10 questions you should ask your marketing team to improve sales performance

Posted by Daryn Smith on 12 June 2013 | Comments


The marketing activities that are taking place within a company have a direct impact on the performance of a sales team. If your marketing team is not doing the correct marketing, you will probably find yourself looking for ways to improve sales performance.

When a sports team is not performing, the coach is replaced – sales and marketing can be compared to this. If marketing are not providing the correct tools to the sales team, they need to replace them with better tools.

Here are 10 questions that you should ask your marketing team in order to evaluate whether any of the tools they are providing need to change.

1. How many qualified leads did marketing generate from that ad/event/activity?

Every time a marketing campaign is run, the marketing team should know how many qualified leads (those that are ready to buy) were generated from the campaign and from which channel. That way, next time they run a campaign they will know which channels to focus their efforts on. If they do not know this, they are running campaigns blindly and wasting budget.

2. What is the cost of acquiring a new qualified lead?

If you are spending more money on acquiring a new qualified lead than you can make from them should they become a customer, then you are running at a loss. Your marketing team should be able to divide all marketing costs by all qualified leads and as a result, know exactly how much it costs to acquire a lead, and then ultimately, how much it costs to acquire a new customer.

3. What impact did marketing have on the leads in the sales funnel?

Marketing need to support the sales team in their efforts to close deals. Providing relevant content such as presentations, whitepapers, case studies and proposal templates can assist. Other things that help are inviting prospects to events and including them in direct marketing campaigns. But all of this should form part of a calculated programme and marketing should be able to identify the effects of their actions on specific leads so they can credit this to themselves and demonstrate the ROI of marketing.

4. What is marketing doing to sell more to existing customers?

If your product or service is usage based, there should be marketing campaigns in place that encourage more usage of the solution. And if your company sells more than one product or service there should be campaigns in place that attempt to sell additional products or services to your existing customer base. Once again though, the marketing team should know exactly how much they are spending on these campaigns so they can measure the success of their efforts.

5. What collateral is available for each stage of the buying process?

Buyers need different types of information at different stages of their buying process, for example at the beginning they are still researching solutions to their challenge and need educational content, but just before they make a buying decision they may want technical specifications of a product. Many companies only have a single brochure and maybe one or two other supporting documents for each product or service they sell, but they should rather have multiple pieces of collateral that address each stage of the buying process.

6. Is there a way to convert the anonymous visitors on our website to leads?

As most people do research before making an enquiry, they will probably visit your website and your competitors website at some stage. If you have a way of capturing their details before they are ready to make an enquiry, you are able to increase the chances that they will buy from you. You can use demand generation techniques to do this.

7. What marketing innovations are you reviewing?

Marketing is continually evolving to keep up with changing ways people buy, innovations in technology and changing laws. There are new marketing channels launched everyday, and your marketing team should be trying some of them, what they are doing now may work, but in 6 months time it may not work anymore. You could also change the question around and ask what are the hottest new marketing trends; hopefully they do not answer social media or big data, as these are very old now!

8. Is the marketing team comfortable adopting a sales target?

This is the ultimate test to see if they believe in the marketing campaigns they are doing. If they know the marketing they do has a positive impact on sales performance, they will be comfortable adopting a sales target.

9. Does marketing know how many leads we need to come in to reach our sales target?

Sales and marketing is a numbers game, only a percentage of leads we find will become customers. After several years of existence, a company should know how many leads need to enter their sales pipeline in order for them to make their target. The marketing team should be able to break that number down by quarter, month, week and day – knowing exactly how many leads they need to find on a daily basis. Agile marketing teams can then adjust their campaigns if they are running below the required levels.

10. Does are target market love the marketing we are creating?

There are many unscrupulous ways to find new customers, such as spamming a database of contacts with email or text messages that you bought – it may bring you leads immediately, but eventually every potential customer will end up hating you. Your marketing should be creating advocates, and when these people share your marketing with their networks, you reach even more people. That should be the aim of every piece of marketing material ever created by a company.

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Author: Daryn Smith

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