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As the year ends, many organizations are analyzing their wins and losses to determine areas for improvement. So, where can leadership focus resources to increase wins before 2023?

In the 2022 Sales Mastery study, researchers Barry Trailer and Jim Dickie examine the latest in sales challenges. Their findings uncover actionable solutions any organization can implement to improve processes and up success rates.

Arguably the most shocking of insights came at the very start of the funnel and before, as sellers are getting in the game.

While business development reps and salespeople remain the largest source of leads, marketing generated leads came in at second place.

However, only 11% of respondents reported high satisfaction with their marketing team while the majority were disappointed with overall marketing leads – a whopping 57% felt they were unacceptable or in need of improvement.

A glance at the 11% with overall marketing satisfaction reported lead conversion rates well over 50%. Their secret? Clear ownership and defined qualification. Thus, imperative is the identification and continuous development of service level agreements defining the qualities of a lead as it travels the funnel, clearly identifying marketing to sales handoff.

So, what exactly makes for exceptional marketing lead handoff?

Upon establishing definitions, asserting a timeframe ensures salespeople understand and complete their tasks at each stage in the buyer’s journey.

As any seasoned sales leader knows, time kills deals, and Trailer and Dickie saw one organization which gave a salesperson a mere 24 hours to initiate contact before re-assigning to another. This tactic ensured no leads went cold at any stage in the journey.

Additionally, these strategies pave the way for identification of buyer intent. By defining qualifying actions, buying triggers are revealed. Thus, when a contact takes an action with warranted follow up, use buyer intent data to implement respectful and intelligent outreach.

For instance, if a buyer attends one of your events after a few months cold, use both their previous and present intent data to determine outreach which matches their interests.

Organizations can create triggers engaging in the space with which your buyers exist. In the 2021 State of Buyer and Seller Engagement Report, respondents listed subject matter experts (SME), online business communities, and industry events as most vital to choosing solutions for business problems.

Monitoring these spaces with which your buyer interacts allows a seller to interface with buyers in a trusted environment. However, understanding what your buyer’s process looks like before engaging in a sales discussion is key in building trust.

In the eyes of the modern buyer, credibility is measured by influence, and with salespeople ranked ninth on a buyer’s list of resources, elevating trust begins with establishing your salespeople as SMEs.

To improve salesperson individualism and brand credibility, one organization used AI to generate a personalized news bank of articles, social cards, suggested copy, and tags dispersed to their salespeople daily, equipping them with the resources to rise industry experts.

Enabling your team with the tools to sell at every stage is crucial, but thought leadership development remains #1 in lead conversion, from getting in the game, to winning it.

Read the full report for a look at the other eight critical challenges facing today’s industry leaders, identified in the Sales Mastery 2022 Sales Performance Scorecard.

 

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