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No MQL Left Behind – Alignment Tips & Tactics for a Smooth Handoff to Sales

Our precious, precious, MQLs. We hunt them down, we nurture them up, and, finally, we pass them over to sales. But if an MQL is passed to sales and no one is there to follow up, does it really exist?

Here are some simple tips for making sure the handoff is smooth and the sales and marketing alignment love story has a happy ending.

Black boxes are for planes, not alignment. Make sure that your inside sales team or lead development reps are privy to your lead-scoring methodology. Even if you developed your scoring criteria with sales or sales management, the reps on the front line might be new and/or unaware of why marketing deemed a lead ready to call. Make lead scoring part of this team’s onboarding process and visible whenever possible.

Wow, what a view! Create views in salesforce.com (or your CRM tool) so that your team can see all of their MQLs in one place. So simple, so effective. And whenever you can, teach sales to fish. The better they are at making CRM work for them, the happier they (and you) will be!

Don’t stop automating after the handoff. Create campaigns and follow up cadences with your marketing automation platform so your sales team can drop MQLs into the flow during those happy times when demand outpaces capacity. Delays in follow up can leave opportunities on the table – let sales focus their magic where it’s most needed, and leave the rest to automation.

Listen, but prioritize. Marketo recently published a fantastic blog titled Marketing Operations Triage: The Art of Getting Stuff Done which talks about prioritizing tasks and asks from across your organization. Make sure to consider what has worked in the past, what resources are required and available, and the enthusiasm of the parties involved as your decide what to take on next. Share your reasoning – if sales understands why a project can’t move forward, no one feels ignored.

Finally, get (even) smarter about what you pass to sales. Here at Lattice, we use Predictive Lead Scoring to prioritize what we pass to sales.  Nothing makes marketing and sales align better than leads that convert! Besides a good happy hour, of course…


   Image Credit(s):                blmurch                    

Written by

Jenna Keegan
March 17, 2014