Thursday, August 30, 2012

Use Triggers to Avoid Sales and Marketing Traffic Jams

Picture this: you are headed to your in-laws house to celebrate the last few day of summer; you can already taste the BBQ and the cold beer.  The future looks bright.

You know the highlighted route to your in-laws, you have been there hundreds of times, but what you don’t know is that Labor Day weekend traffic is in full force and the route you thought you were going to take is a parking lot.  The taste of a cold refreshing beer is drifting further and further away as you are in a dead stop on i90.

Don’t you wish you had paid the extra few bucks a month for the traffic function on your navigator? You would have received a heads up to what would be the best route to go and avoid the headache of a standstill.

Sales and Marketing are not that different. We look at road maps to decide how best to lead score and what nurture methodology we should use depending on our leads phase in the funnel or pipeline.  The problem is that often times we do not have the COMPLETE picture of our lead in the buying cycle.  Sure, we know revenue, company size, location and other static data.  We also now know a lead’s behavior as it relates to our site, but what is often missing is the event triggers that happen day-to-day that might impact if that lead is actually in a position to buy or not buy. Static data only gets you so far, but without the up-to-date triggers you could find yourself in a dead stop on i90, not realizing that you pursued the wrong route, simply based on static information.

Looking for a more complete picture to help avoid the parking lot scenario? If Wellpoint’s stock just went up because the CEO resigned, that might influence your next actions.  If Barclays just announced Jenkins as their new CEO to replace Diamond that might prompt an email or a phone call. Here are a few actions that could happen based on knowing this new and timely information:

Marketing Team: Do you add Jenkins to a new executive series webinar invite? Or add him to a C-suite list segment to receive emails?

Sales Representative: Do you pick up the phone to congratulate Jenkins and introduce how you can help him achieve his goals in his new job?

Sales Management: Do you change the probability in your forecast, as this deal may be in jeopardy now that there is a new decision maker?  This may prompt you to call the sales rep to get a meeting with Jenkins, the new CEO.

The point is that we function in a world where alerts can change our course at any minute.  It behooves us to realize the potential of live data in helping to dictate our next move as a salesperson or a marketing person.  Together, these departments have the goal of closing business; so use a tool that can facilitate that action - faster.  Add triggers into your sales and marketing processes and complete the crucial missing information that could turn wasted efforts going down dead ends to closed deals. Can you taste the beer, now?

To well informed and safe, traffic-free travels – Happy Labor Day from the folks at iLantern!

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