B2b marketers, when you get sales leadership (or better yet, even just a few of the truly good sales people) in a room, what information should you get from them to create more success for both marketing and sales in your organization? What are the most important questions to ask sales?

There are two key topic areas where your questions will serve you best — value propositions and lead quality/quantity.

Value Proposition

  • What do the highest potential leads (not “ready to buy” – but “ready to engage with us”) have in common (e.g., new to market or solution area, dissatisfied with competing products, price shopping, higher-up decision makers)?
  • When you speak with potential or existing customers about our solution(s), what resonates the MOST with them (can mention price as one, but must name more)?
  • Why do they really buy from us? … and from you?
  • What is our weakest value proposition right now?
  • What are our competitors strongest value propositions right now?

Lead Quality and Quantity

  • Do the leads we are providing fit the market segments and the influencers/decision makers you are trying to engage?
  • Who are we missing? Tell me where those people get information and what kind of information they are looking to consume.
  • Who are we reaching that we don’t need to reach?
  • What are the common criteria for sales qualified leads (do not let them just say “someone ready to buy now” – that is not a high percentage in B2B sales)?
  • For you to reach your goals (best asked of sales leadership) for each segment, how many sales conversions will your team be responsible for, and how many sales do you need to come from marketing sourced leads (marketing does not provide 100% of the lead to convert – sales has to find some on their own)?
  • When you do have a sales qualified lead (basically, an opportunity), what percentage does your sales team win (e.g., 20%, 33%)? – you have to know this to understand how many sales qualified leads you will need to deliver to sales to help them reach their goals.

Those questions should generate good conversations that help you align marketing and sales in a common effort for success.