with one of our clients who sells highly complex software systems to large manufacturers. The client had offered a trial version of their system to interested companies, the term for which was coming to an end. They needed us to sweep in and gauge the level of satisfaction of the trial users—and, of course, set up sales appointments for those who were interested.
Because prospects were already familiar with our client’s software before agreeing to a discovery call, their sales cycle was able to move faster. That efficiency, however, would’ve been offset by the busy work of calling through their entire trial user list if they hadn’t turned to a trusted lead generation partner for help.
Whether the goal is to set sales appointments, fill seats in a seminar, solicit customer feedback, or something else entirely, that objective will be achieved most successfully when sales and marketing work together as a team.
Sometimes, though, that team needs a third player to truly run the court. With over two decades of lead generation experience, VSA has stepped in to play this role many times, and the results—both financial and operational—are well worth it for our clients.
If you have a need to bring your sales and marketing teams into closer alignment, chances are that we can help. Just let us know where to step in.