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Sales and Marketing Collaboration: Creating a Feedback Loop

This is the second post in a 5 part series on how managing inter-team collaboration will improve results for outbound lead generation teams. In my last post I covered the four mistakes that will sabotage the relationship between the sales team and the outbound lead generation team. In this post I’ll cover one way you can foster sales and marketing collaboration by establishing a feedback loop between your outbound lead generation teams and marketing.

Outbound lead generation reps will typically make anywhere from 50 – 200 calls per day. Even at the low end, they will wind up speaking with a lot of prospects in your company’s target market segment. With a fully trained and staffed outbound lead generation team, it is almost like holding a microphone out to the market. That is, as long as the feedback is getting back to the marketing team.

Why Lead Generation Reps are Marketers’ Best Friends

Marketing teams will invest resources and effort into developing content, messaging, and events they think will resonate with prospects. While quantitative metrics like downloads and click-through rates provide some measure of performance, an outbound lead generation team will gather more qualitative feedback on the messaging and content directly from the target audience. That’s because part of generating leads is having intelligent conversations in which prospects reveal hints towards market trends, competitors, objections, and challenge that they might be facing. Most great outbound lead generation reps gather this feedback instinctively, but it’s up to management to create a venue — or a formal process — for them to share that feedback with the rest of the organization.

If there is a collaborative feedback loop between the outbound lead generation team and the marketing team, that qualitative feedback can be used to drive the creation of new content, events, and messaging that should perform even better.

Creating a Feedback Loop Between Sales and Marketing

One way to implement this feedback loop is to track key messaging data using fields in your CRM system, and create a messaging dashboard. You can create one or two messaging fields to capture information such as objections that came up during the call and the key pain points that the prospect was experiencing. Marketing can then leverage the data in those reports to develop additional content to address impediments and pain points that seem to be consistently coming up.

Here’s what it might look like on a dashboard:

Outbound Lead Generation Team Messaging Dashboard

Outbound Lead Generation Team Messaging Dashboard

Another way to improve the feedback loop is to hold a periodic meeting between sales and marketing to collect the feedback verbally in a discussion forum. Reviewing the messaging data from the CRM system prior to and during that meeting will help you make the best use of the time to drill into some of the interesting points in the data.

This meeting is also a good time to review perceptions and trends in the market to get ideas for improved messaging and content. Rather than holding a separate meeting for this purpose, you may want to have a few people from the marketing department attend one of the outbound lead generation team’s standing team meetings once per month.

In my next post I’ll discuss how outbound lead generation teams can collaborate with marketing on events.

Ori Yankelev is a Sales and Marketing Associate for OpenView Venture Partners, working with the firm’s portfolio on developing great business development and inside sales teams.