Companies spend the majority of their marketing budget on generating leads. However, they don’t keep track of how many leaders are actually captured or follow up with them. Most companies don’t invest in and follow a process to capture, respond to and manage the sales leads that are generated through marketing efforts. This can lead to poor customer relationships and a lower ROI. There are some companies that excel at generating leads from B2B customers and others that excel at nurturing those leads. However, companies that are successful can do both well. A B2B lead management strategy that is effective can bring you long-term results. You only need to adhere to some best practices in lead management.
Lead management best practices
You must respond to every inquiry within two days, preferably one day. Statistics show that leads are very short-lived, and people who were interested in your offer today may not be able to remember you the next day. To increase your chances of engaging in meaningful conversations with prospects, it is essential to reduce your response time.
To keep track of all leads, you capture and the relevant marketing and sales data, use a single CRM or marketing database. It can be challenging to implement drip marketing campaigns if you have multiple opt-in inquiries databases.
Lead scoring is an essential part of lead management. To make your lead management system work, you must establish a uniform set of criteria for qualifying and scoring leads. Simply stated, you need to have consistent and reliable metrics at all stages of the lead management process. The qualification of leads is primarily a marketing task and not the responsibility of the sales team. Keep it that way. While sales reps can close deals, marketing professionals are better at initial lead scoring. This is a broad generalization, and there are exceptions. However, you will generally get more efficiency if this pattern is followed in your business.
Lead management requires coordination between marketing and sales teams.
A service level agreement should be signed between sales and marketing, clearly stating who is responsible for which tasks. The marketing team must be clear on what it will deliver to sales in terms of inquiries and qualified leads. Sales should also be able to set a goal to close those leads gradually. Only when these two departments work together in harmony and close cooperation can the company achieve long-term success.
As important as generating leads, lead management is equally important. To convert as many leads as possible, you need to nurture them properly. Market research shows that nurturing and constant follow-up significantly increases the chances of closing leads who aren’t ready for purchase. Invest in a sound lead management system to grow your business.