Marketing and sales teams should be working together to achieve the common goal of driving customer acquisition. One component that requires collaboration between the two teams is in targeting. Targeting specific segments in your marketing and sales efforts leads to better performance and more deals closed.
This requires ongoing collaboration between marketing and sales. Having regular meetings can bring to light the many issues and challenges that come with how marketing and sales work together to produce relevant and qualified sales leads.
How is the Current Targeting Performing?
A good place to start is with how well the current target segments are doing to align marketing and sales. Look at the qualification criteria of prospects in the pipeline, the quality of leads coming in, and what is leading to meetings, demos, and deals closed.
The leads generated by the marketing and sales development teams are most helpful when they are qualified leads that are ready to be handed off to sales. When you are not targeting specific segments in your marketing efforts, unqualified leads can enter your sales pipeline. This can lead to salespeople spending a lot of their time with leads that do not meet the qualification criteria for sales.
Explore whether or not the leads coming from your current target segments are valuable for the sales team. Get feedback from sales on how successful they are at scheduling meetings and closing deals in a particular target segment.
In addition, looking at performance metrics such as responses, meeting rates, and closing rates of a target segment gives you a general idea for whether or not those leads are a good fit. If there is a high concentration of unqualified leads, then a solution needs to be found to prevent wasting the time and efforts of the sales team.
Target Segment Outcomes
The value of a target segment can be affected by a variety of issues. In order to hone in and maximize value creation for the company, the success or failure of target segments going through the pipeline needs to be observed. This includes the number of meetings, deals closed, deal value, and the time to close a deal with leads in a target segment.
Bringing all of this information together, a conclusion should be established about whether the current target segment is bringing enough qualified sales leads to enable salespeople to hit sales quotas in time.
How Scalable are the Target Segments?
While the performance of a target segment can be improved with sales and marketing alignment, it’s important to look at the scalability of individual target segments. Analyzing the segment size, sales cycle, and the overall qualification process gives you an understanding of the scalability of your target segments.
It’s important to determine how big your target segment is, because it will impact how valuable it is to go after. What percentage of a target segment do you need to close for it to be worthwhile? For example, a 1% closing rate in a segment with 1,000 people creates an average of 10 sales.
Viewing target segments in this manner provides insight into how you should allocate sales resources. The ideal target segment should be sustainable and profitable for your marketing and sales team to go after.
Pay attention to the number of leads still available for contact in a target segment. Finding a sustainable segment that maximizes value is a challenge for some companies. Keeping track of this helps equip your team to transition its targeting and messaging when the time comes.
Maintaining proper alignment between the sales and marketing team requires effective communication and an understanding of the qualification criteria being used to pass on leads to salespeople. When sales and marketing become aligned, it results in a higher percentage of qualified sales leads being passed onto sales.
Discuss the different criteria used to qualify sales leads in a target segment. During this discussion, salespeople can also offer insight into how well marketing is doing at generating sales qualified leads. Being on the same page for lead qualification is essential to alignment.
What Can Be Done to Improve Sales Performance?
An important point to cover is what each team can do to improve targeting performance and overall sales performance. A game plan should be established for generating more qualified sales leads.
Designing experiments and testing different target segments helps to identify the best targeting for the future. It may be beneficial to test new target segments. This can lead to identifying new segments that are even more valuable to your sales team.
Your targeting strategy should continuously improve in order to maximize sales performance and streamline lead generation. Make sure both your marketing and sales team maintain ongoing communication. This helps ensure everyone is aligned and improves the likelihood of targeting the most valuable segments.
Creating a Game Plan
It isn’t enough to simply state a potential improvement to focus on. Teams should provide actionable steps on how they intend to reach their goal, and keep each other in the loop to create accountability.
Establish a strategy for how both sales and marketing will collaborate to produce their deliverables, and how these changes can be tested to reveal its impact on the overall customer acquisition strategy.
Regularly test your targeting strategy to see whether it positively impacts sales. By doing regular tests on target segments, you can make data-driven decisions and improve your allocation of sales resources.
Regular communication, a data-driven mindset, and a culture of improvement is key to optimizing the best target segments. Agreeing on a clear outcome from these meetings will help align the different teams. Aligned collaboration helps your lead generation efforts stay on track and valuable, while providing periodic improvements for better targeting, a more streamlined sales pipeline, and more consistent sales growth.