Fact 1 - Marketing qualified leads are baselines to measure marketing efficiency.

The Marketing funnel is a measure of investment versus return and defines the stages and processes involved in this journey of translating effort to results. The Sales Funnel shows how large volumes of leads entering the system get narrowed down as time goes on.

In the traditional Sales Funnel, which is basic and is focused on showing the transformation of leads to customers, a company drives various marketing campaigns to bring in interested Leads. Then, Sales takes over to find opportunities (purchase intent). The Leads which show interest are sent proposals and quotes and if the offerings meet their needs, the prospects, who have so far traversed the funnel, become the new customers for the company.

Websites started playing a crucial role in lead generation when Internet marketing became popular. Determining the source of the visitors, their level of engagement with the content on the site, their reaction to different calls to action on the site and their interaction with the company (via form fill or request form before the sale is made) became qualifiers which decide if a Lead is worthy of entering the Sales Funnel.
Marketing until now has always been considered as a cost centre, not playing an active role in primary lead generation efforts.  However, the entry of Marketing Automation platforms have ensured that companies are able to measure the ROI for their marketing activities, and marketing can stake a claim on part of the revenue.  ‘Marketing Qualified lead Rate’ will become a relevant measure for marketing efficiency and success, both from a marketing initiative perspective and from marketing’s ability to effectively screen out low potential contacts.

Fact 2 – Lead Generation is a Marathon; Marketing Automation makes it a Sprint.

A key reason for the Sales-Marketing disconnect is that companies are losing huge amounts of money because of a misalignment within their organizations. Today, there is a huge increase in the number of channels marketing uses for creating brand awareness and for generating leads.  Despite this, there is a visible shortfall in the number of quality leads generated by the marketing team. A difference in perceptions is where the divide between Sales and Marketing starts.

The Sales and Marketing disconnect largely reduces the effectiveness of the marketing campaigns and the efficiency of Sales’ efforts to pursue and close deals. Therefore, Marketing Automation makes lead management a real-time collaborative process. Here, the communication process is two-way where Sales provides input to help Marketing optimize its campaigns and, Marketing runs targeted campaigns to drive quality leads.

Marketing automation software platforms provide a solution for resolving the sales and marketing split and keeps both happy by ensuring a sales funnel full with qualified leads.

Used optimally, marketing automation can actually deliver extraordinary results in a short time-frame. Also, it significantly shortens the time between lead generation and lead closure because it recognizes the buying process as a group activity and hence takes into account all activities by an enterprise at different times before qualifying them as a ‘sales ready lead’.

Also read on - Lead nurturing software, Lead scoring

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