Who Should Own Lead Generation for Complex Sales?

The question about who should claim ownership of Lead Generation for Complex sales has been one that is asked repeatedly over the years. This debate is always between the sales or the marketing team while both do not really focus on this task. While marketing believes that it is the job of the sales team, sales feel that this should be done by marketing. In reality, the job should be the responsibility of both sales as well as marketing.

Companies don’t always call what sales do lead generation or demand generation. The terms that are most often used are business development, prospecting, social selling, or pipeline development. When it comes to inbound marketing and content marketing also the sales team usually gets assigned the job of prospecting the leads. This can be a waste of time as the sales team will typically spend a lot of time trying to get a foot in a door where they aren’t welcome.

Why is Sales Making Cold Calls?

With the modernization of the lead generation process, the question tends to arise as to why the sales teams are still making cold calls, sending out cold emails, and prospects. The answer to this is simple they don’t really have much of a choice.

Marketing is unable to generate enough qualified leads; simply because most companies do not give marketing enough funding as compared to sales. Research indicates that almost 68% of those participating in the survey were not able to tell the difference between the sales and the marketing funnels. Also 67% of the leads were directly sent to sales of which the number of qualified leads was closer to 27%.

Stages of Lead Management

It was found that most companies who managed their demand generation and lead generation needs themselves did not really know the different stages of lead management and hence failed to provide the required number of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) for the sales team. Every business that wants to increase their sales with the help of lead generation must first take the time to learn the processes that are involved with lead generation so as to get the required ROI.

  1. Lead Capture: Interest is generated among the target audience.
  2. Lead Qualification: Leads are scored based on their fit, engagement, and sales readiness.
  3. Lead Nurturing: An interest is converted into an intent of purchase.
  4. Lead Distribution: Sales-ready leads are moved forward to sales.
  5. Lead Tracking and Reporting: The loop between marketing and sales is closed.

The only way to success is by making sure that none of these crucial steps are missed.

Sales Needs Marketing

The sales and marketing teams must work in tandem to get the best possible results for the effort that they put in. The sales team does not have the ability to come up with a lead generation strategy that is well crafted and researched. This is because they have to put all of their focus into the immediate generation of revenue and the quotas that they have to fill. For lead generation to be done right it needs a level of ongoing commitment that can only be fulfilled by the marketing teams. Marketing must carry out the important job of matching the buyers as well as the sellers’ expectations otherwise they may just end up with a serious disconnect when it comes to the time of finalizing the sale.

The sales team needs to do what they know best and focus on increasing the revenue of the company by building and nurturing leads that are already qualified. While the marketing team needs to do the qualifying of the leads. Most tech companies have realized this problem and have made sure that the generation and qualification of leads is solely the responsibility of the marketing team and sales is only responsible for making the sale.