Every B2B company wants to increase leads. You also want to increase the number of quality leads that come to you, right? Marketing without a plan just won’t cut it anymore. Not having a clearly-defined lead management process decreases your marketing ROI, creates more leaks in your sales funnel and puts your relationship with leads and customers on shaky ground.
To be successful, you need a lead management plan that wins you more sales, plain and simple.
To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld in an episode of his sitcom, “You know how to get the lead, you just don’t know how to hold the lead.”
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Through a formalized Lead Management process, you’ll create more educated buyers, understand their needs better, and ultimately win more sales. Here are four lead management practices that will help.
1. Add value to the market
From a plain marketing perspective, that means producing content that is useful to your target market. The cliche not producing content for content’s sake is very apt here. Each piece of content should talk about obstacles your market faces, and solutions to problems they deal with every day. Share informative case studies, articles, and blog posts with them produced by you and other marketers you respect. Plan your marketing program around this notion of being helpful and adding value, and you’ll start to see the effects in your leads.
2. Recycle your leads
This doesn’t mean taking leads who aren’t ready to buy and dumping them back at the beginning of your marketing cycle. It means having different marketing tracks for different types of leads: ones that are ready to buy, ones that are interested but not ready, and those who are just sniffing around for more information. That’s just a general list of lead types, your market might be different. The point is, understanding the types of leads you have will dictate the content you send them. Based on their needs, either Marketing or Sales need to take up the baton and start working with them. The content each team uses for them will be different. Appropriate content for the appropriate lead at the appropriate time.
B2B buyers want to deal with people they know, like, & trust. Which means building a relationship with them as they move through your sales/buying pipeline. Just like any relationship, you’ve got to understand what they want. Do that by listening to them. Learn more about their needs and obstacles, and then tailor your content to those topics. How do you do that? By monitoring your website clicks and searches, keep track of social media shares, find out about phone calls to Customer Support and Sales, etc. And that’s just the online listening. Engage with them at conferences and events you participate in. Sit in on webinars and sales presentations. There are so many ways to listen to your leads. How are you doing it?
4. Play well with others
Sure, this may be obvious when talking about external contacts, but what about internal ones? Are Sales and Marketing collaborating efficiently? Or at all? Having the right processes and procedures in place to let your internal groups work together and collaborate well can work wonders for your Lead Management program. For example, understanding how your organization hands off leads to Sales can help shape your marketing program. Knowing if Customer Support passes on popular questions to Marketing to address in future content is important. Think about creating a Lead Management Working Group with members from all the groups that do it is a good idea. Employees can share information, strategies, and processes there.
What Lead Management activities do you use for success? I’d love to hear about it.
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