Sales leads are too important for just salespeople

Every salesperson loves leads. And marketing people spend lots of effort providing them. But too often, there's an artificial demarcation between the role of sales and that of marketing. This is especially true in B2B marketing and also in my favorite dysfunctional industry: automakers and dealers.

Consider the tradeshow. Many companies spend thousands of marketing dollars to exhibit at important industry events. But after the show concludes, marketing simply ties a pretty ribbon around the business cards they received from prospects and tosses the leads over their shoulder to the sales manager.

In the auto industry, dealers who obtain consumer email addresses hoard them as "our property" never doing anything with the valuable names. Marketers at the automaker can't use the names and addresses. Yet people who WANT to receive information about things like new model rollouts cannot. Ugh.

Of course it's the salespeople's job to follow-up on the leads. But you might consider how you can integrate marketing with sales by, say, sending each of your tradeshow visitors an appropriate thank you offer such as a free trial of your service or a complimentary download. Maybe add the sales lead to your email newsletter list.

Break down those walls between sales and marketing and your business will improve.

David Meerman Scott

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