Post: The Marketing to Sales Handoff


The Marketing to Sales Handoff

Posted on 2020-05-12

What is the point at which marketing activity becomes sales activity? Optimizing that interchange is the key to getting the most sales from your marketing.

Marketing is all about generating leads. Sales is about monetizing those leads. Some less-inspired sales people confuse the word “leads” with the word “orders” but this is only wishful thinking. Order taking is the last step in a successful sales process that should be designed to include many parts.

We had a European client who wished to distribute their very successful products in the United States. They were not interested in selling the product directly. This was a difficult marketing problem which we solved in a matter of weeks. We generated six viable distribution leads with a precisely targeted display ad campaign using Google Ads. When our client complained about the poor results we were shocked. We followed up on the leads ourselves and found that all of them were still waiting to be contacted by the manufacturer. One or two of these distributors said that they’d received an unusual voicemail that may have been from the manufacturer. They were not sure.

What was wrong with that sales process?

Lack of follow-up. Leaving one voicemail and expecting your prospect to get back to you is another example of wishful thinking not but in no way represents any kind of effective sales process.

A technique our clients have found helpful involves asking your leads for more information about what brought them to you. Keeping track of this in a simple spreadsheet can show you a lot about how much your online presence leads to telephone calls, manual emails or, in the case of brick-and-mortar businesses, walk-ins. Of course if you have a more sophisticated CRM (customer resource management) system it can be configured to track the details of all interactions. Frequently the key missing element, however, is identifying the process. Only after identifying what it is that you will track will you be able to ask prospects relevant questions on a consistent basis.

Once you are tracking your leads you will be able to define your sales funnel. This will eventually give you the realistic closing times for sales by marketing channel. This number will not be five minutes in most cases.

Google has made available statistics that show the relationship between types of ad campaigns, the number of investigative inquiries made by buyers and various vertical markets. In general, text ads in Google Ads have several “hot spots” in the buying process but especially when close to a buying decision. Display ads are influential earlier in the buying process rather than later.