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VP of Services, 8+ Years of Client-Facing Project Management & Digital Marketing Expertise
January 8th, 2013
So you've generated some leads through a blog post or Ebook offer, great!
Now, how do you work those leads down the sales funnel to create actual customers? A strong, focused lead management strategy will increase the likelihood of converting leads into customers, and ultimately increasing sales.
Even if you already have a lead management strategy in place for your company, the times they are a changin', and it may be beneficial to make a few adjustments.
We've put together this list of eight ways to more effectively nurture, engage, and ultimately convert your leads into customers.
8 Essential Lead Management Practices
1) Qualify Your Leads
The most important aspect of your entire marketing campaign is to fist identify what makes a quality lead for your company. Next, clearly define and express this to your entire company.
Once your marketing and sales teams have a clear understanding of what makes a quality lead, they can more effectively engage and manage with the right leads.
Your sales team should be using a CRM to effectively track and mark all qualified leads in order to start the process of lead nurturing and workflows.
2) Lead Nurturing
It's important to figure out where your lead is in the sales funnel, as not all website visitors and leads are at the same level of the sales cycle.
A lead that was searching for educational information is not ready to be personally contacted about services. You must figure out which next step is the most natural to the lead. Building a relationship with your lead is important, so knowing what they want to read more about will increase the chances of passing them onto sales.
3) Adjust Form Fields
Ask the lead the information you want to know. Looking for companies with a certain size? or type of industry? ask them. If they don't fit your company's qualifications, don't waste valuable time on them. For the leads that you are interested in, you already have great information about them and can decide what to send them next.
The idea behind adjusting your form fields is to allows your leads to qualify themselves so you don't have to. This way you can spend more time on qualified leads who can make an impact on business.
4) Keep an Up-to-Date Database
Information you have on newer leads may include which emails they have opened or Ebooks they have read. Keeping your database current is important so offers are not sent again after the lead has read them.
Once leads are moved down the sales funnel, your sales team may be constantly contacting many prospective clients. Keeping detailed notes after every conversation will prevent backtracking in future discussions. Having notes to review will be important in figuring out what the lead might want next, and when to contact them.
5) Personalized Lead Nurturing
Again, for new leads, make sure they do not receive the same offer twice. Sending them related material shows them you know what they want to read more about.
Personalizing your lead nurturing will make conversations the sales team has with leads feel more natural and less business-like. Those notes you have in your up-to-date database will be helpful to look back on, and will show the lead you care about their business.
6) Timely Follow-Ups
The right timing is extremely important in nurturing your lead. Following up shortly after contact with a lead is essential.
If they are a new lead and wanted to read information, it is best to contact them a few days later with more information they would be interested in. If a lead has become a qualified lead and requested a consultation, it is best to contact them as soon as possible. Timeliness depends on what place the lead is in the sales funnel.
7) Frequency of Lead Nurturing
If you contact them too frequently, you may be annoying them and you can expect an unsubscribe. If you don't contact them enough, they may forget about you, or think you don't care and take their business elsewhere. Find the right balance between the two by thinking about what your lead needs, and when they need it.
8) Closed-Loop Reporting
Use closed-loop reporting to determine the cost and time to acquire, nurture, and convert a lead into a customer. This will be important to analyze your lead's worth, and evaluate the effectiveness of your lead management practices.
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