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In our instance we do the first part pretty similar to you. We developed a lead score system and certain demographic and behavior actions pushes that score higher and higher until the lead reaches our set point threshold. We have put in place instant qualifiers that are deemed immediate MQL's that are pushed to the sales team to be SAL. For individuals that reach the MQL status by way of points we have set up a transition workflow in the back-end that ensures our leads are being handed off correctly. It looks something like the below:
- Lead reaches 100 points and a task is sent to our sales team to confirm quality - If Sales accepts the lead they change the "Lead Status" field in Salesforce from Nurturing to Working
- If 24 hours has passed and the status has not changed, an additional alert is sent to the sales rep and their direct supervisor to inquire why
- Once the status has changed to working we allow a 30 day wait period that allows the sales team enough time to reach out and develop a proper opportunity and ultimately convert the lead into a contact
- On day 30 if the status has not changed another alert goes out to the sales rep and their supervisor informing them that marketing will take the lead back within 24 hours if the lead is not converted. **This is an important step for us because sometimes these are SQL but the team may have forgotten to convert the lead.
- In 24 hours marketing automatically changes the "Lead Status" to Return to Marketing and continues the nurturing cycle.
I will say also that we have established biweekly Sales & Marketing meetings to review the current state of our funnel and specifically discuss the leads that are hovering on the 30 day threshold. Good communication throughout the process helps to make sure each department feels they have a say in the sales cycle.