How Sales Prospecting Can Influence Lead Generation

Lead Generation and Sales Prospecting

As a sales and/or marketing leader, you probably feel the overwhelming pressure to hit various metrics and targets each quarter. If you’re in this position, then it’s safe to say that lead generation pushes and pulls just about everything that you do. On top of that, we can also assume that your sales team works somewhat separate from your marketing team. That’s pretty common, unfortunately. However, wouldn’t it be great if both of these initiatives could align? What if sales prospecting could truly influence your b2b lead generation campaigns?

To some, this seems like a foreign subject. It’s hard enough to imaging sales and marketing working together, now we’re talking about sales reps helping marketing’s success? On the contrary. It may seem obvious, but the results of a successful marketing campaign are shared with the sales team, and when the sales team hits their goal, the marketing department received attribution for all the work they’ve done. Sales and marketing really do work hand-in-hand.

Sales Prospecting 101

Okay, so let’s start with one question: “What is prospecting?” You’re go to answer probably encompasses a mixture of phone calls, emails, and general account management, right? Well, that’s a good start. It’s easy for sales leaders to get wrapped up in the all-consuming task known as “sales activity.” The thought process usually goes something like this: “If you make X number of phone calls, and send X number of emails, then you’ll be on track to hit your goal.” That’s just not how modern-day sales works anymore. Not to attack any leader who follows that equation, but it’s worth exploring what “activity” really means.

Prospecting should be strategic. Even if you’re managing low tier accounts. Honestly, even if you’re an SDR. There should be a clear goal for each account your reps have, and every time they look at that account, they should be working towards that goal. We actually have a great blog that talks all about what it looks like to send the “perfectly crafted sales email.” As a sales leader, it’s your job to guide your sales reps prospecting activity towards strategic goals and checkpoints that all lead to an inevitable sale.

Sales Reps Owning Lead Generation

Now that we’ve covered how prospecting can be strategic; how can your sales reps own a piece of the overarching lead generation puzzle? As a manager of lead/demand generation, you more than likely have a set strategy for each campaign you’re running. This means you have knowledge of the challenges you’re looking to address in your various emails, ads, etc. These challenges, and the data that backs them up, can actually be shared with the sales team. Chances are, those sales reps have certain accounts that are struggling with similar challenges, or even thought processes, and your marketing data and information can help them create more personalized engagements.

Personalization is key in this approach. If you can enable the sales team to speak more relevantly to their key accounts and clients, then you’ll see a faster turnaround for leads making it through the pipeline. In turn, creating more sales pipeline, and eventual ROI. This process comes with its own share of challenges though.

  • First off, you’ll want to make sure you’ll want to make sure you have some sort of intent data filtering.
  • Second, the data you provide to the sales team should be enriched with research ahead of time.
  • Lastly, you’ll want to work with sales management to set up tracking within their CRM to make sure you’re receiving data from their prospecting in return.

Marketing and Demand Generation Attribution

This might all seem like a lot of work to you, and if you’ve never done some of demand generation research previously, then it probably will be a heavy lift in the beginning. However, the returns on this type of thinking can be instrumental to the overall demand generation success. There are just some things that a salesperson can do/ get away with, that a marketer can’t. Marketers don’t have time in their day to manually send personalized emails or LinkedIn messages, but a sales rep can. This is why it’s so important to set up an attribution tracking to these activities; but how?

Regular meetings between marketing and sales leaders can be structured around providing insight on the accounts that have benefited from marketing data. On top of that, new strategies can be created to help the salespeople reach their accounts more effectively. In order to make sure all of this work isn’t a waste of your time; you’ll want to track and onboard these accounts into your marketing automation as well (if they’re not already in there). Now you have strategically prospected and nurtured data that you can create follow-up campaigns for, in supplement to what the sales team is doing.

Final Thoughts

Sales and Marketing can work in tandem. It may seem impossible sometimes, however, if you can present a strategy that is designed to benefit both parties, it can really help with alignment. Testing out various targeting and filtering for this process is also highly recommended, as you’ll want to work towards maximizing engagement for both sales and marketing initiatives.