Posted by Indusa Admin on June 24, 2015 8:33 am
At Indusa, our sales and marketing teams have been working lately to strengthen our lead management efforts. We’ve done a lot of research, compiled the most useful pieces of advice from thought leaders on the subject, and combined them into one blog post to share with you. Enjoy!
Understand the Mindset Of Your Sales Team
In 10 Steps to Improve Lead Management Process, the number one step to improve lead management process for the MX Group, a digital demand and creation agency, is to understand the mindset of your sales team. While we found a lot of information about systems like CRM and automation and processes, it’s important to understand that those factors only represent a portion of the process and your team, strategy, products and markets all contribute as well.Understand if your team has what the MX Group calls “blockers” that are preventing them from following up on sales leads, such as the following-
- Do the leads have enough information?
- Are more assets needed to support lead follow up?
- Is there proper integration between automation tools and CRMs?
Clean Your Leads Regularly
Salesforce’s Success Insights recommends keeping your data clean as a key step to effective lead management. Recently, Indusa had to clean our entire database. This was a supreme undertaking and we shared the steps we took here in a prior blog post. We are also making sure we keep our database clean so we shared proactive steps to take every day so your data doesn’t get too outdated.
Progressive Lead Profiling
Every resource we read on this topic spoke to lead nurturing, but Dayna Rothman from Marketo’s blog stated it best: as you nurture, profile your prospects to better understand what their needs are. Every form a prospect fills out, every piece of content that they engage with tells you how to better appeal to them through emails and lead nurturing campaigns.
Leads Age, Distribute Them Quickly
This is one of those pieces of advice that you know but sometimes just isn’t consistently executed well. But Richard Faulk’s post on managing sales leads is right, the data and studies are very clear on this: “Sales close rate goes up dramatically if you respond within 24 hours of a prospect contacting you. By responding quickly, you truly distinguish yourself and your organization from your competitors.” Follow the advice from the number one method and get those blockers out of your sales teams’ way so they can follow up on those leads expeditiously.
Lead scoring is key. It helps Indusa sales reps focus on the leads that are the most likely to convert. This was another method that every resource we read stated for effective lead management; however, what convinced us most about lead scoring were the statistics that CMS Wire found in their surveys:
- 42 percent named measurable ROI on their lead generation programs a main benefit. This benefit exceeded expectations with only 32 percent of adopters expecting measurable ROI.
- 38 percent named increased conversion rates of qualified leads to opportunities. Once again exceeding expectations, as only 32 percent of adopters expected this benefit.
- 31 percent named increased sales productivity and effectiveness. With only 28 percent of adopters expecting this benefit, this too exceeded expectations.
- 27 percent named shortened sales cycle — something that 30 percent of adopters were expecting.
- 27 percent named better forecast and pipeline visibility — expected by 32 percent of adopters.
- 19 percent named the better alignment of marketing and sales efforts— a benefit expected by 22 percent of adopters.
CRM, CRM, CRM
Most of our research pointed to utilizing CRM to improve lead management. Just to give full-disclosure, Indusa markets and supports Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which we love because of the easy functionality. For the purposes of this blog post, I’m encouraging you that if you don’t have a CRM system, find the one that your entire sales organization will use. There are many CRMs with many functionalities, but you want the system that your organization is going to adopt, enjoy using, and be able to get started with fairly easily.
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” Sherlock Holmes, “A Study in Scarlett” (Arthur Conan Doyle). All of the resources we read stated that you must analyze, but Pamela Vaughn, who guest blogged for HubSpot, explained it best that you have to track, measure, and track and measure some more. This helps to explain what is working with your lead management and what isn’t.
We hope these seven most valuable techniques work for your lead management as they’ve definitely been helping us sharpen our knowledge.
About the Author – Elena Britton
Elena Britton is a leader for Indusa’s strategic marketing efforts. She’s worked on digital and traditional marketing projects in various B2B industries with a focus on brand management, digital strategies and event management.