To kick off the new year, I’m sharing 15 ideas on improving your lead management. I have so much to share that I’ve split this post into three parts (you can read Part 1, with tips 1-5, here and Part 2, with tips 6-10, here), and today will be the final Part 3, with tips 11-15.
As you’ll see, this series isn’t just about getting more leads but about generating better and higher quality leads. These 15 tips (across all three blog posts) will help make your lead management more effective.
Without further ado, here is the final Part 3 of this three-part series, featuring tips 11-15:
11. Use a single voice when communicating with leads
People pay attention to who is sending them emails. Anonymous email servers may save money and be scalable, but they don’t build connections. The re-engagement process has to start with a human being.
You need to have a person behind the email and the phone call. Also, it should be the same person. Our goal is to build the relationship through one person to the point to where the lead is sales-ready, then hand that relationship off to the next person.
12. Nurture organizations, not just people
It’s important to have a closed-loop feedback system so that you can track all activities with all leads inside an organization.
Especially with B2B, selling happens at a corporate level and a business unit level in addition to an individual level. You need to be able to track interactions to be able to determine the program of selling the entire organization.
13. Market to the role, not the title
It seems like everyone is a vice president these days. You need an intelligent process to identify the person’s function and role in the company, rather than going by title.
With a recent MECLABS partner, we developed a process for determining a contact’s function in the company based on a series of conversations. Unless you do that, you don’t have a way to segment your lead accurately and send them the right content for where they are in the buying cycle.
14. Have a clear hand-off process between Marketing and Sales
The point at which Marketing hands a lead off to Sales is like a relay race — it’s important to keep moving fast without dropping the baton.
For one partner, we got Sales to commit to contacting all leads within 48 hours if they had the following three things:
- The lead conforms to the universal lead definition
- Confirmation that the lead wants to speak to a sales representative
- Qualification information for each lead
It’s important to document the process so that both sales and marketing can track all steps and evaluate the process objectively. This documentation is shown in the following figure:
15. Create a process for joint marketing and sales “huddles” to gauge progress
A football team would never think of skipping the huddle between plays. Sales and Marketing should view their work together in the same way. They need to talk frequently about what’s happening with their leads if they want to see ROI.
It’s important to close the loop on every lead and to talk about ways to improve the process. In my experience, Sales and Marketing should huddle on leads at least once a month.
Here are some questions to ask:
- How many of the leads we’ve given you in the past two weeks are active?
- Have you talked to them?
- Are you moving forward?
It’s also important to celebrate wins together as part of these huddles. You need to feel that you are all part of the same team. When that happens, you start seeing improvements at all levels.
For example, one partner had an administrative person at the meetings enter information about leads into the CRM system as people were talking. Soon, sales began to see why they needed to capture accurate information about leads in the system. If they do it, they can see that nurturing will happen on their behalf.
Key takeaways from this three-part blog series
- Marketing must create a marketing funnel to develop sales-ready leads and nurture those that aren’t ready to buy.
- Sales and Marketing need to agree on a universal definition of a lead.
- The hand-off process between Sales and Marketing must be clearly defined so that leads do not languish or become lost.
- Sales and Marketing must have regular meetings to gauge progress.
Embed the passion in your organization
Building clarity around the lead process helps build passion for making a difference in your organization. It creates closer ties between Marketing and Sales and helps Sales do its job better than ever before. You will begin qualifying leads in a disciplined and rigorous way.
No more dropping the baton in the hand-off between Marketing and Sales. That will bring a significant improvement in revenue generated from marketing.
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