Every marketer faces challenges putting their business on the path to sustained growth. What if you were told that some focus in the right area would help you on your way? Having an effective lead management process can help you maximize sales and productivity by prioritizing the best leads. Knowing how to generate and handle leads efficiently will also result in a lower risk of lost leads and an increase in company sales.
What is Lead Management?
Lead management is a method of generating leads, monitoring them, and guiding them towards sales and customer service. One way to do that is to design a great lead management process. This process focuses on lead generation strategies, how to nurture leads in your verified email lists, routing, etc.You lose productivity if any stage of the process is unstable. Contrastingly, with a proper lead management process in place, you will maximize ROI by saving time.
A lead management process guides leads towards sales
By putting a thorough process in place, your business can consistently improve the quality of your leads. You will save resources like time and money by having a process at the heart of your business. Importantly, this can improve company response times to sales-ready leads. This is key, as research has shown that the first vendor to respond to potential customers is 35-50% more likely to seal the deal.
In this post, we share eight tips to optimize your lead management process.
Let’s take a look!
1 – Create Initial Lead Management Process
Before you do anything, your business should lay the foundation for a successful strategy that will capture leads and eventually win paying customers. To do this, you will want to get your customer interacting departments on the same page, and determine how to manage teams efficiently. By committing sales, marketing, and customer services to service-level agreements, it will be easier to agree on a lead management process. Outline and agree on:
- A universal lead definition (ULD) and criteria for leads
- KPIs, benchmarks, and goals for each department
- Reporting methods and how thorough reports will be distributed
Create a process to maximize your goals
2 – Integrate CRM and Marketing Tools
At this point, you need to think about the technology that will enable your business to put the lead management process into practice. Your teams should agree on simple but effective tools to capture and manage the leads you will deal with. This is where you will consider inbound marketing and decide on the best solutions to reach company goals. When thinking long-term, you can consider future scaling opportunities by adopting the best business practices.
Your business could choose a suitable VoIP phone service for business communications. Getting a content management system will help maximize content distribution. A CRM tool will enable teams to analyze, monitor, and route leads between departments. To ensure efficiency, your teams will also want to consider automated CRM tools to free up time and save money.
3 – Generate Leads
You have some shiny new products available on an enterprise eCommerce platform and want to find some potential new customers. Focus on producing high-quality engaging content that is created with your target audience in mind. Work on inbound marketing by publishing customized content on your website, social media channels, blogs, ads, and any other tools previously decided on.
Generate interest in your brand.
Each step you take towards generating leads will be done with a specific goal in mind. For example, getting sales leads by optimizing your checkout page, generating demand, or finding potential customers to guide through your lead management process.
4 – Create Buyer Personas
To have a successful lead management process, you need to know what makes your products suitable for the prospects discovered. In this way, buyer personas are an essential resource to your marketing and sales departments. With the data available you can learn all the characteristics of your buyers. By creating these profiles you can know what your ideal buyers look like and create customized journeys for each one.
To create buyer personas you need to find the relevant information. This step can go hand in hand with your lead generation tools. You can capture this information using landing pages and forms. This step will enable you to enrich your lead data, making it easier to qualify and segment them.
5 – Score Leads
Scoring leads is an effective way to improve the quality of your lead management strategy. By using a points-based system to represent the lifecycle of a customer, you can improve the quality of leads that are passed between sales and marketing. As both will be familiar with the ULD and designated criteria, they can prioritize certain leads quickly and efficiently.
Score leads to know your priorities
These scores assigned, directly impact the ease of customer relationship management. They enable your marketing team to know how closely a lead resembles the ideal buyer for your company. Similarly, your sales team can recognize when a lead needs to return to marketing for re-engagement. Negative scores can be applied to reflect how unlikely a lead is to become a customer.
6 – Nurture Leads
This is the process of developing a relationship and dialog between your company and potential customers. Lead nurturing is where you encourage your leads to build trust in you. You add value to them by educating and informing them through your engagements. This is where you can consider the question, “what is useful to my potential customers?” RingCentral provided a blog showing 8×8 competitors. In doing so, they provided insight for potential customers.
Image source: Hubspot
In terms of engagement, knowing how to send mass email in Gmail could be beneficial to your strategy. That does not mean it is time to spray and pray. You should take the time to create relevant targeted content to influence segmented leads. You need to send personalized email campaigns or content because that is what the modern customer expects. By continuing to score leads, you can monitor them in the CRM and determine when they can move to sales.
7 – Route Leads to Sales and Customer Service
When your leads reach certain score thresholds, you will want to target them with specific actions that can lead them further along your sales funnel. This step is crucial and will refer back to the ULD and criteria agreed upon between your departments at the beginning of the lead management strategy. The lead will fit the correct definitions, will have a high lead score, and will have arrived at a point where they have expressed interest in your product.
Your sales rep will be able to assess the sales qualified leads, and contact them in a timely manner using your virtual phone service or other communications methods. Marketing and sales will want to communicate frequently to ensure the smoothness of the routing stage and avoid clashing. Once a sale is made, leads can be offloaded to customer service teams that can follow-up using the best call center software.
8 – Refine your approach
How can you tell if your lead management process is working? One method is to use your integrated tools to closely monitor metrics that enhance or give a wide view of the strategy. These metrics could relate to lead generation, lead nurturing, the KPIs, and the goals for each department. The tools selected for the strategy should provide key data that quantify most of these goals.
In the beginning, your marketing, sales, and customer service teams would have agreed on how to share these reports with the relevant stakeholders. For example, they will know how to send a fax online or give presentations. By sharing reports with managers and other teams, it is easier for teams to make decisions that optimize the lead management process. This leads to better performance and eventually higher sales.
Focus on these steps when developing and improving your lead management process. By doing this at the beginning, your business can save time and money as it will have clear, strategic intentions concerning potential and existing customers. To maximize each lead, you can hone in on the way you treat them. Building an optimal strategy can allow your business to reach greater heights and avoid poor outcomes.
Richard Conn – RingCentral US
Richard Conn is the Senior Director, Search Marketing for RingCentral, a global leader in unified communications and audio conferencing services.
He is passionate about connecting businesses and customers and has experience working with Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Experian, Target, Nordstrom, Kayak, Hilton, and Kia.