Marketing automation allows you to reach out to and nurture interested prospects on a mass scale without having to employee a large team to perform the outreach. However, converting inbound leads into sales qualified leads and customers requires a more personal touch. Sales teams rarely have the bandwidth to manage the number of leads generated from marketing automation and at times these leads will be very early in the buying process. What’s the solution when there are “too many leads” and not enough resources to properly nurture them? Surprisingly, it’s a marketing tool that predates marketing automation by decades: teleprospecting.
With marketing automation guiding the way we market to, qualify, and convert leads, it’s becoming all the more important that customers receive the personal touch needed at the right time in the buying cycle. We know that in a complex sale, deals will not be closed by email alone; prospects will eventually speak with someone directly. In an attempt to ensure that all leads receive a live touch, too many inbound marketing leads are passed directly to sales, where they end up receiving ill-timed attention or sitting in large, difficult to manage silos of undeveloped leads.
SiriusDecisions recommends that, rather than sending warm leads to sales, marketing teams engage teleprospecting as the next step in the complex sales cycle to streamline the qualification processes, improve prospect experiences, and create a more unified, successful partnership between marketing and sales.
Teleprospecting to inbound marketing leads makes sense for a few reasons:
- Inbound marketing leads have already engaged with your company, and may have provided information on their interest, and how and when they prefer to be contacted.
- Inbound marketing leads have utilized a wealth of online resources, and are educated on high-level information regarding your products or services; they will welcome an opportunity to receive more detailed, personalized information.
- Teleprospecting resources are easier to obtain than sales resources, allowing you to introduce yourself at just the right time and show the prospect that your company is organized, accommodating, and considerate of their time.
- Your sales team will be able to concentrate on prospects that are further down the funnel, giving them the opportunity to close more deals.
- Teleprospecting, when used in the correct phase of a complex sales cycle, provides a much-needed filter for the majority of inbound marketing leads. Sales reps are unburdened from the cold and warm leads that distract them from addressing “bottom of the funnel” leads, and prospects benefit from a one-on-one conversation at just the right point in their decision-making process.
Nurturing and developing leads with a live touch allows you to build a relationship with your prospects prior to them being sent to your sales team. Providing your sales team with more qualified leads saves them time, saves your company money and improves the working relationship between marketing and sales.