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Growth Insights

4 Signs You Are Leaking Revenue

9/24/19 9:30 AM / by Jennifer Aplin


Are there gaps in your sales and marketing processes that are wasting time and money?

Are there gaps in your sales and marketing processes that are wasting time and money?

Growth-minded companies consistently seek ways to increase their revenue and reduce their costs.  But what’s preventing them from reaching their revenue and growth potential? This question keeps everyone from C Level to marketing and sales teams up at night. Both customer expectations and business practices are rapidly shifting and companies are trying to effectively get on board with that shift. But are we looking in the right places? There are some common process gaps where revenue may not be fully realized. You may be at risk if you answer “no” to some or all of these questions: 

  1. Do you have a lead scoring strategy?
  2. Do you have a lead qualification process?
  3. Are sales & marketing aligned, as a team, to address qualified leads?
  4. Are your marketing and CRM connected to enable reliable reporting & forecasting? 

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then that’s a big sign that you’re leaving revenue on the table.

“89 per cent of CMOs expect to be responsible for customer experience by 2020 according to our research.  And with marketing taking on more responsibility for revenue, and a greater, long-term customer focus, marketing and sales are now a marriage, not a Tinder date.” - IDG


1. Is sales struggling with the value of leads they’re receiving?

HubSpot defines lead scoring as, “a methodology used to rank prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value each lead represents to the organization.”

A lead scoring strategy allows a sales team to prioritize leads, providing insights using specific criteria. Lead scoring highlights who’s most committed and most likely to purchase from them. That translates to how and where sales reps need to spend their time. It allows them to nurture relationships with key prospects, meaning their time is more effective and they can reach out to more of the businesses who are further along the purchasing path.

To start setting up your lead scoring strategy, look at technographic and firmographic data, as well as key interactions. And build the process in conjunction with the technical set up to ensure that high-quality leads are passed to sales.

Pro tip - Map the process before attempting to set this up in your marketing automation system. Test and refine until both teams are in clear agreement. 

2. Is the sales team wasting their time sifting through leads who aren’t in a position to move forward? 

Lead qualification occurs early in the process - around the time of the initial contact, or sometimes earlier. It assesses a sales or marketing lead to determine if they have a true need for your offering, evaluates their readiness to purchase, including the authority and funds to do so. It ideally separates the tire kickers from those seriously seeking a solution to fill their needs, which saves sales teams both time and energy.  To be truly beneficial, it requires clearly defined MQL and SQL stages and buy in from both sales and marketing teams. 

Pro tip - Consider this a constant evolution - it must be adjusted and refined as the company grows. It’s not a “set it and forget” exercise.  

 3. Are sales and marketing at odds and failing to see one another’s value?

This is very common and a sure sign your teams are not aligned. 

Putting a process in place for sales to interact with leads that are in the marketing funnel helps to address qualified leads as a team.

“Alignment of sales and marketing impacts revenue growth up to 3x.” -HubSpot

“Smarketing” might sound like a buzzword, but it actually refers to the alignment of marketing and sales. It looks at the customer acquisition process as something that’s a mutual responsibility. While sales and marketing teams have historically operated in silos and haven’t always been friendly or appreciative of the other’s role, those intending to grow can no longer pretend that their alignment isn’t critical.  In fact, maintaining that status quo and avoiding the shift to a ‘smarketing’ model is currently the decline of businesses around the world.  Our current digital era means that marketing now has clear access to customer insights that can assist sales teams in maximizing their time -  so they can give their attention to highly qualified leads. , and sales must communicate their results to marketing. Though some might see them as an unwilling brides, it’s the union of the two that’s truly creating results through a seamless customer lifecycle.

SuperOffice, European supplier of CRM solutions has just shared a staggering stat that the misalignment of sales and marketing,”is costing businesses more than a trillion dollars per year. Not $1 million… or even $1 billion. But, $1 trillion!

Two years ago, SuperOffice recognized the need for a sales and marketing alignment and have used that alignment to increase revenue by 34%!

Pro tip - Get aligned on buyer personas, decision makers first. Ensure that sales is armed with relevant content so they can more quickly move the opportunity into the pipeline. 

4. Is it difficult for marketing to fully comprehend their impact on acquisition and the revenue that comes from that?

Connecting your marketing and sales systems enables reliable, automated reporting. “Closing the loop” between sales and marketing provides marketing with insights into the success of the leads they supply to sales. Closed-loop marketing is achieved through tech stack integration. The integration provides full visibility into marketing impact and all stages between awareness and a closed sale through the use of targeted reporting. The result is improved lead quality.

Although closed-loop marketing can seem daunting to implement, it’s worth the effort when companies become clear on how their marketing initiatives are tied to each lead and customer acquisition. It not only allows marketers to demonstrate their value, it also allows them to improve their reach and impact with the insights gained.

Pro tip: The integration alone will not do the trick; to produce meaningful reporting that can be used to make growth decisions, you first need to map out the tracking process. 

Although the modern marketing landscape has become more complicated, bringing your marketing strategy and technology into the digital age with an integrated, cross-organizational growth foundation is crucial for consistent long-term growth. Modernizing your growth strategy starts with the right tools,  processes and team structure.

Learn how we can help you identify where you may be leaving revenue on the table and create a clear path to accelerated growth. 

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Topics: Automation, Revenue Generation, Revenue Growth, Revenue Leaks, Revenue Operations, Business Intelligence, Data Science, Data Analytics

Jennifer Aplin

Written by Jennifer Aplin

Jennifer is our CEO and lead Business Strategist. She is a highly experienced, process-oriented business executive. She fluidly integrates her data science-informed perspective with revenue-driving business strategies.