After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- Discuss ways to manage and nurture leads.
- Describe sales pipe and lead routing.
Manage and Nurture Leads
Imagine for a moment that you’ve managed to round up a substantial number of qualified and working leads. Things are looking up, and everyone has high hopes! But, what do you do with them?
Lead management is what happens after lead generation: It’s a bridge between marketing and sales. It’s a process that starts with identifying leads, qualifying them, and then with working them as sales opportunities.
In lead management, your job is to help people learn more about your product or service, about industry trends, and about successful customers they can relate to and be inspired by. Engaging and educating prospective customers is at the core of lead management and nurturing.
Lead nurturing refers to the specific actions that give your new relationship what it needs to prosper. Some leads want regular emails, some want quick responses on social media, and others want to call you up and have a conversation about what you offer.
Focus on the nurturing tactics your customers like best—developing an effective lead nurturing strategy pays off. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate more sales-ready leads at lower cost and boast more sales reps making quota than companies that struggle with nurturing.
Lead Management Software
Lead management software helps companies generate new leads and keep track of who they are, how to reach them, and how they were found in the first place.
This software captures information at the lead’s point of contact with your organization—such as a landing page visit, white paper download, or email open. Based on the lead’s action, they’re automatically scored and the software suggests a next action. Collecting data about how leads and customers are interacting with your brand online allows you to create one-to-one customer journeys and helps your salespeople focus on qualified sales leads while you send other leads on automated nurturing journeys.
Sales Pipe and Lead Routing
All your hard work generating, qualifying, and nurturing leads pays off in the sales pipeline. When you fill your pipeline with quality leads, you help your sales team actively close deals and generate revenue. Surf’s up!
Scoring and Grading
As soon as leads enter the marketing funnel, you should start qualifying them to see which ones are worth additional time and effort. Lead scoring and grading technology can automatically calculate a lead’s value to your company (score) and likelihood of becoming an active customer (grade).
Lead scoring is based on a prospect’s activities, such as the number of pages viewed and forms completed. These activities indicate their level of interest. Lead grading is based on key factors pertaining to individual prospects, such as their location, industry, or company size.
Using lead scoring and grading together helps ensure that only high-quality leads are shared with your sales team—which optimizes their time by allowing them to reach out to the right lead at the right time.
Once your sales pipeline is full of high-quality leads, you need to route them to your sales team. Lead routing is about assigning each lead to the sales rep best suited to guide them through a successful transaction. This can mean distributing leads by geographic territory, by deal size, or by products or services. This helps marketers streamline leads for sales, eliminating the need to comb through leads and guess which ones are right.
Of course, different sales organizations distribute leads in different ways. However you choose to share leads with sales teams, lead management software can help by creating fixed assignment rules based on lead qualification criteria and generating automated reports on pipeline status and sales team performance.
Summing It Up
Everyone wants to do better business, and being able to meet customers’ expectations before they’re ready to buy a product or service can yield great rewards. To do so, you’ll want to master inbound marketing basics, understand the various types of lead classifications, and capably manage those leads.
Get started today by learning more about how to generate leads with marketing automation at the link in this unit’s resources. A transformative relationship with your customers is just a few clicks away!