Every marketer has had that moment. You know the one—the moment when you discover the hundreds of leads your latest marketing program generated last week are just…sitting there.
Untouched by sales.
Growing colder by the minute.
And cue the argument between the sales and marketing teams.
A typical sales response is that the team is “at capacity”. Something everyone failed to mention before you worked your tail off generating the leads. While there may be some truth to this oversight, it’s more likely that your organization hasn’t settled on a way to accurately measure sales team capacity…until they’re over capacity.
In response, the marketing team scales back on their lead generation, only to hear that now the sales team is complaining they’re not getting enough leads. It can feel as though there’s no way out from this unfortunate cycle. But when you use data to define service level agreements (SLAs) amongst the teams and identify the sales team’s capacity, you can end this cycle of frustration.
Defining Sales Team Capacity
Before you can set a goal for how many leads each salesperson can reasonably handle each month, you need data in-hand to answer the following questions:
- How much effort should be spent working a lead in order to maximize the chances of converting it into an opportunity?
- How much effort or sales activity is too much to spend on one lead?
- Out of 1,000 MQLs produced by marketing, how many leads received the right amount of sales attention?
- How do we ensure salespeople are spending the right amount of attention on each lead?
Once you have this data, you can determine how many leads any individual salesperson can work at a given time, and assign the right KPIs. For the sake of simplicity, some companies boil it down to the number of touches each lead should receive. That’s a good start, but it’s not perfect. It doesn’t take into account the timeliness or quality of the sales activities.
That’s where SLAs come in.
How SLAs Can Get Marketing and Sales on the Same Page
With an SLA approach, working in tandem with the marketing team, the sales team guarantees a minimum quantity and quality of sales activity that will be dedicated to every lead.
- This approach requires several deep discussions and complete alignment between sales and marketing on:
- How much time must be spent per lead to maximize chances of conversion
- Sales capacity of the sales team as a whole and at the individual salesperson level
- How many leads marketing needs to produce every day/week/month so that sales team can comfortably service all the leads within the correct SLA time frame and quality parameters
The key to all this is having comprehensive sales activity data to set accurate SLAs and making it easy to enforce.
With a platform like People.ai, teams can:
- Determine the right amount of time/effort/sales activities to be spent by the rep per lead
- Agree on the right SLAs for every lead
- Automate monitoring of whether both sides of the equation deliver on their SLAs (marketing > quality of leads; sales > level of activity per lead)
- Create goals and execution plans for every rep and make sure they are completed
To find out how People.ai can bridge your sales and marketing teams’ alignment gap by creating meaningful SLAs, sign up for a demo.