The relationship between sales and marketing teams is always resentful. The fact is that most of the qualified leads are stagnant just because of the disagreement between these two teams. But a sales accepted lead (SAL) is the bridge between those two teams and it shapes the journey of a customer from the top to bottom of the funnel.
Now let’s see what a Sales Accepted lead is and how is it effective in the sales funnel.
What is a Sales Accepted Lead (SAL)?
A sales accepted lead (SAL) is a marketing qualified lead (MQL) that is passed along to the sales team. When a prospect demonstrates all the positive signs to become a lead and the marketing team measures the qualification score based on the upon-agreed criteria, that lead becomes a marketing qualified lead (MQL). As per the journey in the sales funnel, MQL should go through the SAL stage before becoming a SQL.
An MQL becomes SAL when the sales team accepts a lead from the marketing team to nurture and make him move down towards the bottom of the funnel. Once that lead is accepted by the sales team and it meets all the pre-requisites to be a potential customer, that lead then becomes a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).
- MQL: This is a prospect that is qualified certain predetermined criteria to become a lead and it is ready to pass along to the sales team.
- SAL: Once it is moved and accepted by the sales team, it becomes Sales Accepted Lead.
- SQL: And when it passed certain predetermined criteria to move forward, then it becomes Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).
There is no universal definition of Sales Accepted Lead (SAL). It differs from organization to organization. The definition is set up by both the sales and marketing teams by keeping some qualification criteria of the leads. But, due to the less importance of the SAL stage, it’s not as popular as the tiff between MQL vs SQL.
In many organizations, the sales acceptance step is skipped or overlooked because this step is perceived as an unnecessary and cumbersome process. But when it comes to theB2B organization, this step is significant for the B2B demand creation process.
Why are we even discussing SAL?
Though Sales Qualified Lead (SAL) is considered as an unnecessary step by many organizations, it has a huge impact on the revenue. Here are a few benefits that can be achieved by adopting the SAL step in your sales process.
- Strengthen the follow-up effort
- Assurance for timely follow-up
- Eliminate the risk of losing the potential leads
- Quick identification and address the problems
- Aligns the sales and marketing teams
Strengthen the follow-up effort
When you have a dedicated portal where you keep track of your all leads, your sales team can view the status of all MQL, SAL and potential prospects. The sales team can be aligned with the status of SAL to do important follow-ups.
Assurance for timely follow-up
This step provides assurance of doing timely follow up. In most of the B2B organizations, there is SLA (Service Level Agreement) between the marketing and sales teams. When a Lead is in SAL status, the sales team has to contact those leads within 24-48 hours. Hence the timely follow-up can be shaped by having SAL step in your sales process.
Eliminate the risk of losing the potential leads
Most of the leads are stagnant at the stage of MQL as the sales team is not aligned with the marketing team when it comes to the lead scoring qualification. If you have SAL step in your sales process, the movements of the leads will be smoother and the risk of losing potential lead will be reduced.
Quick identification and address the problems
The sales acceptance rate should always be 90% and above. If it is less than that, then it clearly indicates the miscommunication or any kind of disagreement between the sales and marketing team. Here SAL step will help you identify the issue and address it quickly.
Aligns the sales and marketing teams
All the aforementioned points are a clear indication that a strong collaboration is required between the sales and marketing teams in order to increase the revenue. If you have a SAL step in your sales process, there is less chance of disagreement between both the teams about lead qualification.
Tips to Generate More Sales Accepted Leads
For every organization, the important factor is to generate leads. More than that, generating potential leads is important. The more potential lead you generate, the more conversion you will have.
No doubt, the potential leads are the sales accepted leads (SAL). Here are a few tips to generate more sales accepted leads:
- Create Marketing Funnel
- Use Inside Sales
- Market to the role, not the title
- Know the Goal, don’t sell
- Take care of Dead leads
- Nurture your lead wisely (Nurture account not just lead)
- Educate leads instead of selling
Create Marketing Funnel
Most of the organizations don’t think that marketing funnel is necessary, the sales funnel only is enough. The fact is that sales funnel can help you understand the customer journey from top to bottom. But the marketing funnel helps understand the qualification process and identify highly qualified lead. Also, with the marketing funnel, you can identify the leaky bucket and address the issue to generate more sales accepted leads.
Use Inside Sales
There are different ways to get in touch with qualified leads like emails, messages, web profiling, etc. But talking in the phone with the customers in detail will help you understand customers’ purchase intentions. Hence, inside sales is another tip to generate more sales accepted leads.
Market to the role, not the title
This is an important tip to generate the sales accepted lead. Your marketing strategy should target the role of the person, who is the decision-maker, not the title. These days, most of the profiles are like the president, vice-president, etc. In order to know the role function, there is a lot of intelligence. Ampliz Salesbuddy is one of them where you can differentiate the role and title to market yourself.
Know the Goal, don’t sell
The common mistakes everyone does is doing immediate sales. If a lead downloads your whitepaper and you get his/her contact details, the first step is to know his/her goal and then understand whether s/he is interested in the purchase or not. Then move to pitch a sale. Instead of selling things, knowing the goal can help to get more sales accepted leads.
Take care of Dead leads
As per the b2blead blog, 40% of people are still interested but they don’t have defined initiatives. Here you need to re-engage them with meaningful content, trending problems and the possible solutions based on their requirement. Don’t think that any lead is dead, you can still re-engage them to initiate their interest again.
Nurture your lead wisely
“Nurture your lead wisely” I meant to nurture the account instead of the person. When it comes to B2B selling, it is wiser to nurture an account rather than an account holder. Once you have a proper understanding of an account, it will be easy for you to generate more potential leads.
Educate leads instead of selling
Based on the account research and their needs, educate them. If you sell the product directly, there is a high probability of losing the leads. In order to generate the potential lead, educate them instead of selling.
Having sales accepted lead process in your sales team has a lot of benefits to generate more revenue. The aforementioned useful tips are also added advantages of generating more sales accepted leads.