Have you noticed that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to capture the attention of relevant prospective leads? Well, businesses and organizations are claiming that as much as 98% of their MQLs are ultimately classified as unqualified opportunities, and 64% of sales reps are reporting wasted time due to admin-based tasks.
These metrics paint a picture that shows an immense amount of time and effort wasted on leads that never convert. It’s more important than ever for Marketing and Sales teams to ensure that their initiatives are focused on high intent leads, driving revenue and ROI, and are scalable.
Furthermore, with a never ending influx of new leads coming from Marketing, and Sales needing to carry out manual lead qualification and follow up process, what’s happening is the creation of a never ending cycle of catch up – always trying to ensure that each and every lead, whether old or new, is properly engaged, qualified, and processed through the funnel.
With this in mind, we’ve pinpointed the top five sales and marketing challenges, and will demonstrate how tools such as AI-Powered Virtual Sales Assistants are providing a cost-efficient, reliable, and scalable solution for businesses.
Leads falling in between the cracks
One of the most common pain points experienced by sales and marketing teams is the inability to keep up with dozens, if not hundreds of different conversations they have with their leads. This manual, time consuming, and repetitive process requires constant follow up and the need to provide value in each and every message, a process that can last for weeks, if not months at a time – creating an inefficient and unscalable model.
Improper lead prioritization
Your sales and marketing teams need to understand that not all leads are of equal priority. In order to meet your KPIs it’s crucial that you take into account that sales is a numbers game, and although the higher the number of MQLs that enter your funnel the greater likelihood of a conversion, quality is king – so knowing how to effectively gauge a high priority lead over one that is with low intent simply a waste of time is paramount. This of course is done with assistance by the Marketing team, and the execution of lead scoring.
The limitations of marketing automation and lead scoring
The most popular methodology for evaluating a lead’s potential to convert is known as Lead Scoring. However this model is far from foolproof. Leads are commonly overscored causing them to quickly flow through the funnel and be handed over to a live sales rep, but at which point they are not ready or willing to be sold to. Contrarily, leads are just as commonly underscored, causing them to be stuck at the top of the funnel, waiting to be engaged with by a live rep, eventually losing interest due to lack of engagement. As beneficial as it can be to categorize leads in this manner, at the end of the day it’s the need to engage with each and every lead to ensure that overscoring or underscoring isn’t taking place that needs to be resolved.
Re-engaging lost or neglected leads to maximize marketing efforts and lower CAC
With new leads coming in on a daily basis, many companies are struggling to keep up with a backlog of MQLs that have simply gone cold or weren’t followed up with.
These MQLs have been acquired through some type of processes, whether through ad spend, or any other form of marketing initiative that in one way or another required a budget.
This is why it’s important to ensure that they receive the proper attention, same as a fresh lead, to achieve as low CAC (customer acquisition cost) as possible. But with new leads coming in daily, how can you expect your Sales team to give their attention to both the new and existing old leads?
Achieving sales and marketing alignment
It’s a delicate relationship that all Marketing and Sales leaders need to be aware of. In order to achieve growth within a business or organization there must be synergy between the departments, otherwise what you will be left with is each department blaming the other for the poor performance and failed attempt at reaching their KPIs.
With Marketing typically blaming sales for poor execution on what they classify to be a brilliantly executed campaign, and vice versa, Sales blaming Marketing that the MQLs captured are irrelevant – what you have at the end of the day is the same pain point, the lack of time and energy needed to execute the manual qualification processes for each and every lead.
The solution: Automated AI-Powered Assistants
By combining the power of both artificial intelligence and marketing automation, allowing your marketing and sales teams to place the lead qualification, follow up, and hand over processes on autopilot.
With an Automated AI-Powered Assistant you are providing a much needed human element on a mass scale, ensuring that every lead, hot or cold, is followed up with, nurtured, and is progressing along their buyer journey.
What about ensuring a healthy Sales-Marketing alignment you might ask? Well with your Automated AI-Powered Assistant working 24/7, 365 days, you can rest assured knowing that from the highest lead score to the lowest lead score, all your incoming leads are receiving the proper attention and interaction, which frees up your sales team to focus on selling – ultimately creating a peaceful and harmonious Sales-Marketing relationship.
The Future Augmented Workforce Has Arrived
AI is rapidly being adopted within Marketing and Sales teams to increase growth and achieve scalability. With as much as 72% of high performing companies claiming they are using AI tools to achieve growth, it’s clear that AI is shifting from a competitive advantage for early adopters to becoming a necessary tool for survival.
As AI continues to proliferate as much as 77% of Marketing executives claim they are already seeing an increase in adoption of AI in their field. There is no doubt that the augmented workforce is here, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The channels available for B2B engagement have never been more vast and splintered. With email, SMS, Chatbots, and so many others available, its solutions like the AI-Powered Assistant that allows organizations and businesses to maintain the level of engagement necessary to guide leads on their buying journey, at scale, in order to achieve growth.