Marketing
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Apr 25, 2016

Lead Management for Improved Sales Productivity and Marketing Effectiveness

What is lead management?
Research reveals businesses lose a significant percentage of the leads generated through marketing campaigns, because the leads are not recorded or distributed to the sales team properly.

Research reveals businesses lose a significant percentage of the leads generated through marketing campaigns, because the leads are not recorded or distributed to the sales team properly. This means companies that do not have an organized lead management process are losing sales opportunities. Lead Management also called customer acquisition management, refers to the automated process of tracking, organizing, distributing, and managing sales leads from lead generation to sales conversion. It also involves lead nurturing to develop a long-term relationship with the customers. If implemented properly, lead management can boost sales and improve the ROI significantly.

Lead Management Stats – an eye-opener

  • “50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy”
  • “Only 25% of leads are legitimate and should advance to sales” - Source: Gleanster Research

Not all prospects expressing interest in your product or service should qualify as a lead. And not all qualified leads that come your way are converted to sales. Trying to reach out to a larger audience may prove beneficial in marketing your brand. But when it comes to sales, targeting the right people who satisfy some specific criteria to qualify as a hot/warm lead is necessary since you have limited resources, workforce, and capital. Otherwise, it can be a complete waste of money, time, and effort. We all know following up with one qualified lead that has the potential to convert to sales is more efficient than chasing ten unqualified leads that yield nothing.

So, lead identification is crucial for a business to grow

Turning a lead over to sales should not be the end of the process because:

  • “Nurtured leads yield 47% more purchases than non-nurtured leads.”
  • “Companies good at lead nurturing create 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.” - Sources: The Annuitas Group and Forrester Research

It is possible to manage a hundred leads manually. But when that number increases 10X, automation is the best solution for identifying, managing, and nurturing those leads. With fierce competition in the marketplace, salespersons need to act fast. Research shows that 35-50% buyers go to the vendor who responds first. (Source: InsideSales.com) And it doesn’t take more than 48 hours for a hot lead to turn cold.

Automating lead management improves efficiency of the sales team and their response time. In the process, all the leads are tracked, verified, filtered, and prioritized as hot, warm, and cold leads. Cold leads archived and the rest distributed among the salespersons for follow-up. According to Gartner Research’s marketing survey, companies automating lead management processes see 10% or more hike in revenue in 6 to 9 months. With more and more companies embracing marketing automation, lead management has become crucial irrespective of the size of the organization.

Lead management process breakdown

Lead generation: Companies run various marketing campaigns and brand awareness programs to generate consumer interest in their product/service. Interested prospects inquire about the products by filling out online forms to request a demo or more information on the products. This data is formatted and segregated to form the leads database.

Lead filtering and distribution: Simple query and contact details do not qualify a lead. Captured information is validated using BANT approach (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timescale). Satisfactory answers to the following questions can transform a lead to a qualified lead.

  • Does the prospect have money to make the purchase?
  • Does the person have the authority to make the buying decision?
  • Can the requested product/service fulfill the prospect’s need?
  • When does the person want to buy the product?

All qualified leads are distributed to competent sales personnel for contacting the lead and taking it to a closure.

Lead nurturing: All qualified leads, whether contacted or not, are then scheduled for follow-up via phone calls or email newsletters.

What you should look for in a lead management system?

The objective of a lead management system is to streamline the processes of tracking and managing leads, increase revenue and improve customer satisfaction for business growth. While deploying lead identification software for your business check for the following features to maximize benefit:

  • Options for process customization as per your business need
  • A dashboard with user-friendly features and navigation
  • Tracking customer data in real-time and generate insights for sales team
  • Tracking leads from various sources such as email marketing, digital marketing, events, webinars, and digital content downloads
  • Location tracking to filter leads by location
  • Analytics for tracking demographic data and identify prospects’ behavioral patterns and generate insights for strategic decision-making
  • Apps to generate automatic lead alerts for managers
  • Option to export data to a spreadsheet for offline analysis

Conclusion

Implementing a scalable lead management system is beneficial to business organizations in many ways. Let’s take a look at the findings of Gleanster Research survey about the benefit of lead nurturing.

Change in revenue: According to the study conducted on various small to large companies, proactive lead nurturing helps the sales team focus on the leads that are ready to close. Thus, it ensures a higher ROI with an increase in the number of closed leads and reduced cost-per-lead.

Improvement in sales productivity: Manual approach to lead management often ends up in sales personnel pursuing several leads at a time, many of which prove to be unproductive in the end. Conversely, automated lead management ensures sales reps work on hot leads and make the most of the opportunities lying in their sales pipeline.

Change in sales conversion rate: With increased number of sales-ready leads generated through automated lead nurturing, companies see a significant increase in revenue.

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