How to Understand the Modern Marketing Funnel & Lead Generation

Marketing has a lot of responsibilities, but all of them lead to one goal … generating marketing qualified leads that help sales generate the revenue that grows the business. Just like Sales is held accountable for pipeline growth, Marketing, too, should be measured on the value of the pipeline. Why? Both teams now play an ongoing role in the sales process.

At one of the opening sessions for SaaStr this year, a panel featuring sales and marketing leaders discussed this topic in-depth. Below are some of the top takeaways from “Dude, Where’s My Leads?”

The Traditional Marketing Funnel

A lot has changed in the world of marketing and sales. If you look at the traditional marketing funnel, the two departments used to be viewed as completely separate functions.

The traditional marketing and sales funnel and why it has evolved

Marketing was only responsible for lead generation, and sales was only responsible for working and closing the leads.

The Modern Marketing Funnel

In the Modern Marketing Funnel, the two departments must work closely together as a buyer bounces back and forth between marketing and sales like a ping pong ball.

The Modern Marketing Funnel, the Modern sales funnel

Marketing is responsible for demand and lead generation. They are also responsible for lead nurturing as sales works to close more deals.

With so much information now available for consumers to review on products, and more competition in the marketplace, the time to close a deal often takes longer than before.

Additionally, more people are involved in the buying decision. There are an average of 4-5 buyers involved in every purchasing decision. Each decision maker may join the sales process at a different point as the buying decision is being made.

The Marriage of Sales & Marketing

To make the buying “Ping Pong Effect” seamless for the buyer, Sales and Marketing must be on the same page with leads. In essence, the two teams must play together as a married couple working towards the same goal.

In order to accomplish this, both teams must do several things together, including:

1. Define what marketing and sales qualified leads actually are.

2. Define what lead expiration dates are and become comfortable letting go of the expired leads.

3. Define lead scoring rules and paths for leads based on their score.

4. Define buying signals and how they relate to lead scoring.

5. Define rules for Live Chat on the website and where those leads should flow.

Since most sales happen between the 5th and 12th contact, it is important that marketing and sales teams are on the same page. As the buyer ping pongs back and forth between the two departments, minimizing confusion is paramount. Which is why it is also paramount for these two departments to transition to the Modern Marketing Funnel.

Teams who continue to view sales and marketing as two different departments will have a complicated buyer journey that slows down the sales process.

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Evaluating the Modern Marketing & Sales Funnel