The Pareto Principle states that for many events 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes – the 80-20 rule.
While trying not to sound like a regurgitation of an old Economics’ professor the Pareto Principle can be aptly applied to our sales pipeline – generally speaking 80% of our revenue comes from 20% of our leads. But what does that really mean?
In essence, this means that within the volumes of leads found by the marketing team each day only 20% of these, when followed up by the sales team, will come into fruition as notably profitable leads loading our pipeline. A disheartening statistic?
Knowing that such a principle exists doesn’t mean we have to be bound by it. In fact, if we know and understand the parameters and reach of our sales and marketing teams we can capitalise on this information, using it to load our pipelines with much more valuable leads.
We know that the leads that make up that 20% are quality leads so what’s to stop you from identifying what makes them so valuable and spending future efforts on finding more leads of equal quality?
Go for Quality over Quantity
Traditionally, the sales and marketing teams of an organisation have always been seen as two separate entities and most often with a slight disconnection. In recent years more and more organisations have seen the benefits of brining these two teams into alignment; if not combining them.
The marketing department serves to create a want for the brand within the target audience; creating awareness, interest and credibility – engaging with potential customers during the beginning stages of their buyers journey. It is the role of the sales department to journey with these leads to the final stages where they become fully realised customers.
Getting high quality leads does not require the marketing department to increase their content output or expand their reach. For all that would achieve would be a higher number of potential leads for the sales team to sift through in order to find those that match the criteria of their golden 20%.
Communication is key! Constant feedback and co-ordination between the sales and marketing teams is vital for successful lead generation. While there is no universal definition as to what qualifies as a lead and then sub categorises it as ‘sales ready’ or ‘requiring nurturing.’ It is essential that both teams within the organisation are unified on their understanding of what qualifies a lead and is able to distinguish between one which is ready for sales talk and one which needs a little more nurturing.
In order to pack your pipeline successfully with more leads of the same quality as the golden 20% both Sales and Marketing should be clear on what qualities and characteristics should be identified throughout the marketing process before a lead is passed on to the sales team – Marketing Qualified Leads.
Despite how highly qualified these MQLs are, not all will progress much farther along the sales cycle and so each will go through a further screening process conducted by the sales team to become Sales Qualified Leads.
Closing the Gap between MQLs and SQLs
It is the dawn of the SMarketing era and numerous organisations are taking the steps to align their Sales and Marketing teams in order to drive results and increase the number and quality of the leads generated.
To generate a successful campaign INCo must become as integrated into our clients own Sales and Marketing team as possible. The SMarketing that exists within our client’s organisations must extend to include INCo. This means that, together we have to understand the goals of an organisation and how it hopes to achieve them; allowing us to seamlessly integrate our services and expertise into the over arching business strategy.
To produce high quality leads for our clients we have to understand what qualities, characteristics, needs and opportunities they are looking for. We have to understand from their Sales teams which are the definable characteristics of the leads that make up their golden 20% - just as any successful Sales and Marketing team would have to establish.
At INCo we routinely enter into discussions with our clients about the types of opportunities we are locating for them and this information is compiled into a document we call the LQC – Lead Qualification Criteria. Using this framework we ensure we are bridging the gap between MQLs and SQLs – allowing our clients to load their pipeline with high quality leads.
Bridging the gap between SQLs and MQLs can be a difficult process and one that is only made easier when Sales and Marketing are working with the same goals in mind. Combining the Sales and Marketing teams into a singular SMarketing team can be no easy feat - see how we SMarket, here at INCo.