As you implement an SLA between your marketing and sales teams, there are four concerns you might encounter. Here's how to address and overcome them. Concern number 1, what if the SLA requires more leads than marketing can deliver? This is an important thing to keep in mind as you create your initial goal. If you do the math and it requires marketing to deliver an impossible number of leads, then your goal isn't realistic and you may need to rethink it. That said, if the mass says marketing needs to produce more leads than they ever have before, that doesn't necessarily mean the goal is impossible. You may just need to optimize your marketing velocity. Here's Jamie Shanks, CEO of Sales for Life explaining how to do this. Now that you understand that there is a discrepancy or a delta challenge between what you're creating and the end result you're trying to get to, you then have to understand that you in marketing can control three levers. You can control the volume at which you produce more insights. You can control the velocity, the speed at which it takes you to create 1, 2, 3, 4, thus giving you a time savings to allocate resources to other marketing initiatives, and then the last is the conversion of probability of a particular insight. As you go through your evaluation process, you have to determine how many blogs do we make? How fast can we make one blog? What is the average yield or throughput conversion probability of a blog taking and converting one new lead? As an example you might say, well, we create 250 blogs a year. Each converts five leads per average, takes us three average each, this is our man hours and you break it down like an ad agency would. Blogs, e-books, info-graphics, key studies, podcasts. All of it is what you're capable of doing today. What you need to do is reallocate resources as you do these measurements to realize, wow, it takes us three hours to write a blog. What if I were to trim that down to one hour and I were to give back the company two man hours times 250 business days, where could we reallocate resources to maybe info-graphics. You're going to learn these abilities, these tips, these ways of templating and creating insights scale to speed up the lead flow for your sales team so you can hit the goals. If you need to increase your marketing velocity, the first thing to do is to see how much time your marketing team is spending on the different assets they're creating and how many leads those assets are actually generating. Once you know that, you can allocate your marketing resources to focus more on the assets that perform best and less on the ones that don't perform as well. Concern number 2, what if marketing is delivering more leads than sales can handle? Chances are your sales team doesn't currently know how many leads they can handle. But just as you were able to calculate your marketing velocity, you can also calculate your sales velocity. The formula to do this comes from the book Aligned To Achieve which was written by Andrea Austin and Tracy Eilea of insight view who are featured elsewhere in the sales enablement certification course. In order to do this, there are four metrics you need to identify and measure. First, number of opportunities. How many sales opportunities can a rep handle in a given time period? For more complicated sales where the rep has to be deeply involved throughout the process, this number might be fairly low but for more transactional sales, it can be fairly high. This number might also vary from rep to rep based on how much experience they have. Number 2, win rate. What percentage of sales opportunities actually close into new business? This is another metric you need to know to calculate the SLA. It's an important one for both sales and marketing to keep an eye on. If this rate is low, it could be that marketing is attracting the wrong kinds of people. Revisit your ideal customer profile and make sure it's accurately reflecting the sorts of people who are most likely to close. Dig into your sales team's lost deals and see if they can find common traits that don't exist among your customers. Three, average deal value. How much does a typical sale close for? This is a key metric to know when you're initially calculating the SLA. Fourth, sale cycle length. How long does it take your sales team to turn opportunities into customers? Remember, the goal of sales enablement is to make your sales team more efficient. Hopefully you'll be driving this number downwards soon. Once you know these four numbers, you can calculate a single sales velocity metric by multiplying the first three numbers and then dividing them by the fourth one. This will tell you how much revenue your sales team is capable of producing in a given time period. That's an important data point to have when you first design your SLA. If your goal is half-a-million dollars per month and your current sales velocity is only $300,000 per month, you might be in trouble. But remember, the purpose of sales enablement is to help your sales team achieve goals they can't achieve on their own. As you calculate your sales velocity, look for areas where marketing can help improve the numbers. Certainly they can drive a greater number of opportunities into the pipeline and they can improve win rates by making sure leads are fully qualified before sales reaches out. Once you get the content creation part of your sales enablement strategy in place, you'll find that marketing will also be able to reduce the sales cycle length. As sales and marketing work together to achieve your company's revenue goal, make sure they're considering all of these numbers and what each team can do to improve them. Concern number 3, what if sales rejects marketing's leads? Hopefully, if sales and marketing have to find the lead qualification matrix together, all of marketing's leads will meet or exceed the standard sales has for their leads. But what happens if a sales rep thinks a particular lead isn't actually qualified? For most organizations, the leads sales chooses not to contact just get dropped. But that should never happen. If the lead wasn't sales ready, it should be passed back to marketing for further nurturing and if it was sale's ready, sales should contact it. But there may be times when there's a dispute between marketing and sales as to whether a lead is ready or not. You need a system in place to make a final determination. Dan McDade, President and CEO of PointClear calls this system the judicial branch. The judicial branch is a small group of leaders who review every lead sales rejects. They look them over and decide if sales was justified in rejecting them and determine next steps. Here's Dan explaining how it works. In essence, the judicial branch is basically saying, we've said this is the market we're going to sell to, this is the qualification criteria for a lead, we're going to measure that anytime a lead goes from marketing to sales that it's within that market and it's met that qualifying criteria. If it doesn't for some reason when it gets to sales and basically sales needs to push it back. But instead of it just being pushed back to marketing, and marketing is really not at this point that many companies not prepared to really do anything with that. What it does is it goes back to the judicial branch. The judicial branch handles exceptions. I'm in marketing and I send the lead to sales, sale says this isn't a lead. It goes back through the judicial branch because otherwise you're not going to find that it wasn't really because the marketing leader wasn't qualified, or was it because as serious decision says, there were some unintuitive reasons why sales just stopped following up on the lead and had decided to call it quits before they invested enough touches, really to understand what was the value of the lead. If you throw out all of these exceptions and you start to handle them, then you're going to basically fix marketing from the standpoint of what they call a qualified lead. You're eventually going to fix sales because they're going to have to start either following up on the leads and reacting to them. Or they're going to find that they're going to be in a tough spot with their management, and you plug this incredibly leaky funnel where it leads are leaking out at every step of the process. There's no control over and you basically are getting just a small fraction of the value of the marketing efforts that you're doing. So the judicial branch acts as a review board for the leads that sales rejects. In the early days of your SLA, a lot of leads might fall into this category. Some of them will be bad leads and the judicial branch will need to work with the marketing team to figure out why they got passed to sales in the first place and how that can be prevented in the future. Other leads will be fully qualified and the judicial branch will need to follow up with a sales rep who rejected them and figure out what went wrong on that end. As time goes by, the number of leads needing reviewable will gradually decrease. Marketing will get better at qualifying leads and sales will become more trusting of marketing's ability to do so. In order for the judicial branch to be effective, it's paramount that it's members are unbiased. You don't want the branch to be predisposed to side with either marketing or sales. You want it's only concern to be doing what's best for the company as a whole. That means that having the CMO or the SVP of sales leading the charge is probably a bad idea, though both might want to be involved as members of the branch. The ultimate decision needs to come from a COO or even the CEO, someone whose primary interest is in the success of the whole company and who can be trusted not to side with one team over the other. When you're SLA is still knew that judicial branch should meet in person if possible, to discuss these dropped leads and figure out the best way to determine whether they need to go to marketing or to sales. But as time goes on and the list of leads shrinks, the judicial branch might become a rotating duty, several executive share. And it might be no more than reviewing a dashboard and alerting the appropriate individuals. Just to be clear, did judicial branch doesn't have to have multiple people on it. If your company is fairly small, just having one liter review the leads is probably sufficient as long as that leader is impartial. Here's Jen Spencer, who at time of interview was Vice President of Sales and Marketing at a startup called all bound. I heard the other day from them of our pediatric team. Well, yeah these last batch of leads we got they're not good. It's like "Okay, timeout. Let's go through them, please." So let's go through each one of these actual people, let's go through why these are good, why they're not good, where they come from, what was the source, when did you contact them? Were they ready to be contacted? So we just going to get it get it all out on the table. And the truth of the matter is they're going to be some leads sources that are not going to be as valuable as others for sure, especially when we start doing things like syndicating content, doing a sponsored webinar with somebody else and it's not like a 100 percent inbound, totally organic. Those leads are not going to be as hot as the person who's like, "Yes please I wanted them on your software". But that doesn't mean that they're not our ideal customer profile and a buyer persona in a customer profile, it just means we have to take a different approach in how we communicate with them. So that takes a lot of effort, and I can see how it would be really easy to just let it go and just be like, "Oh, they're just complaining. They didn't know where they're talking about", but that's where that divide is going to happen and that's what I am hell-bent on keeping it from happening here. Concern number 4. What if marketing's leads aren't any good? If it turns out that marketing is generating bad leads, that's a fixable problem. Here's Marcus Sheridan, who has helped many companies solve this very problem. Sometimes sales organizations when I meet with them, they say to me, "Internet leads are not very good". Bull, fundamentally false. Here's what's not good. Leads are as good or as bad as the messaging that brought them there, and so if your messaging is very specific and very clear as to what you are, what you are not, then I'll say, you'll say like many of our customers say, "Our Internet elites are killer. There's just tremendous, we lover internet leads, and then you still have the ones that say "Internet leads not so convert ". Messaging problems. You fix your messaging, and now all of a sudden you're going to fix your lead problem. This is why content is such a crucial part of sales enablement. Good content generates good leads, bad content generates bad leads. Be sure to check out the sales enablement classes on content creation to learn how to avoid this problem. To sum up, there are four basic concerns that you might encounter when implementing a sales and marketing SLA. But all of these can be overcome if you put the proper systems in place. So if you run into trouble while implementing an SLA at your company, don't worry. The skills you've acquired in this class will help you overcome them, and ultimately, sit in.