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Getting Marketing and Sales to Speak the Same Language

Having led several wholesaling organizations in my career, I am familiar with the chasm that often exists between asset managers’ sales and marketing teams. Marketers often think salespeople are demanding, impatient, and unappreciative of their efforts. Salespeople, conversely, view marketers as ill-informed, disconnected from what the customer wants, and unaware of how challenging sales can be.

Closing the Gap

Sales and marketing professionals generally want the same things - new customers, growth for the company, and recognition for their efforts. But I’ve found that sales and marketing typically have very different views of what constitutes a qualified “sales lead,” Those differing perspectives are a root cause of the communication gap between departments.

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Both perspectives could be accurate descriptions of a lead, but there is a wide disparity in the quality and readiness of the prospects that could fit under those definitions. So how can you help your sales and marketing teams speak the same language and view prospects similarly?

It starts with understanding the fundamental process of Inbound and recognizing how the signals generated by a prospect’s online behavior are the nuggets of data that effectively qualify a lead. In fact, I recommend our clients remove “lead” from their vocabulary.

Inbound Refresh

As a reminder, Inbound is the roadmap and step-by-step process for how you grow your business in a digital world. Inbound is designed to help you reach the right prospects with quality and relevant content throughout their journeys of discovery and build trust, so they have a high propensity of becoming customers.


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Monitoring and measuring a prospect's digital engagement activity with your company along their journey, and scoring their progress, allows your wholesalers to receive “signals” that inform them where the prospect is in their journey, when it is most appropriate to make contact, and what message to use.


Lead Scoring (Signals in Action)

So, with Inbound, the marketing team is responsible for generating as many signals as possible for the sales team and then analyzing and scoring those signals because not every signal has the same value.

  • For example, a prospect who fills out a subscription form on your blog or website could be considered a Subscriber in the early phase of their journey (engagement stage). They might receive a lead score of 20 and are placed into a nurture email workflow that continues to inform and educate on topics of interest.
  • A Subscriber who has completed a form and continues to download one or more pieces of premium content like an eBook or white paper has progressed in their journey of discovery (due diligence stage) and would be considered a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) and scored at 100. This prospect may not be ready for wholesaler contact but will receive additional content that helps educate and allow them to evaluate solutions for their needs.
  • When an MQL prospect continues their journey and engages with your firm by registering for a demo or requesting a meeting, they have progressed to a point where they are ready to engage with a wholesaler (inflow stage). They are now a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) with a lead score of 200+, and wholesaler engagement is essential to ensure their seamless investment experience. 

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A cumulative score is created as signals accumulate for a prospect in your database. The wholesaler is now responsible for interpreting these signals and prioritizing them. In this manner, marketing and sales each play a critical and cohesive role in the Inbound process.


Getting Started

When I founded GK3 Capital five years ago, I believed I could help asset managers digitally transform their traditional distribution models to compete and prosper in a digital world. I’ve been fortunate to participate in several of these transitions and witness the exhilaration of clients who have experienced the success that digital distribution can deliver.

Moreover, I’ve seen reluctant sales organizations embrace digital distribution and align with marketing teams in ways I couldn’t have imagined. So when a prospective client asks, “will sales and marketing work well together?” I explain that bridging the gap is one of the hidden and unforeseen benefits of Inbound. And then I show them how.

If you’d like to learn more about the role marketing and sales play throughout the inbound process, watch our short, educational video series, or schedule a free consultation here.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing Digital Marketing Financial Services Marketing Digital Wholesaling Content is King Financial Services Business Development Growth Driven Design Sales Enablement Marketing Automation