Companies with closely aligned marketing and sales departments generate more business-to-business leads and close 38 percent more proposals than non-aligned companies. Many marketers who want to better synch marketing efforts with sales goals are evaluating how automation systems might help. If you're doing such an evaluation, you've likely run across lots of industry terms "sales and marketing alignment," "lead generation," "lead scoring," "lead qualification," "lead nurturing," "lead management," and "demand generation," to list just the most common.
It's a bit easier to understand how marketing automation software generates business-to-business leads if you understand these concepts.
- Marketing and Sales Alignment: Traditionally, marketing sees the world through a buyer's viewpoint, and sales through the seller's lens. There can be huge gulfs between them. But both departments share the same ultimate goal: to generate business-to-business leads produce revenue for the company. Marketing and sales "alignment" is a process, or the result of a process, that creates mutual understanding and a partnership mentality.
- Demand Generation and Business-to-Business Lead generation: The concepts of "demand generation" and "lead generation" are often used interchangeably. There are no standardized definitions of the terms, and some practices can be used to support both.
- Business-to-Business Lead Qualification : People identified as leads will be at different stages of readiness to buy, from just beginning their research, to being ready to buy as soon as they get the right offer. Lead qualification is a process for determining which stage a lead is at now, so that the prospect can be sent the correct offer at the right time to move him or her closer to a purchase.
Marketing automation software provides an efficient way to business-to-business leads and communicate timely information with the sales department. Marketing automation systems allow a company to identify leads from the outset, gauge their readiness to buy, automatically send business-to-business lead offers that will help move them closer to a purchase, and automatically alert sales to qualified opportunities.