COVID-19 Update

The Real Cost of Legacy Marketing Practices

lisa cramer leadlife headshot 60wBy Lisa Cramer, President and Co-Founder of LeadLife Solutions

It's a challenging time from a sales and marketing perspective. Buyers have changed their process when purchasing products and services. Accordingly, the leverage in the equation between sellers and buyers has changed. Even the sales process has changed.

lisa cramer leadlife headshot 150w copyBy Lisa Cramer, President and Co-Founder of LeadLife Solutions

It's a challenging time from a sales and marketing perspective. Buyers have changed their process when purchasing products and services. Accordingly, the leverage in the equation between sellers and buyers has changed. Even the sales process has changed.

Yet many in charge of sales haven't acknowledged it, or are afraid to pull back from old ways. What legacy exists within your current marketing/sales process and what is that legacy really costing your organization? Learn how you can change your sales and marketing process to improve efficiencies and stop the leakage through lead nurturing.

Most often, the marketing and sales disciplines span multiple departments. Therefore, certain elements of lead management within each department might be optimized and efficient, but the entire process that spans these departments is not. And, even more enlightening is this: When you crunch numbers on the amount of money spent for lead generation (and really, for all of demand generation), and the money spent on maximizing the sales team’s effectiveness and process, it’s incredible this inefficiency hasn’t bubbled up to the top of every CEO’s agenda.

Most companies have concentrated their efforts strictly within the sales discipline – the sales process, team and methodology – all of which are critical to overall sales success. But while optimizing these components for your business is indeed crucial to higher performing sales teams, it is no longer enough. With the buyer shift that has occurred, the very beginning of sales – marketing – must also shift. In essence, the entire lead generation to revenue process also must be modified.

This costly process has two main components, which we will address. Within these two main areas, we’ll focus on what’s happening now (old, legacy) and what should be done as part of a new approach:

  • Marketing Effectiveness

Old – Volume based. Most marketers are measured based on the volume of “leads” they generate. I put “leads” in quotes because the reality is that most of these contacts are not leads at all, but inquiries or suspects. This means that lead generation dollars and resources are being spent getting as many impressions and click-throughs as possible without any regard to the impact those lead generation dollars have on actual sales.

New – Quality based. Marketers need to stop focusing on quantity and start analyzing the quality of what they are generating. In other words, are the leads worthy of a salesperson’s call? If not, marketing needs to find a way to nurture them further until they are, and if they’re still not ripe, reclaim them until they are ready to engage at some point in the future.

Old – No visibility beyond opens and clicks. Most marketers have had visibility into website analytics and email metrics for some time. But these metrics are rarely ever enough to determine a lead’s readiness or to provide a continuous view of a lead’s evolution over time.

New – Full visibility beyond opens and clicks. With today’s technology, marketers are now able to track much more – from anonymous site visits through to full lead interaction over time. They can see what specific pages the lead views and for how long as helpful indicators of interest and intent. Such capabilities enable marketers to distinguish between leads with potential interest and real, ready prospects.

Old - Not about business metrics. Marketers have traditionally been satisfied with their performance as long as they generate X number of “leads” and get a click-through rate of 3%. They’ve never really been held accountable for campaign ROI, or the number of deals closed based on leads generated.

New – Focus on business metrics. Now, through technology, marketers have the tracking ability to determine campaign ROI, the number of sales-ready leads generated per campaign, pipeline stage by campaign, and much more.

  • Sales Effectiveness

Old - Number of activities. Salespeople are focused on activities, specifically outbound calls, with the thinking that the more calls made to prospects, the more sales that are made – right? While that might have been true when people still picked up the phone because they needed to talk to a salesperson for information, that’s just no longer the case. With the plethora of information now available online, prospects won’t take a call until they are ready.

New - Focus time on high-return activities. These days, sales should be focusing not on the volume of calls they make, but on making the right calls. And going back to marketing: If marketers are doing their jobs by nurturing leads and identifying ready prospects, sales will know which calls are the right ones to make. The point here is to increase sales productivity by focusing expensive sales resources on high-return leads.

Old – Never count on marketing. Salespeople have traditionally been wary about relying on marketing to meet their numbers as far as lead generation is concerned.  And that’s understandable based on the lack of quality leads they often received.

New – Hold marketing accountable. Assuming marketing is given the needed resources (lead management technology, staff/support, etc.), sales should hold marketing accountable for providing good quality leads. Additionally, through better online tracking and visibility, salespeople should be gaining additional intelligence into what a lead did digitally, what emails were sent, what forms were filled in and more to assist in the selling process.

If your marketing to sales (lead management) process has not been reviewed for some time, you might want to take a look. Most likely, it is highly inefficient and very costly. What once used to work with regard to sales productivity and optimizing revenue is no longer the case. The buy cycle has changed and your lead management process must adapt accordingly, as well. It’s a very attainable objective that can be accomplished with small, digestible steps that will ultimately maximize your lead generation dollars and increase sales productivity.

Lisa Cramer is President and Co-Founder of LeadLife Solutions, a provider of an on-demand lead management solution that helps drive revenue by bundling a state of the art marketing automation platform with highly-experienced marketing and sales specialists. In 2009 and 2010, Lisa was recognized as one of the top five “Most Influential People” in sales lead management, and in 2011 was named one of the Top 20 Women to Watch in sales lead management.  For more information on lead management or best practices call 1-800-680-6292 or email