- Lead generation (85%)
- Sales (84%)
- Lead Nurturing (78%)
Without making the effort to improve sales lead management, you’re just generating more leads that may never convert. Only about 20 to 25% of the leads you acquire are legitimate and ready to advance into the sales funnel. [clickToTweet tweet=”As many as 79% of the leads generated will never convert into sales. #leadmanagement @tallyfy” quote=”As many as 79% of the leads generated will never convert into sales.”] That’s not because they were never going to buy from your company. It’s because of a lack of lead nurturing. If you want more leads to convert, you need to improve sales lead management in your company.
Improve Sales Lead Management By Identifying Points of Failure
There are numerous points where you can improve sales lead management, but one of the major hurdles that should be examined is the lead nurturing process. Any company can generate leads, but few companies have a nurturing process in place to guide that lead to a conversion point. According to MarketingSherpa, some 65% of B2B orgs never established lead nurturing. That’s leaving millions of dollars on the table in lost customers. Especially when you consider that nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities when compared to leads that are never nurtured. When done properly, lead nurturing can generate more leads and convert more prospects into the customers you need to grow. Leads don’t become customers instantly. Even for an e-commerce retailer, there’s some time between discovery and when the customer finally makes a purchase decision. In that window, trust is established as the customer begins to understand the solution they need. For B2B, the process is typically much longer. Those leads have to be warmed up, and you need to systematically build a relationship before the prospect is ready to convert. [clickToTweet tweet=”You need to systematically build a relationship before prospects are ready to convert. #sales @tallyfy” quote=”You need to systematically build a relationship before the prospect is ready to convert.”] If the sale were instantaneous, you wouldn’t need to improve sales lead management – there wouldn’t be a sales process at all. Recognize that a major part of any lead management process is going to be nurturing. Follow these steps to round out and improve your sales lead management, and start seeing a massive lift in lead to close ratio.
Step 1. Research is CriticalIdentifying and understanding your leads is a crucial part of improving any lead management process. Before you can take any other action you need to determine who your potential buyers are, as well as your ideal customer. This will shape your lead management strategy. If you don’t leverage all of your teams, you’re going to short yourself. This is the point where you bring together your sales and marketing teams to collaborate and share information. Marketing can provide a great deal of insight into buyer types and audience segments, crafting personas to paint a picture of the ideal customer. This is usually a combination of:
- Demographics: age, gender, location, career and more. This also includes their problems, needs, and wants.
- Behaviors: Data includes the type of content they digest, where they spend their time, how they shop, what kind of information they’re looking for
- Sources: Defines how your leads find you, or how you’re generating and acquiring new customers. Is it campaigns you run? Referral programs? Social activity?
Step 2. Map Your Funnel and Create a Content Plan
Step 3. Create a Lead Nurture StrategyI can’t emphasize the importance of this enough. Every business should have a lead nurture strategy. There’s no single recipe for success, and how you nurture leads will vary based on a number of factors, but here are some tips for creating a solid lead nurturing campaign that will improve sales lead management and your ROI.
- Define your audience segments and their needs – know what matters to them
- Set up KPIs; what the goal or sticking point for that audience segment. Know what success looks like so you know how to drive them toward that point
- Establish a timeline for conversion
- Produce content specific to the segments
- Create email campaigns by audience segment
- Focus on offering value over everything else. Don’t push the sale
- If using direct nurturing and relationship building through social, define what that looks like; the channels, who does it, how often, etc.
Step 4. Improve Sales Lead Management with Lead Scoring
- Identify the qualification criteria you’ll use to score your lead
- Determine point values, including those criteria that remove points
- Establish what makes a sales-ready lead
Step 5. Passing on the LeadsThis is a step where it’s easy to lose a lot of potential sales. Even with a CRM in place, it’s possible for leads to get lost in the shuffle, or passed prematurely. Having automated or approval processes in place can ensure that no leads are missed, and they only move on when specific criteria are met. When leads are passed on to sales, make it a strategic process.
- Ensure scores are accurate, and the lead doesn’t need further nurturing.
- Lead data should be up to date and accurately tracked, listing all activity and the background data gathered during the nurturing process to help sales close the deal
- Sales should have a strategy for fact-checking and reviewing intelligent information before making contact. This includes: business structure, current products/services, decision makers, audience segment information and other intel that can help with developing the personal relationship
- Create guidelines for follow-up to stay on the lead’s radar throughout the nurturing, sales and conversion process
What kind of approach do you take to lead management in your company? Share your tactics with me in the comments below!