Webinars present an opportunity to begin a dialogue between sales staff and the incoming leads before the event ever takes place. Thus, sales must define for the team how to route leads to the appropriate representative or sales group as early on in the registration process as possible. Alignment between sales and marketing will naturally occur when the following takes place:
- The sales representative on the cross functional team takes an active role in the planning, managing and measuring of the Webinar.
- The sales representative keeps the sales department well informed on program objectives, key dates and required approvals.
- A formal process is instituted for transferring leads from marketing to sales to ensure “sales ready” leads are followed up by sales, and all others are nurtured toward becoming sales-ready.
- Sales has input on monitoring results and provides feedback including quality of leads and setting goals for future programs.
The sales representative will ensure the sales-engagement process is planned out with the team before the Web seminar is fielded. This includes input on qualification criteria including required and optional fields in registration forms and data that will be used for lead scoring if appropriate.
Once it is known that a lead fits a specific profile, an automated communiqué can be employed to introduce the registrant to the assigned sales representative. One technique for the team to explore is to solicit questions for the Webinar speaker(s). This starts a sales dialogue and is designed to reduce sales cycles, improve sales efficiencies, and increase conversion rates. Full team buy-in is required as there are multiple points of coordination. If questions are solicited in advance, a process must be in place to have questions addressed in the Webinar as well as in post Webinar follow up sales scripts and e-mails.
Perhaps most importantly, after the Webinar the sales representative will want to ensure the sales organization follows up with leads within 72 hours of the time they are generated.