It's the first week of the quarter. You're on deadline to get new programs and sales tools in gear. Meanwhile, the sales team is having its kickoff—and changing the success criteria for your lead machine!

They're not deliberately changing the game on you. They're in "New Quarter's Resolutions" mode. If they made goal last quarter, their quotas are higher. If they didn't, they're in the hot seat. Either way, they're re-evaluating and retooling the sales model—and now your carefully planned lead-generation programs are out of alignment.

Case Study: From Starving to Farming

A company I consulted with staffed up its inside sales team after missing quarterly numbers. Marketing was consistently generating 50 new leads per sales rep, per month—an ample amount for the outbound sales team, which developed most of its business through prospecting.

But 50 leads/month was a starvation diet for the new inside reps, who did not have outbound calling skills. They required 200 leads per rep, per month, to make their sales goals. And there was no more room in the budget.

So how did we feed the hungry reps, while staying on goal and on budget? By putting the sales minds and marketing minds together.

We focused on sales productivity instead of sales staffing—each outbound rep was paired with an inbound rep to cover the same territory. The inbound reps qualified leads and were mentored to make outbound "warm" calls within existing accounts. Marketing programs were focused on up-selling and cross-selling new products and services.

Cultivating new opportunities within the installed base was more than enough to cover the revenue shortfall, and because we used the company's own house lists for the programs, we stayed within the existing Marketing Programs budget.

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Su Doyle is a go-to-market strategist who has served as CMO and GM for high-tech and media companies. She writes on marketing and product strategy at Email her at