Lead Management is a Team Effort
Many marketing departments do a great job with promotion – only to fall down when it comes to lead management.
Good lead management isn’t about automation. Although technology can make lead handling easier, there are plenty of companies that successfully convert leads into sales using nothing more than a spreadsheet to manage them.
The biggest key to success is the lead handling process you devise. Consider these factors:
- Defining a “lead” – There are differences between sales-ready leads, marketing leads, and unqualified leads. Define them clearly so you know what to do (or not to do) with them when they’re generated.
- Passing “hot” leads to sales – Even for “super-urgent” leads, your process should capture relevant lead data before handing them off to sales.
- Nurturing leads – Any lead that isn’t sales-ready should stay with the marketing team and be nurtured via a steady stream of content: customer case examples, white paper reports, links to blog posts, etc. … and personalized whenever possible.
- Rechecking leads – A prospect’s lead status rarely stays static, so your process should include rechecking them regularly to determine their true status.
- Measuring results – Come up with measurements and diligently apply them to your lead program:
- What percent of marketing leads become sales-ready ones?
- What percent of leads become customers?
- Which lead sources perform the best?
- What lead-generating content is the most popular?
One other thing: Transparency and access are important in building a successful program. Leads are a shared responsibility between marketing and sales, so make team decisions about how leads are to be handled.
Both areas should have access to the same information about leads … and both should be able to update records.