In 2012 I co-facilitated a revenue growth workshop with a very high profile technology company (whom I will not mention here). In that workshop were the sales and marketing teams of a business to business division within the company.
When the VP of Sales was posed the simple question “How many leads do you currently get?” his response was “maybe 20 a month”. At that moment I felt the rise in temperature of the Marketing Manager who abruptly blurted out “What do you mean 20, I gave you 500 just last month!!!!” – which was basically everyone who turned up to an event they held.
We sat back for the next 20 minutes while they argued the definition of what constitutes a marketing qualified lead (MQL) and what moves through as a sales qualified lead (SQL) into the sales pipeline.
What amused me most was the discrepancy of the definitions even though these teams were apparently working very closely together.
Since then, I have seen this over an over again, where two division within the same company, don’t always agree on expectation and process between them.
No matter the size of the company and the resources at hand, it is still the case far more frequently than not.
What I learnt from this enlightening interaction was the following:
- Never assume what the other person is thinking.
- Discuss and agree definitions.
- Agree on handover process (and document it).
- Have clear ownership of each part of the process.
- Measure the flow between divisions.
- Always be looking for ways to improve the flow.
- Report on the flow frequently.
Without these, the flow won’t work, the frustration will be high, and the output (and revenue) will be far from optimal.
Have you purposefully joined the dots or do you assume?