Why MQLs should not the only measure of marketing success

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Why MQLs should not be the only measure of marketing success.

As many technology companies continue to insist on living and dying by MQL marketing metrics, we’ve explored how this can inadvertently lead to too binary a qualification of Enterprise sales opportunities – missing significant future revenue.

Why does this happen and how can you avoid doing it?

We all know that a single conversation may not provide a comprehensive understanding of the prospect’s organisational structure, decision-making dynamics, or buying criteria. But still opportunities are being prematurely disqualified, creating a significant risk of overlooking, or missing,  potential avenues for engagement. It also removes the ability to uncover hidden needs, pain points or opportunities that could be addressed with further exploration.

It’s essential to conduct thorough discovery and qualification processes over multiple interactions to gain a deeper understanding of the prospect’s needs, challenges, and buying readiness. Rushing to disqualify based on limited information can result in missed opportunities to uncover additional value propositions, differentiate offerings, or tailor solutions to better meet the prospect’s requirements.

SDRs often are under pressure to meet call out rates, and commission plans tend to reward fast conversion – acting in opposition to the work needed to properly engage an Enterprise level organisation, for example:

  • Lack of Fit: If the SDR determines that the prospect does not meet the company’s ideal customer profile or lacks a genuine need for the product or service, they may disqualify the opportunity. However, this decision could overlook potential opportunities for future business or fail to recognise that the prospect’s needs may evolve over time.
  • Limited Information: If the prospect provides limited information or is unwilling to engage in a meaningful conversation, the SDR may struggle to accurately assess fit or qualification criteria. As a result, they may prematurely disqualify the opportunity without fully understanding the prospect’s needs or potential value.
  • Time Constraints: Prioritising opportunities based on perceived potential for success can lead to missed opportunities for SDRs. While it’s important to focus efforts on high-potential prospects, dismissing opportunities too quickly based on limited information may result in overlooking hidden needs or opportunities for engagement.
  • Qualification Thresholds: Strict qualification thresholds set by the organisation may lead SDRs to disqualify opportunities that do not meet certain criteria, even if there is potential for future business. This rigid approach to qualification can result in missed opportunities for nurturing relationships and building rapport with prospects over time.

 

It’s not to say that these things shouldn’t be in place, rather that there should be space given to sales executives to do the necessary groundwork required to engage effectively at the Enterprise level.

A useful habit in the more successful SDRs in tech is one of engaging regularly with the marketing team, at events for example, or attending weekly performance calls.

There are also a number of skills and processes that can be introduced to give the SDR a more rounded approach to lead generation, that ultimately delivers more consistent revenue opportunities over a longer period:

  1. Training and Education: Sales enablement teams can provide SDRs with comprehensive training on effective qualification techniques, including how to ask probing questions, uncover prospect needs, and assess fit more accurately. By equipping SDRs with the skills and knowledge they need to conduct thorough qualification, sales enablement can help mitigate the risk of prematurely disqualifying opportunities.
  2. Qualification Frameworks: Sales enablement teams can develop qualification frameworks or guidelines that outline specific criteria for assessing fit and determining whether an opportunity should be pursued further. These frameworks can help standardise the qualification process and provide SDRs with clear guidelines for evaluating opportunities more effectively.
  3. Access to Resources: Sales enablement can provide SDRs with access to a range of resources, such as playbooks, scripts, and objection handling guides, to support them in qualifying opportunities more effectively. These resources can help SDRs navigate challenging conversations, overcome objections, and gather the information they need to make informed qualification decisions.
  4. Technology Tools: Sales enablement teams can leverage technology tools such as CRM systems, sales intelligence platforms, and data analytics tools to provide SDRs with valuable insights into prospect behaviour, preferences, and engagement patterns. By harnessing the power of data and technology, sales enablement can help SDRs identify high-potential opportunities and prioritise their efforts more strategically.
  5. Continuous Feedback and Coaching: Sales enablement can provide ongoing feedback and coaching to SDRs to help them improve their qualification skills over time. By conducting regular coaching sessions, role-playing exercises, and performance reviews, sales enablement can help SDRs refine their approach to qualification and address any gaps or areas for improvement.

 

A two way process with marketing will also support a more holistic approach to MQL qualification, using metrics such as account engagement and buying group engagement to track the progression into a large organisation more effectively.

The gap between leaders and laggards is growing, so ensuring you have the edge on Enterprise opportunities is crucial.

For more information on sales training and enablement please contact us.

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