Understanding the industrial marketing sales handoff
At the risk of acerbating the tensions between marketing and salespeople further, I want to discuss the industrial marketing sales handoff. In the thirty plus years I have been in marketing, I have witnessed the blame game that goes on between these two critical areas of new business development, Marketing blames sales for not capitalizing on leads and sales blames marketing on producing unqualified leads. I will try to be as unbiased as possible.
Industrial marketing sales roles
This may seem a no-brainer, but to realize where the industrial marketing sales handoff takes place you need to be able to delineate the roles of marketing team and sales team. Here’s a brief description. Marketing develops the strategy (with from sales input), implements the lead generation campaign, gathers the leads, and creates the marketing material. Sales processes leads through the sales program.
Blurring the handoff
From the previous paragraph, the roles seem easy to define and enact. Where the industrial marketing sales handoff gets fuzzy is who does what with the leads. While marketing gathers the leads to give to sales, it should also start what I call the “keep in contact” campaign. This program keeps in regular contact with leads that aren’t ready to purchase. This campaign could involve scheduled e-bulletins, social media, or direct mail. When the sales team has the leads, they begin the sales process of initial contact, analysis, presentations, quotes, and closing the sale. It is the contact with leads that the lines between sales and marketing can overlap. Because you don’t want to bombard prospects, follow the contact schedule you establish.
And to complicate matters further, salespeople often work on generating their own leads through prospecting and networking. Again, to avoid annoying potential customers, coordinate these efforts between sales and marketing.
This is the area where the blame game between sales and marketing starts. But it shouldn’t. Essentially, marketing should be held accountable for the effectiveness of the strategy that builds a company’s brand and generates leads, as well as providing the sales and marketing material. It is sales job is to nurture those leads through the sales process to a win new business. However, as I stated earlier, finger pointing between marketing and sales can begin when goals aren’t met. If you focus on what each team’s metrics, it makes it simple to know where accountability lies. When you define each of the team’s goals and responsibilities, you can understand where the industrial marketing sales handoff occurs to betterevaluate the performance of the marketing and sales teams.
About the Author
Paul Kowalski (or Pappy as he is called around the office) spent over two decades working at other agencies before opening Conach Marketing Group in 2008. The early part of his career was working with Fortune 500 clients at different agencies. However, working with smaller clients was his preference. This choice was because of the impact on a client’s business growth and the forming closer, personal relationships.
When he was creating Conach, his goal was to bring those Fortune 500 strategies along with years of B2B marketing experience to small business marketing clients. As a result of years of focusing on business to business marketing, Conach specializes in construction marketing, financial marketing, and industrial marketing. Even though we are in Mid-