In most B2B company surveys, generating more leads and improving lead quality are often near the top of the list. B2B companies find these two activities to be the most difficult to do well, especially as the B2B buying cycle becomes longer and longer. It’s a real challenge for B2B companies to find new leads and then sustain the relationship long enough to convert them into customers.
In fact, well over 60% of B2B companies are concerned with just those two activities right now, according to the information.
Finding new leads and managing them is all part of the marketing tasks called Lead Management. Typically falling under the Sales department’s umbrella, it’s a process that encompasses a whole host of activities done by a number of departments: Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service/Support, to name a few.
What is Lead Management?
First, let’s cover what it’s NOT. It’s not:
- Marketing automation
- Individual, isolated programs run by separate departments
- Only lead scoring and nurturing
Lead Management (LdM) is an overall process used by organizations that serve as a foundation for how departments function as part of the overall marketing activities for the organization. That means:
- Collecting and using data
- Planning lead capturing and scoring
- Nurturing the leads you generate
- Measuring your metrics around your lead activities
Marketing automation technology can be used at any point within this process, however it’s not the overall process that guides your LdM program.
Considering all that information, it’s now apparent that LdM is a series of activities and tools that are connected. Not only that, they also affect each other. The activities are connected, as are the people and groups that perform them. Coordinating lead management efforts becomes important and necessary going forward.
Working together is the key
Marketing, Sales, IT, Finance, and Customer Service are just the starting points when it comes to LdM. Each group plays an important, yet different, role in capturing, responding, and managing incoming leads. Just like your LdM activities educates your leads and turns them from passive prospects into active leads, and eventually buyers, educating your internal groups can also turn them from passive employees to active, engaged marketers.
Just like the B2B buying cycle, Lead Management is a long process. Having a formalized LdM process in place will help any B2B company shorten that cycle as much as possible, while at the same time creating more leads—better qualified leads too. Each piece of content you produce as part of your LdM program is used to educate your leads, filtering out those that aren’t serious, and leading the engaged leads further down the pipeline.
Are you using Lead Management for your B2B Technology products? How is it working for you?