How to Ensure a Good Handoff of Leads from Marketing to Sales

relay race handoffThe days when buyers entered the sales funnel primarily at the top are pretty much over. Now, companies need strategies to handle leads that jump into the funnel from multiple points. One of the best ways to manage that chaos is with the lead handoff process. With a strong handoff from marketing to sales, you can effectively plug up the leakiest places in your sales funnel.

A recent question on Quora asked, “What does your company do to ensure a good hand off of leads from marketing to sales?” Using some of the best answers, I’ve compiled this list of tips.

Get the right leads into your sales funnel in the first place. Your lead generation content should target the kinds of leads your sales team will thank you for. Don’t target “just anyone” – start with a marketing mix that acquires the right leads. Quora user Maria Pergolino, VP of Marketing at Apttus, said, “List buys give [you] lots of names, but destroy deliverability. Instead, drive prospects to your forms using inbound techniques.”

Pay attention to the quality of your data. Keeping duplicate leads in your database confuses your sales reps and skews their understanding of what’s really going on with the leads in their ecosystem. Keeping your database free of duplicates goes a long way towards streamling your sales process.

Create incentives that align with sales goals. The incentives you put in place for your marketing and sales teams shouldn’t butt heads with one another.

Emphasize sales and marketing alignment from the top down. Marketo consultant and Marketing Rockstar Guides author Josh Hill suggests doing “extensive training with all sales teams coupled with a clear message that the Sales VP is watching these numbers and is on the same page as marketing.” “These numbers” might include things like scoring averages, scoring MQL thresholds, lead quality, rejected leads and  follow up via tasks/meetings/calls/opportunities.

Ultimately, it comes down to rethinking the way marketing and sales interact. Their jobs have a lot more in common these days than they did ten years ago, and for some companies, that means a certain amount of restructuring will have to take place before the two departments can work together effectively.