If there is one thing, every business thinks about Lead Management, it’s that it’s really tricky. This is because there is no ‘one size fits all’ lead management strategy for the businesses to adopt. While not an easy job, effective and well-defined lead management plays a crucial role in generation of new business and effectively conducting the sales process to get the desired leads and marketing process to generate the required awareness about the offerings.

7 Tips to Manage Your Business Leads Effectively :

1. Understand your Buyer’s Profile
To understand a typical buyer’s profile, you need the answers to some important questions that eventually help you keep your Sales and Marketing efforts in sync. Does your offering fall in the B2B or B2C model? Are you targeting small start-ups or big enterprises? In what range does their annual revenue fall? How long and what exactly does their Sales Cycle look like? Who is the purchase decision maker for your offering – a CEO, a Marketing Director or any other person? Having a clarity on your buyer’s profile will help your Marketing and Sales departments agree on their definition of a ‘good lead’.

2. Lead Scoring & Grading
Knowing your buyer profile makes way for comparing and setting eligibility criteria for a good lead. A sophisticated marketing automation software helps you assign your scoring and grading based on the rules you set for the same. This eliminates the tedious task of manually sifting through your entire lead database. This kind of a system helps ensure that your leads are being passed on from marketing to sales just when and how you want them to be.

3. Knowing which Leads are the ‘Hot’ Leads
Your marketing and sales team need to clearly demarcate your leads based on their actions – whether they are showing an ‘interest’ in your offerings or an ‘intent’ to buy. For example, if they are going through your white papers and webinars, it reflects their interest, while if they are perusing your pricing information or the buyer guides, this can indicate their intent to buy. A clear understanding of the difference between their ‘interest’ and ‘intent’ helps you understand which leads are ‘hot’ and can be converted with relative ease.

4. Knowing what Information to Gather from the Leads
The Sales and Marketing departments should list-out what all information they deem ‘critical’ to gather from the leads – be it the job title, industry or the location. So, creation of forms and landing pages tactfully asking for this information is a key step of this process. Based on your lead qualification criteria, some of this information can be really critical and should be therefore prioritized over the other less important information. This should be done keeping in mind that a brief form always gets a better response rate.

5. Having a lead Nurturing Module in place for the ‘Not-so-sales-ready’ Leads
A lead nurturing module comprises of building relationship with the leads over a period of time using tactics such as drip campaigns (emails that drip content to leads over a defined period). This is particularly helpful in cases when the leads you encounter are not sales-ready – now or even anytime soon enough. These leads can be included in your lead nurturing program to keep your brand or your offerings on their top-of-the-mind recall over this time, when they possibly get ready for buying.

6. Content Supporting Lead Nurturing Program
The prerequisite of implementing a lead nurturing schedule, is the content supporting such a program. In order to send out useful and effective drip mails, you need to be ready with your existing stock of content that you can use or repurpose. The time for preparing content needs to be taken into account before starting with any of your lead nurture campaigns.

7. Analytics, Tracking and Reporting
Leverage the reporting and tracking functionality of your marketing automation software to help you measure the success of your lead management initiative. Having an insight into how you’re doing currently and what kind of campaigns work better at what stage, help you identify the areas of improvement and work on those to fine-tune the whole process. This enables a better response from the leads.

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