As always your points are well made. When marketing tosses poorly qualified registrants “over the wall”, sales becomes wary of future leads until fully vetted and the separation between church (marketing) and state (sales) continues.
Of course the type of product being sold, length of sales cycle, level of complexity, sales cycle costs, price, etc. all play a part in this dance.
One of the most significant challenges has always been in closing this gap between Marketing and Sales. Sales is charged with delivering on quota; marketing is charged with creating the collateral that you mention and programs or campaigns to generate demand that result in high scoring ready to buy leads.
Sales 2.0 in my mind means that the tools and technology can, when leveraged correctly and collaboratively, close that gap.
I believe a more symptomatic problem is the fact that most folks are still focusing on the specific person who raise their hand with that registration.
Rarely in B2B where the product is complex and the selling/evaluation cycles are long is that single person responsible for the purchase. Typically there are layers of approval and several buying factions who will determine product requirements. Even though most of us know this, sales still phone hounds that individual and marketing cranks up the email offer machine.
When the economic buying power is limited by general market conditions as it is today and both sales and marketing teams are tackling the lead scoring and nurturing process at the specific individual level several things start to happen. Pressure builds for marketing to DELIVER more leads with similar pressure for sales to DELIVER pipeline/revenue.
How many times does the conversation occur where marketing says to sales, “just tell me what you want me to do, what campaigns can I execute in your territory?” and sales says “just give me what you’ve got, calling them is better than calling cold.”
When the Marketing Funnel that you mention is light on “ready to buy” leads, or well nurtured high scoring leads, something has to be passed to pass along to sales even though they are really just registrants.
If the Sales pipeline is light on active evaluation cycles the sales person begins to do their own marketing i.e cold calling, emailing, or they simply pass the pressure along to those that are evaluating products.
In this Sales 2.0 world these two efforts must become unified. In my mind Sales 2.0 does not only mean that we have the tools to Socially Network, Track, Nurture, and Email to discover leads. It also means that we have the tools to discover, detect, and solve likely challenges being faced by our prospects.
From a pure prospecting point of view, I believe that there is significant value in both sales and marketing discussing the campaign trending data particular to an individual target at the company and industry level. This information typically resides in marketing before an individual “lead” is ever identified.
If there is evidence that many people from a specific company or industry are hitting your web site and consuming your collateral offers then that is an indication that the company or industry is looking to solve a problem. If sales and marketing understand who the most active targets are at the prospect company or industry level they can develop and communicate even more pertinent value and actually earn the right of entry to prove to the prospective company that the problem can be solved.
From a marketing perspective they can find more contacts that might be interested in their nurturing educational offers. Sales can focus on discovering specific business issues and decision makers where the product can deliver value. Collaboratively, sales and marketing can create and execute a penetration strategy that is focused and valuable to both the target company and the pursuing vendor.
Even though we operate in a Sales 2.0 environment the Sales 1.0 method of discovering a prospect that has the need to buy and creating a willingness to evaluate your products is still the rule that creates the gold.
Thanks again for the great posts. I enjoyed your book and appreciate your contributions.