So, this guy, Brian Carroll, has a great B2B Sales and Marketing Blog that I hope to bite from quite a bit. As you know in the blogosphere, biting is actually honoring and I will always link back to his articles. He covers alot of things that I live by in my day-to-day life in B2B marketing. This is not one of his newer articles, but it is one that is near and dear to my heart — creating a unified lead definition. I cannot agree with this article more. He details some of the steps along the way to creating this definition, but I would say at a high level is:
1. Sales and Marketing need to come to agreement on the definition. Frankly, part of the key to this agreement will affect the type of quantity sales may receive. In other words, if you put too many restrictions on the lead definition (has to be C-level, has to have budget responsibility, etc), this will affect the number that Marketing can/should agree to.
2. The definition drives everything. Brian is right: the definition needs to be blasted out to everyone. Once decided, relevant parties need to know this. NOW, proper targeted marketing programs can be developed (what lists to buy, where to get registrations, etc) and the handoff is cleaner and lead-to-pipeline conversions are higher as sales can be prepared for what to expect.
3. Define More. My experience has been every step from marketing to sales should have a definition and that definition should include who handles what.