Top 10 Tips For Lead Management

The process of lead nurturing is carried out using eMail, the web, the telephone, social media, and other online and offline channels to build relationships with qualified prospects who are not yet ready to purchase. Many prospects are still researching, so eMails and eNewsletters should provide Best Practice articles, statistics, TopTips, etc, to help the prospect carry out this research and for best lead management.

Lead nurturing can:

• Improve lead qualification and scoring
• Build relationships with prospects
• Create understanding of needs

Lead nurturing is about matching the B2B prospect’s expectations with those of the sales department. The prospect needs to be ready to speak to a sales person when that lead gets handed over.

Qualify Leads Using Behaviour Information

The prospect is in control of the buying process and the internet is now the main tool that prospects use to research purchases. Marketers need to monitor prospects’ online activity to determine when prospects are ready to move to the next part of the buying cycle.

Lead qualification and scoring needs to take into account the prospect’s interest level defined by their actions as well as their words. Actions can speak louder than their words and often the two are not in agreement with each other.

You should track eMail click-throughs, article downloads, web page visits, and update your lead qualification scores accordingly.

Work With The Sales Department

It’s a good idea to start the qualification and lead scoring processes by working with the sales department to determine the prospect criteria that need to be met before a sales call is appropriate and effective.

Start the process by determining your “perfect sales lead”; expand your thoughts and requirements from there. The criteria should include:

• Lead source – eMail, Google, banner ad, etc.
• Demographics – company size, location, etc.
• Behaviour – how many web page visits, article downloads, etc.

Provide The Sales Department With Detailed Information

Whatever you do, don’t simply pass the sales lead over to the sales department and expect them to continue unaided. Provide the sales department with information on what marketing activities the prospect has responded to, and indicate the products the prospect is most likely to purchase based on his behaviour and responses to date.

Help sales out by creating eMail templates, qualifying questions, and telephone scripts to guide the sales people during their initial contact with the prospect. Make sure that your sales people refer to the prospect’s marketing activities they have responded to, such as downloading a particular article.

Keep Track Of The Sales Follow-Up

The process of working with your sales team to create the scoring criteria will build goodwill between the two departments. Continue working with them analysing regularly the leads that your sales people determined to be sales-ready. Use this information to further refine the lead qualification and scoring criteria.

Adjust the lead score thresholds accordingly and make sure sales follow up the leads and reassign those leads that they haven’t contacted. Where sales leads aren’t closed by sales, bring them back into the marketing department for further nurturing.

Understand Your B2B Prospects’ Needs Over A Period Of Time

As you build a relationship with your B2B prospects, learn more and more about their needs. Every campaign the prospect responds to, every website page they visit tells you more about their interests. Every link they click on and every download tells you even more about them.

Forms need to be used intelligently – don’t ask prospects to enter information you already know – use the opportunity to discover something new.

Keep Track Of Every B2B Marketing Activity

It’s essential to track every marketing activity to understand which marketing campaigns work and which don’t. Find out which campaigns directly contributed to the sales results. What campaigns generated the highest quality leads? Which campaigns contributed most to the sales lead pipeline?

Simply knowing which campaign created the sales lead, or which campaign caused the lead to be sales ready is not good enough. It’s essential to understand the impact of every campaign.

Track Website Visitors

By inserting a simple code on your website pages, you can track prospects, whether you already know them or not. This will provide extra information to help tell you which companies are interested in your products.

When a prospect completes a form on your eMail landing page or website page, any previous web visits can be automatically attributed to the new prospect. This will help qualify how ready the new prospect is to purchase. You will know the history of the relationship with that prospect, including which campaign brought them to your organisation.

Develop Data Quality Standards

Analysis of demographics has been part of the sales process for some time, and the internet makes it much easier to collect this information. Information like company size can help you qualify the lead.

Larger organisations will have several demand generation and lead nurturing activities running simultaneously, so de-duplication is essential. Use forms pre-populated with the prospect’s details if the visitor is recognised. This approach will help your prospects and also help the collection of additional information for data profiling and lead qualification.

With these top 10 tips you can start to build your B2B lead machine successfully.

Aside from lead management, if you’re looking for a more concise break down of our own IP tracking tool GatorLeads, check out the guide here!

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