This post is the second in a three part series on Creating a Service Level Agreement between Marketing and Sales.
In the last post, I talked about needing to determine the criteria for a marketing qualified lead, or MQL. Once it is defined, the next step is to map out the follow up process or Level of Effort (LOE). The LOE makes sure that there is consistent follow-up across the sales team for each MQL that is handed over.
Before our LOE was defined, I noticed that follow-up was different across the board for each member of the sales team. Some AEs emailed and never called, some called but never left voice mail and others called and sent emails. If marketing is going to be nurturing leads on behalf of sales team and using resources to accomplish this task, it is reasonable to expect the sales team to follow-up on those leads in a consistent manner. This will allow marketing to see which leads are valid through the prism of consistent follow-up.
To define our Level of Effort, I used the same group AEs that I used for the MQL discussion and we mapped out first, second and third touches. Below is a diagram of our LOE.
We defined a three-touch follow up that involves email and voice mail. Each touch builds upon the other touch with consistent messaging. The final touch is decided by company size. Larger companies (>100 employees) will have a fourth follow-up.
It is important to have a mechanism for returning the lead to the marketing funnel after the follow-up has completed. This will eliminate “lead leakage,” where leads get taken out of the funnel, are never closed but are never re-engaged. Many sales people balked at this idea of handing a lead back to marketing to be further nurtured. Look at it this way: If a lead who you think meets MQL criteria will not engage with a salesperson after three touches over the course of two weeks, it is most likely that they have been misplaced in the marketing funnel and are not ready to engage sales. It is better to get them back in the funnel and re-engage them on their own terms than to have a sales person sit on the indefinitely.
I would love to hear how you mapped out your level of effort for your sales team. How many touches do you use? What are those touches?