Lead Management is the Critical Foundation

The success of your business depends on driving sales revenue. But the process between lead generation and closing sales can be filled with issues where leads fall through the cracks and are not followed up by the sales team. Not only are those sales lost, but marketing dollars are wasted. A Lead Management system, tracks leads in real time throughout the sales cycle, from generation to lead closure. It pinpoints where leads are quickly converting into revenue – and where they are not.

Lead nurturing is about building relationships and trust with your prospects in a way that is consistent, relevant and timely. With effective nurturing, the appropriate content is delivered to the prospect based on their interests and their specific stage in the buying process. A Lead Management system needs robust toolsets that allow the user to build personal and targeted lead nurturing programs.

A Lead management system should help your marketing and sales team create relevant, personalized dialogues with prospects through:

  • Emails – Send sales prospects automated emails triggered at specified time intervals, statuses, time in status or when leads reach certain milestones – customization in these area is key to delivering the right content to the right person through the right media.
  • Reminders – Calendar, text, or email reminders should be another feature of a Lead management system – automatically triggered based on specified rules and follow-up times.
  • Direct Mail – The ability to send digitally built one-on-one automated direct mail triggered at specified time intervals and when leads reach certain milestones – is a feature that should not be overlooked as well. Finding this integration is tricky, but worth the effort – it opens up a lot of ways to cut through the clutter of someone email box.
  • Text Messages – Messages automatically go out to prospects with personalized, timely and relevant information.

Lead analysis is yet another critical component of a Lead Management system. It’s important to analyze sources of leads (inside sales, landing pages, ad words, webinar etc.), conversion rates, sell-through via channel, leads/sales by category (industry, territory, partner, etc.) and sales won and lost.

By providing intuitive data mining and reporting tools, a system should allow you to quickly analyze your data to find out which leads are being followed up and which are not. Determine which campaigns are generating the most qualified leads and closed sales to help pinpoint the most profitable programs. The ability to generate a wide variety of reports is very important, being trapped with the canned report functionality that does not tie back into a CRM or sales platform will limit your ability to tie marketing costs back to a final sales and generate true ROI reports.

19. July 2012 by John McGee
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