How much easier would business be if you knew exactly what the customer wanted when they first came to you? Well, with an effective lead management system you can gain a pretty good idea that will make your life so much easier. But what is lead management? And how can you make it successful for your business? This post explains everything you need to know.
Lead management is the process of tracking and managing potential customers until they invest in your brand by making a purchase. It involves capturing leads and following their behaviour until they’re sales ready.
Lead management is effectively the bridge between your marketing and sales departments. It’s a process that takes customers and identifies potential buyers (your leads), and engaging and educating them. Once the leads are deemed strong enough and qualified, it moves them on.
It sounds simple in theory, but in reality, it’s a complex process that requires the right steps and tips in order to get it right. By following an effective and efficient lead management process, your business can start to see the results you’ve been longing for and will definitely see rising sales figures.
The following steps will ensure that you nail your lead management...
First, your marketing department must determine who your potential customers are in order to put together a process that will allow you to see what part of the buyer’s journey these prospects are at.
Your marketing team should develop personas and various buyer types in order for them to understand what your ideal customers look like.
Your personas can be developed by researching:
Online research behaviour.
These sources will point you in the direction of a vague understanding, but you should try and dig as deep as possible in order to obtain as much information about your customers as you can. The clearer the picture you have of them, the easier it will be to target them in the future.
The key to generating leads and knowing where they’ve come from is having the ability to track content. If you can do this, you can then see how well your different methods of content are doing and make informed decisions about what style of content you should be releasing in future.
The ways in which you can track where your leads are coming from are:
Place downloadable content behind lead-capture forms. This is usually in the form of eBooks or all-in-one guides. The form will need to be filled in to download the guide, so you can see who the lead is, where they've come from, their contact details and more, depending on what you've asked them in the form.
Tracking tokens can be added to social media posts and email marketing to help you gain further insight on lead behaviour and how they interact with your content.
Marketing analytics are one of the ultimate ways of finding out where people are visiting your site and how they behave when they’re on your site. Once you know this information, you can start to optimise your content and the way your site is laid out in order to achieve the best results.
Each lead management process should have a lead-scoring system in place. Once you’ve ranked your leads, you can then easily see which leads are more interested in your products/services and their likeliness to convert at a quick glance.
A lead-scoring system is useful as:
The sales team can prioritise calls by number.
Unqualified or less likely leads can be targeted for nurturing.
, the more likely the lead is to convert.
Each lead-scoring system is different business to business. Therefore, you need to spend some time thinking of criteria that are important to you. What might work for one business may not necessarily work for yours, so make sure that your criteria are spot on before you score any lead.
The information captured in the first three steps is crucial to this stage. You should use it to determine at what stage in the sales cycle they’ve entered into. So, for example, have they downloaded an eBook purely for informational purposes or have they requested a free demo or a call back to discuss things further?
A lot of your leads will enter the process at an awareness or consideration phase, so you’ll need to educate them further with more valuable content, promotional offers and encourage them that your products and brand is the right choice for them. By doing this you’re implementing a lead nurturing campaign.
In your lead nurturing campaign you should:
Include relevant calls-to-action.
Be personal in your communications and build a strong relationship.
Offer targeted content to move them along the sales process ready to pass the lead off to sales.
Your leads need to be passed off at the right time. It’s no good passing a lead off too early, as the chances of success will be lessened and the likelihood is that they’ll be put off forever with a process that’s too direct.
This is where you should take your lead-scoring into account. So, when you pass off your lead, make sure that you:
Have scored your lead correctly and aren’t handing things over too prematurely.
Provide extensive and correct information about the lead to help the sales team with their approach.
Ensure the sales team also research as well as the marketing department. You can never have too much research, right?
Provide a minimal level of follow up so that the lead doesn’t slip back in the sales process to the nurturing stage.
You can never over track or analyse things. Which is why we recommend that you do it at every stage of the sales process. You can’t afford to be letting your leads slip back a stage in the process, so tracking and analysing is massively essential.
Also, you should always evaluate your performance. How else are you meant to know whether you’re doing something right or taking the completely wrong approach? It will take time from when you’ve first started to find some real trends but you must stick it out to eventually end up with a flawless lead management system that generates immense results.
So, the right lead management system can assist your business’ growth in many ways. Don’t worry if you’re not sure about which other factors you need to concentrate on. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide that informs you of everything you need to know.
Download your free copy below.