Lead management is a process where marketers nurture the leads, inside sales qualifies it to turn into an opportunity and sales finally works the opportunity.
Lead management best practices are ever-changing
New customers acquisition is important for every business, companies cannot totally rely their business on their existing customers. But the new acquisition is costly. According to a research, it is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep a current one. Lead management strategies plays an imperative role here, it helps in reducing cost and decreases time spent in the sales funnel.
Here are the 5 lead management best practices to enhance your sales leads:
1) Qualify the lead:
Not every prospect who enquires about your product or brand is a qualified lead. Sales people at times gets excited about the sales commission and they blindly lock down the sales opportunities, ignoring the fact that it may incur long-term debts. But by asking right questions to the prospects the sales rep can observe whether it is worth spending their time on the prospect or not. The questions should be revolving around their prospect’s:· Budget: to acquire the product
· Authority: to make the purchase decision
· Needs: what specific needs they have
· Timescale: when will they be purchasing your product, they would need it immediately or after sometime.
Once you find that a lead is not qualifying your company’s criteria, don’t lose your heart; follow the steps mentioned in my previous blog:
2) Practice lead scoring method:
According to Marketing Sherpa's B2B Benchmarking Report, only 21% of B2B marketers have established a lead scoring program. Lead scoring is an effective methodology to determine whether the prospect is a potential buyer or not. Lead scoring helps in tracking the prospect’s behavior and their level of interest in your solution. This information would help the sales team to realize how much input and time they need to spend after a prospect. Thus, if the lead is not qualifying, it can be reserved for the future purpose. A great start on setting up lead scoring for your business would be this lead scoring 101 whitepaper.
3) Define a nurturing process:
Lead nurturing is an integral part of the lead management; it involves building relationship with potential buyers at every stage of the sales funnel, even if they are considering your product for the future purchase. According to the research performed by Marketo, companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more, sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost. And the research study of Annuitas Group proves that, nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. You cannot expect your prospect to become your buyer in the first time of your conversation with them. Offering a product which exactly matches their standards is not enough, developing trust and educating your customers about the pros and cons of the product is equally imperative. Lead nurturing helps the marketers communicate consistently with buyers throughout the sales cycle.
4) Invest in software which enhance your lead management:
According to an Aberdeen study, 71% of surveyed best-in-class companies said they utilized lead management technology. Legitimate marketing automation solutions would enhance the power of your lead management and eventually help your business to grow. It helps companies observe consistent and inconsistent behavior of the prospect towards your brand. It will help you make appropriate moves as in, where to invest and where to engage more to generate higher revenues.
5) Rate your lead management efforts:
After your sales team is done with all the processes of lead management, (acquisition and conversion of leads) you must start calculating the performance rate throughout the sales cycle. It helps you in assessing the cost and time it took to nurture the leads, which leads incurred higher cost and higher profit. It would even help you in understanding the performance level of your marketing and sales team. The reps who are more cost generator, providing training sessions to them would be an adequate solution.
An effective lead management program would help you to create- better relations with your buyers, better understanding of their requirements and lesser time in converting your prospect into your sales lead.
Are there any unique lead management best practices that work for your business? If so, I’d love to hear about them below.
If you like this read about 14 Lead Qualification Questions to Spot your 'Sales-Ready' Leads
Or read more about inside sales.