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If you had a surefire way to increase qualified leads and help sales close more business, why wouldn’t you do it?  What if it was an easy, proven way that doesn’t always require you to acquire and learn new software, blog/tweet/or otherwise use social media or even be numbed by analytics.  I bet I could sell you this painless marketing remedy for a good chunk of change.  But I won’t.  I’ll tell you right here for no more than your continued attention.

In recently working with Aberdeen Group on a landmark survey and analysis of 455 marketer’s issues and priorities, we found a significant difference between Best in Class organizations (those who grew revenues more than 20% in the past year) and all other barely surviving organizations.  No it was neither their industry nor their product/service advantage.  It was the fact that marketing and sales are aligned together and actually listen to customers and prospects.

Bet you thought the answer was going to be revolutionary and challenging.  Well, the good news is that marketing can be quantitatively more effective in delivering valued leads that close into actual sales simply by interacting more.

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As marketers, we want to be free from sales uncreative constraints and statistically driven management.  Those seat-of-the-pants, unorganized and seemingly rogue sales guys scare many of my fellow marketers.  Some marketers I talk to are equally afraid of customers.  But now the data proves that the best marketers are keeping these ‘enemies’ close by frequently being personally involved in sales calls, talking directly to customers even informally, plus they work formally and frequently with the sales organization to precisely define lead quality and share marketing plans.

Perhaps you feel you are already doing these things but many anonymously admit they are not.  For example, 49% of marketers admit they don’t have ready access to their program results and 52% confess they aren’t deliver results to key stakeholders like sales.

To me, the most depressing data point out of the Aberdeen study is the fact that even the best in class organizations can only account for 47% of sales forecasted pipeline being originally generated by marketing – in fact, only one in four deals can be traced back to marketing efforts.  This begs the question where are all other closed deals coming from?  If I ran a sales group, I would want to do more of whatever is driving the remaining 53% of my successful deals and then do more of that

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