Ensuring Shared Pipeline Language


Video Transcript

When you’re dealing with your sales and marketing pipeline, it is absolutely essential to have shared definitions between your sales team and your marketing team when it comes to the different stages in that pipeline. So you might be thinking, yeah, of course we need to have those things defined, but in our experience it’s remarkably common for sales and marketing teams to not have a shared definition of what those deal stages look like.

Not only that, but when you look in the ecosphere of the Internet, there’s a thousand opinions on what an MQL means. What does a lead mean? What is a contact? What is an SQL, a deal, an opportunity? It’s okay that your version of a deal or a lead might be different from another company’s.

What’s most important is that you define it, and then that definition is shared between both marketing and sales. So that when you’re comparing numbers and trying to understand what your pipeline economics look like, everyone has the same shared definition.

Now, why is this important in organizations that might have a B2B2X type of mentality where a manufacturer creates a product, sells it to a distributor, and then that distributor sells it to another type of end user, whether it’s a consumer or another business.

That’s really important in organizations where the distributor or dealer is expecting leads to come from the manufacturing organization. In those type of organizations, making sure that that definition of a lead is shared not only between the sales and marketing within the internal manufacturing organization, but do the distributors, do they understand what the definition of that lead is?

Are you sending them a marketing qualified lead that still needs to be warmed up, nurtured in order to be ready for a sales conversation? Or are you sending them a sales qualified lead that’s ready for a call from a distributor salesperson or some other type of stage?

All of this gets critically more important the more people that are involved or the more businesses that are involved in your sales motion. So to wrap up what I would say is in any organization, it’s critical to write down, to have documented somewhere what are our lead stages both in marketing and in sales.

What are the definitions of them and are they shared through every person in the organization that might touch a customer, even with customer service and post sales? Because you never know when they’re going to come back into the pipeline to be ready to buy again.

Make sure you’re documenting that process, documenting what those leads stages are, sharing that information both internally and where appropriate with your external sales partners as well is absolutely critical to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your pipeline so that you can optimize programs.

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