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Sales Prospecting Perspectives

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Balance Sales and Marketing with Teleprospecting


One of the more challenging aspects of managing a teleprospecting team has nothing to do with running MY team at all. It has more to do with identifying our role within the sales and marketing organizations of our clients. Are we part of sales or marketing? If any of you have been in this unique position you understand that there are days where you may feel like a team without a city.  We are often getting pulled in various directions, being told to do one thing from sales and another from marketing.  To complicate things, the relationship between each department would typically be best described as tenuous at best, and telesales is tasked with keeping both happy simultaneously.

We have all heard it before - "the sales team doesn't take the time to follow up on every lead from trade shows and are only going after the low hanging fruit" or the other side of the coin, "if the marketing team actually took the time to look at these leads they would realize it is a complete waste of my time". Of course I am the lucky devil that is caught up in the discussion and trying to play the role of peacemaker. Like almost everything in life, the truth generally lies somewhere in the middle.  Should you draw a line in the sand and pick a side between the two?

Whether you get caught up in that mess or not, ultimately the goal is to keep that pipeline filled.  Hopefully as a result you keep both parties happy. So the question is, how do you that? Here are a few things that I have found to be very effective in helping to bridge the gap, ultimately keeping everyone reasonably happy:

  • Constant communication with Outside Sales: In order for your leads to go from pipeline to an eventual sale, the most important thing is to be as communicative with the outside team as possible. Traditionally, they are accustomed to being skeptical with most leads unless it is something they have drummed up on their own or have gotten a personal referral. The teleprospecting team needs to win their confidence, in my opinion, in order to make the entire process work as effectively as possible. Make sure to have them follow up with a call to the outside rep after a teleprospector has identified an opportunity. They can then explain the lead in detail and can fill in any blanks from the lead write-up. Your outside rep can now associate a person with a lead that has been passed over, rather than thinking of it as any old marketing lead and as a result will be more inclined to follow up.
  • Prioritize lead follow-up with Marketing: You should have a process in place to quickly disposition each marketing lead depending on their source. Whether it is a lead from a webinar, request for info from your website trade show, mailing campaign, whatever, they should all be assigned a priority based on their perceived quality. So for example, your inside team should be following up on a request for information from your website within 12 hours- whereas a C-Lead from a webinar should be contacted within 5 days of its receipt. This process generally tends to satisfy a marketing team that had previously felt that nothing was being adequately followed up on. Plus they now have a much more accurate gauge on the effectiveness of a particular campaign because no lead is aging beyond a week.

I've found that these are two important pieces in the lead generation process. If you master them both, the pipeline will be filled and everyone will be happy....though I'm offering no guarantee that outside sales and marketing will ever really get along.


Yes, I've witnessed this disconnect firsthand. You've been hired by marketing, yet sales is allegedly benefiting from your work. Ideally it's better to be hired by sales.
Posted @ Wednesday, December 23, 2023 8:21 AM by Brian Berlin
Thanks for the comment Brian. I've had clients in the past where it seemed the sales team had a much better sense of how to manage the teleprospecting effort, but they didn't seem to want to inherit the responsibility. It seems as long as you can get the VP Sales and VP Marketing in the same room to agree on a direction, your teleprospector has a higher likelihood of success. I just wish we could make that make that happen more often :)
Posted @ Wednesday, December 23, 2023 10:51 AM by Craig
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