Efficient life science sales operations require that opportunities are handed from marketing to sales at the correct point in the buying cycle. When there is a lack of proper marketing support, leads often get handed over to sales too early, creating situations where sales effort is wasted, leading to operational inefficiencies in sales. The symptoms caused by underdeveloped leads are usually three-fold:
- Sales conversion is low because of poor lead quality which is ultimately due to underdeveloped leads. This situation often leads to sales and marketing pointing fingers at each other.
- The sales cycle is prolonged, requiring more overall effort from sales and, therefore, increased costs
- Leads will go cold at a high rate
The opposite effect, where sales effort is insufficient or too much is left to marketing, is also possible. Recent research suggests that it may actually be common and also cause decreased conversion and wasted sales effort. Regardless, the method for diagnosis is similar.
If you are creating a lot of leads but not closing a lot of opportunities then you may be under-nurturing (or over-nurturing) your leads. Compare your marketing contact points to your content roadmap (you may need to design a content roadmap if you do not already have one). A content roadmap based on strategy and market research should provide a complete picture of the information requirements of your target audience. Like a blueprint for a house, the content roadmap will provide a framework for creating leads and, subsequently, nurturing your leads into qualified opportunities. Overlay that framework onto your current marketing campaign and ask: Are you delivering all of the necessary content? Is sales delivering content that marketing should deliver (or vice versa)? At this stage, the difference between what you are doing and what you should be doing should be clear.