One of the more interesting discussions in the Marketing Over Coffee LinkedIn group recently was a process-based question asked by Chris Briggs – where does marketing’s responsibility for lead generation end? Should marketing also be responsible for lead qualification and first contact/presale? Should marketing just hand off leads without any pre qualification? Who is responsible for what?
This question is a lot more complex than it first might seem. In the abstract, media (paid, earned, and owned) generates new audiences. From those audiences, marketing generates leads. From leads, sales generates revenue and customers. That said, one of the perennial battles between sales and marketing is one of lead quality.
Does marketing have a responsibility for lead quality? The answer depends on your marketing balance.
If your primary goal is to generate very high lead volume at the lowest possible cost, you’re going to need to have responsibility for lead quality fall to the sales department, or an intermediary team that answers to the sales department. Many companies in enterprise and SaaS B2B follow this model.
If your primary goal is to have very high lead quality at the lowest possible cost, marketing will probably be able to qualify most of the leads because there won’t be that many.
If your primary goal is to have high quality leads at high volume, chances are you’ll need to use intermediary model, but one that answers to the marketing department, to ensure that sales only gets the highest quality leads.
That’s the short answer to a complex problem. Your goals will determine who does what, and at what level of investment.
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