In sales, a lead is defined as a “potential sales contact.” But what constitutes “potential?”
Depending who you talk to, “potential contact” can be anything from a purchased name in a database to someone who filled out a web form, replied to an email blast, or dropped their card in the fishbowl at a trade show.
Some of these options are clearly more qualified than others.
In fact, according to Gleanster Research, only 25 percent of leads are sales ready. That is why a key aspect of successful business development lies in implementing effective lead scoring and management processes to help the best of the best rise to the top, identify which are ready for sales outreach, and which need a little more time.
When this happens, sales spends more time calling the right people, close percentages increase, and everyone is happy.
But lead management is no small task, and certainly not one that any one individual or department can go at alone. It takes a team that works in concert and understands that all elements are critical for success.
There are a lot of elements. Lead management includes everything from proper CRM setup to defining and implementing effective lead scoring matrices and Marketing Qualified (MQL) and Sales Qualified (SQL) thresholds, to disciplined lead status updates, and more.
For insight and advice, on how to navigate the complex web of lead management, we reached out to leaders in several of our various practice areas:
Kyle Tillar, Vice President of Sales as a Service
Understand the difference between an effective sales list and a marketing list
Marketing sometimes will deliver content to the entire database to test what message resonates with who. Yet, just because someone looks at your content it doesn’t necessarily mean they are an influencer or a decision maker you want to engage in a sales conversation.
As a sales manager, make sure you segment interactions from a marketing content push to only contain the titles that match your ideal buyer profiles so you ensure they spend their time reaching out to the right people that will yield higher contact rates and get more meaningful conversations that lead to meetings.
Make the list manageable
Throwing over five thousand potential leads at a sales rep can create a whole slew of problems, including calling undesired titles, forgetting to follow up, and not having enough time to truly penetrate a company that could be an ideal fit.
Instead, keep your lead list at around 200 names at any given time. This way you can manage the percentage of the list that has been worked, how many are left, and what is coming out of it. You don’t want to spend three months working the same list just to find out it’s not where you should be spending your time.
Paul Fuller, President, NuGrowth Digital
Manage the rate at which you get to a meaningful conversation
You don’t want to rush the lead, but you want to help guide them towards a response. Offer meaningful marketing content. If you reach out with a phone call after sending the content, explain that you are there to help get them the information that they need. You know they have a problem, maybe you can help.
As this progresses, your prospect will gain an increased level of comfort with you and will be more willing to hear you out.
Move people whose behavior shows interest through to speak with a Business Development Executive more quickly
Move self-selecting leads to the front of the line. These are leads that reached out to you and inquired about your product or services, generated a high lead score through repeated interaction, or responded to marketing content in a positive way that indicated interest.
Leads like this don’t need extra time, now it is a matter of getting in contact with them and starting the process.
Customer Relationship Management & Marketing Automation
Chuck Rue, Director of Sales and Marketing Automation
Segment your database
Split the database up into multiple fields, such as Industry, Company, Job Title, etc. This enables more targeted outreach.
Practicing proper data segmentation avoids getting bottlenecked with multiple calls to one prospect when trying to find the right decision maker.
Ensure your automated programs are functioning well.
Take a step back and look at where each lead is. Then, make sure you are working with the marketing and sales teams to develop a nurture program to those who are not ready to commit Marketing and sales generally have the messaging, but ensuring the program is executed properly is key.
We’ve often found that sometimes it is only a matter of having one more conversation before someone is ready to buy. These can be prompted by a great nurture program.
Above and beyond all, you are a team. Act like it, work together and do what is needed so your business can achieve success.
The left must always know what the right is doing, and vice versa. Communication must be constant, everyone is always in the loop. The split second one gear slips, the whole machine breaks down.
Join a great team
Learn the entire process that will help your lead management. Many companies have and found great success, now it is your turn. Contact NuGrowth today at 800-966-3051 to see how we can help you manage your leads and turn them into sales.