Below is a list of the primary processes in Sales and Marketing that the two departments need to align and keep aligned over time. These processes exist at some level of maturity and sophistication in every company, whether formalized and documented, or informal and ad hoc. They are seldom equally shared. If Sales and Marketing are not working as partners to create and manage these processes, the revenue engine cannot operate at full potential.
These processes, and those in other departments that impact Sales effectiveness, are the subject of a white paper, “The Internal Forces that Empower or Impair Sales”, which provides critical reading for any sales executive who spends too much time lobbying inside his company for better support.
- Funnel stage definition: defining the buyer’s journey and designing the sales funnel stages correspondingly.
- Lead qualification and scoring: defining at what stage in the funnel a contact becomes a marketing-qualified lead and then a sales-qualified lead.
- Forecasting and reporting: a forecast is supported by the funnel metrics; these metrics are impacted jointly by Sales and Marketing.
- Lead nurturing: communicating with contacts and leads in the funnel in such a way that they advance through the stages efficiently.
- Lead recycling: when to return stalled leads back to Marketing and how to apply further nurturing.
- Customer retention and growth: how Marketing and Sales work to keep and grow customers.
- Market requirements: the way Marketing taps Sales for input to the market requirement document.
- Strategic account planning: the way Sales taps Marketing for support with strategic account identification and development.
- Quarterly planning: jointly developing and tracking revenue-generation plans and campaigns.
- Content and collateral development: how Marketing works with Sales to define and deliver the right sales tools.