Improve Lead Management Process – 12 solid strategies that produce results
To increase revenue by attracting new customers, one of the fundamental processes you need to review is your lead management initiative. The efforts to improve lead management process will be the most profitable initiative for the sales department. The organization’s sales pipeline and the ability to hit revenue targets all begin with good lead management. Try these twelve strategies for realizing the maximum output from your lead management efforts.
Standardize the definition of a lead and make sure all employees understand it.
It should be clear when does a prospect mature to become a lead that a salesperson will actually work on? Survey’s project that 90 percent of the leads that are sent to sales teams are never acted upon. Hence the qualification process has to be well defined and followed.
Your CRM must have an effective sales opportunity management module.
For optimal sales effectiveness, employees must be empowered with a tool that captures information about every sales opportunity and records each and every interaction with your prospects and customers.
Track the source of every lead.
Your marketing teams work hard and promote your products and services through ads, referrals, online banner ads, SMS and Email Campaigns, road shows, events, conferences or other forms of advertising. It is important to keep track of what actually attracted the prospects to consider your solution and determine what works and what doesn’t work for your business. If the source of these leads is not captured, there is no way of figuring out what’s working.
Distribute your leads quickly.
If you respond within 48 hours of a prospect contacting you, your sales closing rate goes up dramatically. You can also set yourself apart from your competitors, by responding quickly. Most of the leads generated by online lead sharing portals and other such mechanisms, share leads to multiple people at the same time or with limited time gap. If you do not connect with the lead quickly, the chances of losing them to the competitor is very high. Make sure you track this rate as a key sales metric. Building the mechanism to distribute leads quickly is an important activity to improve lead management proceess.
Nurture leads actively.
Generally prospects are probably not ready to buy based on their first interaction with you, however, it depends on the products and services you offer. Nurturing your leads over time is a best practice. Develop different types of campaigns that allow you to have a touch-point with your prospects multiple times. This will help you in moving them through the sales cycle, until they’re ready to think about actually purchasing from you.
Collect maximum information from each prospect.
The best practice is to focus on detailed qualifying of a lead that is generated. The more information you can collect about a prospect, the more excited your salespeople will be about the lead. When interacting with a prospect, one must focus on extracting additional information apart the generic information. With each interaction, the prospect reveals significant information which will help you understand their need and qualify. You can also ask questions like “what interested you about our products” and “why is it important to you.” Salespeople must interact with the decision-makers in the company, and all these information will enable them to establish connection quickly.
Save those interesting bits of information about customers and prospects in the CRM. Tag your opportunities and records with the names of competitors on deals, what objections did the prospect have, can they be a referral or not, which products do they already own and so on. This will help you leverage information quickly in the future. This allows you build connections quickly and close the deals faster.
Treat all prospects like customers.
Capture the source, use caller identification tools and store interaction and transaction history of each prospect and customer. This will enable every team member to answer calls from prospects and answer their questions effectively. This will create a significant impact on the prospects mind and will cause them to want to engage with your team further.
Measure every activity.
You must measure efforts, time and investments made in order to obtain ROI facts. Capture the correct information upfront. And once you have the right information, you can determine the return on investment of your activities and campaigns. Focus on the campaigns and prospects that will increase your sales pipeline.
Review periodically with your sales teams and anyone else involved in the sales process.
Always meet with accountable team members on a regular basis to review lead quality, win/loss reports, and track with CRM systems so that you can improve your sales effectiveness. Reviews play a critical role, when the organization is on a mission to improve lead management process.
Preload your lead database.
Targeting the right set of data to achieve a higher conversion rate of prospective sales leads helps improve lead management process. Often, organizations think they already know who their customers are. As a result, they find a few surprises when they realistically do an analysis of their customer base. Once you are aware of your customers, define a few key attributes about them. Define both external attributes such as geography, company size (employee count, market share & revenue), or internal attributes such as products, territory, credit type and preferred contract type. As a best practice, you can use the profile of your best customers to better define and acquire new prospects.
Monitor all Marketing activities as campaigns.
Create a campaign for every activity your marketing and sales teams do on a day to day basis. It may be a seminar, a tradeshow, a conference, cold calls to a database or an online marketing activity. Monitor time spent, budget and expenses, calls, events and all the efforts towards the individual campaigns. The results, i.e. leads generated from this activity must be linked to the relevant campaign. Over a period of time, you will be able to figure out which type of campaigns are giving you maximum returns.
Making use of these 12 strategies to improve lead management process will help the sales and marketing verticals to perform with higher efficiency.