I've often written about the chasm that can exist between sales and marketing. Everyone aspires in some way to attempt to build that theoretical bridge, but as most of us know, it ain't easy.
From what I see, the instinct for the teleprospecting team that happens to be sandwiched between the two is to bow to the requests from both sales and marketing, whether or not it makes sense for the organization globally.
Well maybe it’s time to stop playing nice. Rather than scrambling around attempting to meet every request, I've found that a voice of reason between the two departments general tends to be very necessary. That buffer can offer unbiased feedback (good or bad) which can provide insight on flawed approaches from both sides. In my humble opinion, teleprospecting teams are an untapped resource in determining the true effectiveness of the teams (Sales or Marketing) they support. Think of them as an internal consultant that can provide a neutral analysis on what is and isn't working.
So maybe it’s time to think about creating a third department, completely separate from sales and marketing all together.
What do you think we should call it?
Problem is we all have different terms for this function. Marketing tends to call it "Demand Generation" and Sales prefers to call it "Opportunity Generation". As a result it creates a shared ownership issue which can lead to each department tending wanting to dictate or impose their own agenda onto the program.
From what I've seen, Lead Generation is probably the way to go. I realize it isn't particularly sexy, but it doesn't seem to lean toward either team; which ultimately is what we want this team to do in the first place. The term "lead" is used by both departments and is ambiguous enough to be used as that bridge between the two.
If you're considering building a teleprospecting/telequalification team you need to start by identifying where they sit within your org chart. In a perfect world all 3 departments (Sales/Marketing/Teleprospecting) would report up to the same department head. This would create the continuity between all departments that is required for organizational success.
What are your thoughts? In your opinion who should own teleprospecting?
Craig Ferrara is the Vice President of Client Operations for AG Salesworks. He has extensive experience in the sales and teleprospecting process. Craig joined AG Salesworks in 2003 and has successfully managed several teams of high-performing Business Development Representatives. To read more of his articles, click here.