B2B marketers need to segment, message, time, and target their communications with their direct sales reps just like they do with external prospects and customers. In my previous blog post Six Key Table Stakes for B2B Sales and Marketing Alignment marketers were tasked with three things:
- Treat the sales force like a market segment
- Market collateral (and leads) like solutions
- Take an account-centric approach to lead generation
Lead distribution scoring touches on all three. Lead distribution scoring is a second stage scoring process for marketing qualified leads that enables marketers to "get the right information to the right sales rep in the right format at the right time to move an opportunity forward." This is IDC's definition of Sales Enablement and is a fundamental concept that should govern how marketing markets all of its output to direct sales (leads, campaigns, collateral, etc.) The days of posting to a portal or flowing and forgetting MQLs into the CRM are over. Lead distribution scoring incorporates dimensions such as:
- What type of rep is this contact going to?
- By segment
- By tenure
- By region
- By product line, etc.
- Does the rep need many leads or a very limited number of leads?
- What account is the lead associated with?
- Is the sales rep meeting with this account in the next four weeks, next two weeks?
- How is this contact connected to others in the account?
- Is this contact interested in the same solution as other contacts in the account?
Using a lead distribution scoring methodology will bring sales and marketing into much more direct alignment on a one to one basis. It can be applied not only to leads but to collateral, campaign training, and more. Marketing output can be "made to order" for sales reps so that it is not only highly qualified, it is also has high immediacy and relevancy to the reps' call sheets. If the relationship between marketing and sales so bad that accessing call sheets is a non-starter, then look for friendly reps who might be willing to give a little more to get a little more from marketing.