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Advice on Improving Sales and Marketing Alignment

Lead nurturing can do an outstanding job of providing meaningful touchpoints with prospects that move them along their buying cycle.  At some point they are going to be ready to talk to someone in sales to begin moving forward.

Call on them too soon and you risk having them go to a lower pressure environment to get the information they need.  Call on them too late and they may have already engaged with someone else in a sales conversation and then it's an uphill climb.

Detecting Late Stage Buying Behavior

The types of content your leads respond to will tell you a lot about where they are in their buying phase.  The important thing in content development is to ensure the content is evenly distributed to reflect the buyer's needs over time.

Prospects who are engaged in late stage buying behavior will generally look for the following types of content:
  • Pricing information
  • Implementation information
  • Case studies
  • Product features and benefits
Overload your site and messaging with this type of information and you will have a hard time attracting early stage buyers.  It's an art and it takes some trial and error to get it right.

However, when done well, prospects will gravitate towards this type of content when they are getting ready to buy.  This is when you need to both have the content available and act when it is obvious they want more attention from a live person.

Scaling and Handoff

If you have a handful of leads in your pipeline then your sales team could watch those leads incubate and then pounce when the time is right.  Fortunately, with the right demand generation, you will have thousands of leads moving through your pipeline and it is not efficient to have sales spending their time incubating leads.

The optimal solution is to have your demand generation tool detect through lead scoring when a lead is sales-ready.  It can then transfer the lead to sales at that time for action.

There is nothing that sales loves more than a steady stream of sales-ready leads that matches their ability to handle them productively.  
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