As per Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report compiled by CMI, out of 5 top B2B companies 3 companies aim for lead generation, lead nurturing, and sales. Further, out of all leads generated, on 79% get converted into sales.
To overcome the concern of lead conversion, B2B companies are trying to reach to the root concern- how to manage sales lead!
In recent report, Market Sherpa concluded that- 65% of B2B companies do not have an established nurturing process. This, in turn, result in loss of customers and business worth millions of dollars.
In further research, it is found out that the cause of discrepancy is not associated with lack of interest to shop products from your company. Rather it is due to mismanagement of leads and high amount of negligent in lead management that take place within the organization.
To accelerate lead conversion rate, operations people must focus on sales lead management. Management of leads is one of the main hurdle in the process of lead nurturing.
‘How to manage sales leads’ is one of the major intricacy in the journey of lead conversion. If lead nurturing is done using a well-established formula, it would lead to generation of more leads. As a result, number of prospects into fruitful and loyal customers will also multiply simultaneously.
This takes us to next question- Is there any well-established formula that focus on how to manage sales and multiply the lead conversion rate?
Leads, generally, do not turn into customers immediately and when it comes to B2B companies, they take much longer time as compared to B2C. The leads need to be first warmed up and strategically relationship is built. Further, the relationship empowers the marketers to convert prospects into customers.
Here are a few vital tips that help to manage sales leads
Marketing and sales organizations have begun to take a deeper look into creating and maintaining an effective sales lead management system. The system precisely focuses on lead management strategies that can have a greater impact on short-term revenue.
There are some important things that need to be kept in mind while managing sales leads
1. Defining A Qualified Lead
Both the sales and the marketing departments of an organization must be on the same page when it comes to defining a qualified lead. In order to increase sales effectiveness, sales and marketing teams need a detailed definition of what qualifies as a lead and the rules of engagement with the lead. The definition most often includes, but isn’t limited to; budget, title, geography, buying horizon, size of the opportunity, size of the company, etc.
2. Lead Nurturing
Run campaigns that allow you to get in touch with your prospects multiple times during the sales process until they are finally ready to make a purchase. You can use special offers, new product announcements and promotions as tools to reactivate old leads and to stimulate interest.
3. Quick Lead Distribution
Quicker the response rate, higher the chances of sales closing deals. Quick responses set you apart from your competitors. The buying cycle and the size of the opportunity, together, dictate the intensity and persistence of the follow-up cycle.
4. Lead Source Tracking
So as to understand what works and what doesn’t, it is vital to capture the source of each lead. This is ideally done through a CRM system that automatically inputs the data when the lead enters the system.
5. CRM Solution Deployment
Many organizations believe in the traditional method of spreadsheets, email and word documents to manage leads and lead flow. However, in order to maximize effectiveness, your sales team should be able to capture information about each and every interaction with your prospects and customers as soon and as efficiently as possible. This can be done through a dedicated CRM system.
6. Quality Over Quantity
When it comes to generating new sales, a substantial amount of time gets wasted by sale organizations in churning through lead lists of poor quality. For this reason, it is important to work on increasing the quality of each lead as it will energize your sales organization to convert the lead.
7. Measure Everything
Once you have determined what you want to measure and the reason for it, you can put the necessary tools in place to capture the information. Measurements would generally include the cost of acquisition, cost per lead, size of the opportunity, lead source, size of company, geography, buying cycle, etc. Once the right data has been collected, you can regulate the ROI for your marketing efforts.
Lead Management Steps:
There are a few steps that you need to take in order to improve your sales lead management process and to see a substantial increase in the lead to close ratio.
Step 1: Research
In order to shape and improve your lead management process, you would need to identify and understand your leads. It is recommended to categorize the potential buyers and your ideal customer. For B2B customers, you would need to understand their mindset and their role within the company.
This data will shape the lead management process, content, and sales approach that will be used to close deals.
Step 2: Sales Funnel Mapping and Content Plan Creation
With an established funnel, it becomes easier to map out the buyer’s journey and becomes a framework for the lead nurturing process. Based on the position the lead is at in the funnel, the type of content you create will vary.
A lead that is at the top of the funnel would need content that is targeted towards lead acquisition and won’t have that much of focus on conversion. Conversely, a lead that has moved through the funnel is more tuned into your solution and would need content that supports the solution you provide like case studies.
Step 3: Lead Nurture Strategy Creation
A lead nurture strategy is vital to every kind of business but varies based on different factors. When creating a solid lead nurturing campaign, there are a few things that need to be kept in mind, so as to improve sales lead management and ROI.
- Define audience segments and their needs
- Set KPIs for the kind of goals that are important to that audience segment
- Establish a conversion timeline
- Product segment-specific content
- Create audience specific email campaigns
- Focus on the value offered over the final sale
Step 4: Lead Scoring
According to Marketing Sherpa, 61% of B2B marketers send all leads to sales but only 27% of those leads are qualified. This puts an immense strain on the sales team. For this reason, lead scoring is an essential part of improving the sales lead management process.
The positive and negative criteria used to score a lead vary greatly from one business to another. It is vital to establish this standard based on your business model and your ideal customer.
Step 5: Lead Routing
During this step, a lot of potential sales get lost in the shuffle or even get passed on from marketing to sales prematurely. With the use of an automated approval process, you can ensure that no leads are missed and that they can only shift once they have met certain criteria.
So as to experience sales boost and CRM success, it is vital that there is a successful implementation of a lead management program. If a proper lead management system isn’t in place, even a top class CRM system and the most experienced sales team won’t be able to yield the results that you are looking for.