Thanks to inbound marketing, businesses today play their best cards to garner their target leads’ attention so that they learn about you before deciding to settle for some other brand. And sadly, this decision happens almost in a snap if you fail to capture their attention or let them learn about your brand. Courtesy of the wide range of options, your new leads are already spoiled for choices barring your marketing team even to start converting them faster to qualified potential customers. If you’re not pacing up with the right lead management methodology and processes, you will be going to set back a few steps every day in the competition.
Okay, but Why do I need Lead Management?
Let’s put it this way. It is always great for your sales rep to make phone calls and talk to 10 qualified and interested leads than talking to 50 unqualified, non-interested that are hard to convert leads. Using lead management software helps turn things easy for automatically sending leads down the sales funnel and allows your sales reps flawlessly manage sales-ready leads, convert leads, sell faster, and increase sales considerably.
Once upon a time, lead management was defined as entire process of effectively managing leads, consistently and equally.
But that’s history and an old-school point of view. We have come past various old-school myths, and so has lead management process. Today, lead Management more effectively refers to:
A process of easy capturing of new leads, tracking their behavior and activities across the various channel like website and application automatically, qualifying them, nurturing them with relevant content, manage targeted conversations, and inbound marketing communications and conversations, making them sales-ready, and helping the sales team managing leads to push sales lead down the funnel, sell faster, and convert sales leads quickly.
Yes, that sounds more advanced and genuine experience now.
Lead management is a complex yet popular process, especially when the lead inflow increases.
Here’s a brief on what happens.
Let’s say you have started a organization and created a great webpage. You began running a set of ads so that prospects learn about you, which eventually starts generating new leads by capturing lead profile information and behavior details and build or manage your pipeline. You find increase in new leads that show genuine interest including leads that aren’t or leads that aren’t sales-ready and difficult to convert yet. So, you take the help of an excel sheet for managing and categorizing your new leads – not interested, somewhat interested, and very interested. Awesome.
Now, your lead volume starts to grow.
Gradually you find yourself fall prey to missed leads, lack of follow-ups and interactions or new leads not contacted, and no lead management.
Now let’s assume this same situation, but this time we have a best lead management software service like Aritic PinPoint that makes it easy. The scenario looks something like this now:
Do you know that story where an old professor taught how to prioritize and manage things with a jar filled with pebbles, rocks, sand, and water? In inbound methodology, lead generation is the first step that someone like marketers turn to specifically. Then comes lead management software solutions which efficiently makes way for easy conversion automatically. Afterwards, conversion comes, contact details gained, touchpoints are made, follow-ups and retention is taken care of by the sales rep; the takeaway here is: Take first set of thing into account including in the first place and focus on the specific and important things; the others will fall into place one by one at its own rates.
Different stages of Lead Management
We know how a top lead management software can help your organization grow at tremendous rates. We have also established that lead management software resolves multiple issues in one go. But it is still not a one-step wonder. Lead Management comprises five distinct stages, including: automated lead capturing, lead tracking, lead distribution, lead qualification, and lead nurturing. Let’s quickly go through these five stages to manage leads.
Automated Lead Capturing
Relying on excel sheets is passé. It would be better if you got your leads captured automatically within your lead management system. Aritic PinPoint, which is also a great lead management software, ensures that your new leads are captured and fed into the lead management system immediately. So, no lead leakage, no missed opportunities. Alongside, it will automatically find the specific leads worthy to convert and will actually get you to maximize revenue and those that are somewhat moderate (under qualified).
Aritic PinPoint enables you to build successful lead generation for your brand seamlessly. You can capture lead details such as contact details using our landing pages, gated content, smart and crisp form, and progressive profiling. You already know what a landing page is (We call it the gateway to your main website or specific products page). Gated content refers to an insertion of a quick form that your leads will need to fill up to continue watching a video or reading your top content.
For instance, suppose your potential leads searched up an eBook on best marketing practices and found your free eBook. Once the lead starts reading it, after several seconds or after reaching a particular section, he/she will see a small form automatically appear for him/her asking for name, email ID, and location. Only if he/she enters the contact details can he/she view the remaining eBook. You can also add a motivating CTA to this form like “Get this eBook in your inbox.” Gated content is a great way to initiate interactions and capture potential customers because you catalyze their interest, up their experience, build relationship, and offer a give-and-take situation. It is more like including two-way successful deal where your leads provide you variety of contact details such as name, location, email address, and you provide them resources.
Remember the first line of this article? Your leads want you to earn their attention. But how will you engage them if you don’t know what they are doing, where they are, and why!
Lead tracking services build by Aritic PinPoint helps you understand, measure, monitor, manage, and determine lead behavior across your website and application automatically. Tracking your best leads and top opportunities allows to consequently create and organize a buyer’s persona for each lead. Buyer’s persona helps in understanding the buying pattern activity of your qualified leads. After all, it is a semi-fictional representation of your qualified or potential leads.
You will automatically know about the pages they visit the most, where your leads are dropping off majorly, how much time your leads spend on each of your product pages or pricing page. Also, you can determine the browsing flow of your leads. Let’s say, your ideal browsing activity and pattern is: Landing page -> main website/product page -> blog -> pricing page -> signup page/subscribe to newsletter.
It is a easy flow that you think is most beneficial efforts. But your leads may jump from your product page to the pricing page and back to the products page. Again, another lead may step away after browsing through the blog. This lead doesn’t reach your pricing page and doesn’t subscribe to your newsletter as well. And then, there may be a new lead that replicates your ideal workflow but leaves without signing up or subscribing to your solution, products, or services. This keep happening often.
The point to note here is, each lead has a different needs and expectation. Based on the lead’s behavior and engagement on your website, you can properly determine a complete view or pattern and get a clear understanding of whether that lead genuinely show interest, assign qualify criteria (assign lead score), needs more nurturing, or is a bad lead, thus provide a boost to lead generation programs. To spot the most potential leads you get as a result of lead generation, map key interactions, assign score for each activity and behavior and manage them easily. The lead that has the high score makes it the most potential lead. You can then automate what you can, organize and build a dedicated related marketing campaign around these highly potential leads (which, in other words, is termed account-based marketing). Here’s how lead scoring look like on Aritic PinPoint:
Lead management starts with effective lead distribution, which is no easy feat.
Lead scoring helps in identifying the potential leads you generate, and account-based marketing helps in making these leads sales-ready. That’s when sales leads often are auto-distributed to the sales team to convert them.
If you manually try managing sales-ready leads and your entire sales lead distribution processes among your sales team, it will take up days, and your sales leads will lose interest in your brand (or worse, forget about you). You must ensure to automate what you can. For such situations, Aritic PinPoint functions as the connecting link between sales and marketing. Both the teams are aware of the entire development activity from start to end. While the sales team updates the marketing people about the ideal buyer or customers, the marketing team brings in leads that they generate, nurtures them, and passes them on for distribution of interested leads to the sales team so that leads are easily contacted on time and interactions aren’t missed to push them ahead for conversion. It is a easy and harmonious sales and marketing alignment that makes it easier to manage leads and the lead distribution path seamless and a success.
Lead scoring in lead management software like Aritic PinPoint instantly tells you whether a lead is worth your time and effort or not. Those leads that qualify (as per lead scoring) your buying criteria and are genuinely interested in your brand are qualified leads and get passed on to the sales reps. After all, it is better for your sales teams to talk to five qualified and interested sales leads than talking to 10 leads with no idea whether they are interested or not.
Yep! We have already gone over this action so many times now. But did I mention that you can opt for multi-channel marketing service with Aritic PinPoint?
You read it right. Landing pages, email campaign, SMS campaign, drip push notifications, social media online interaction, mobile phone alerts… Phew! Aritic PinPoint ensures that your leads are nurtured, informed, and aware of your brand.
Here’s an overview of the host of things you can do to perfectly manage lead nurturing:
BEE Editor for landing page building (and customization) and email template customization (all-time favorite drag and drop editor is also there), email automation workflow, automated lead capturing, smart web form, dynamic content, mobile marketing, automate SMS campaigns, push notifications (and drip campaigns), autoresponders, integrations to host webinars (and more), numerous plugins to use, social media online interactions and build a brand presence, lead scoring, detailed reports, and analytics, and so much more!
These are the five primary stages of lead management process. But that’s not all. It is interesting to know that there are various myths associated with lead management system on how to engage and manage leads. Unfortunately, you will relate to believing in these quite frequently. After talking to many marketers and managers, we have accumulated across 10 shocking revelations for you about lead management.
10 Shocking Lead Management Facts You Must Know
Let’s get going! 🙂
1. Your leads do not hate changes
If you’re afraid of making changes to your website or email template, or standalone page, then fret not. Your leads won’t ditch you for that (unless you make something that confuses your leads). Doing unnecessary changes is what your leads may not like. But you can continue working to deliver your content, your fonts, your email templates, etc. Try conducting A/B testing before making your changes live. It is always better to view and test with few leads than impose your new change on everyone and then get a backlash.
2. A great website is not enough to capture leads
You have a great website. Thus, your leads will come automatically.
NO. That’s just plain fantasy!
However great your website is, your leads will not know about it unless you work to make it known. Your leads can’t have a dream or gut feeling that you have launched a beautiful website, right? It is your job to ensure that you make them aware of your presence and that you’ve been building ever since. Social media ads, SEO, paid ads marketing, email marketing, and content marketing is the most effective ways to get recognized by your prospective leads. With an intuitive standalone page, using gated content, offering free eBooks and webinars (and more), you can manage to start showing up in the search engines.
Work on your URL, SEO title, meta description, and other facets to easily show up on the search engine’s first page for your selected keyword. Offer engaging content, social sharing buttons, RSS feed, subscribe button, and key links to your main website (product page, comparison page, pricing page). Create automated drip campaigns, schedule autoresponders, and set defined behavioral triggers for your email campaigns. Lead capturing or lead generation is not a cake-walk. There are so many ways to easily capture leads, and you have to be present across properly where your leads are with the right lead information and details at the right time.
3. All leads are not sales-ready
When a lead subscribes to your email list or signs up for a demo, it may not be necessary for the lead to be your potential buyer. Not all leads that come are ready to convert or make a purchase. Many leads will be ‘bad leads’ that you need to ensure scrapping off pretty soon from account list. Then, there will be number of leads showing symptoms and activity pointing towards ‘interest’ but would be interested in having more details and resources. These leads will require you to spend more efforts managing as they need longer nurture processes with effective content. Lastly, there will be few leads (read: few) who will be ready to hit the ‘buy’ button immediately. Just one mobile phone call is all it takes!
But like I said, the last category will be few, just a handful. Typically the second category will move in to fill your majority pipeline. With a feature like lead tracking, analytics, behavioral email, drip email campaigns, and autoresponders email, landing pages, free resources and offers, SMS campaigns, social media channel contests, and so much more, you can keep them engaged, manage to push them down the funnel slowly, and buy from you.
4. You don’t need to spend dollars to get leads
Lead Management doesn’t mean you need to empty your pocket to get new leads. There is a person I know who often said, “I need leads for lead management. And I need dollars to get those leads.” Nope. It’s not true.
Quality lead generation programs are not money-dependent. However, you may have to spend a lot of time and energy on getting these leads. Effective content marketing and SEO approaches,process, and methodology can help in getting quality leads. It is time taking but worth the effort. Your entire focus revolves around providing right details and response to your leads at the right time and investing your energy in relationship management with each of your leads.
You can indeed organize and launch a few paid social media ads or spend in Google Adwords, but that needs right planning. It is not like case of spending randomly and then waiting for next quality leads to come in terms of building relationships. Whether it is your time, energy, or money, every resource you spend must deliver a high revenue returns (ROI) for your organization to grow.
5. Lead Management is not just a marketing initiative
A closed-loop lead management process does require your marketing team to contribute the most, but calling it a ‘marketing only initiative is plain wrong. If lead management solution were just a marketing initiative collaboration, success would have been short-lived.
I have talked about sales and marketing teams alignment a few times earlier as well. It is indeed a fact that an effective lead management system involves the collaboration of both teams for success- sales and marketing. They both must work together towards achieving a common goal – especially in case of growth of an organization. In addition, both team must agree with working to implement the lead management procedures harmoniously.
Add to this, the lead management process and activity also call for intervention from the IT team, finance people, and other third-party agencies or partners. When everyone from all the teams come together to work to implement a shared goal, the lead management system will give better results. By taking aid from appropriate groups, you will get a better perspective to identify your ideal prospects, leads, and customers. It will only make way for longer sustainability.
6. Marketing automation is not equivalent to lead management
When CRMs launched, everyone rushed to own one and thought it would increase return on revenue (ROI) in a snap. But they forgot a CRM is less likely to help flawed sales process.
The same thing happened with the emergence of automation tools. They confuse lead management software with marketing automation. It’s more like having automation feature is enough; leads will get managed automatically in less time.
Ummm… Not really. That’s why Aritic PinPoint offers a separate lead management solution along with a variety of automation features. To grow, businesses needs to implement both. And no, these two concepts are not synonymous.
7. Lead management is not ONLY about lead nurturing and lead scoring
It never happened that a new client signed up for Aritic PinPoint and asked about lead scoring and lead nurturing. That’s like driving your car on one good tire and ignoring the other three! (which means impossible). Lead management process is not just restricted to lead nurturing and lead scoring. In fact, it involves data analytics, lead routing, content mapping, and creating a blueprint, lead nurturing, and tracking detailed metrics for analytics.
If you address just one component, it will make your entire lead management system fall flat. It will not attract potential customers and won’t bring sales and marketing process effectiveness, thereby deviating from the sole build purpose of having a lead management solution tool.
8. Leaving your leads unattended will do no good. Your leads will NOT WAIT
Your marketing process efforts paid off. Your were able to attract and get good influx of quality leads which make you happy. You’re pleased that you took your leads for granted because you thought you’d done a favor by offering them precisely what they wanted.
Your leads are more empowered than you can think of them. If they have shown interest in your brand, they expect your response or follow-ups in less time or almost instantly. Otherwise your leads will leave out through cracks. So, identify and interact promptly; you can place select targeted conversations or communications such as “Gets back within 2 hours or 1 working day” so that your leads will know when to expect a word from you. But if you’re not living up to your promise, they will even turn away.
Golden rule: Your leads will NOT WAIT for you. They may escape through cracks.
Irrespective of how busy you are, you cannot put your leads in the secondary. You must prioritize them first.
Aritic PinPoint ensures that an automated response sent immediately in the form of email when a lead posts a complaint or subscribes or signs up. You can schedule a small drip series process to keep your select leads in the loop so that you are able to smoothly manage, prioritize, and reach out to all of your leads in less time. Manually reaching out to all leads is not possible and doesn’t drive your sales. But Aritic PinPoint can save your day!
9. Lead Generation Engine doesn’t negate the need for a lead management tool
Once upon a time, sales teams interaction was the first step to the buyer’s cycle. Marketing and sales process evolved, automation happened, and sales teams interaction started happening at the end of the buyer’s cycle. Since B2B buyers are already empowered these days, they look forward to one-to-one conversations with you. They have complete control over their purchase experience, depending upon you to garner their attention in the most optimal way possible. Hence, if you do not focus on personalized targeted conversations, you are not playing the game based by its rule.
A lead generation engine will automatically fill the top part of your funnel. You will require a right strategy or methods and optimize it effectively (and a tool like Aritic PinPoint) to start creating relationships and finally drive or push these leads down your sales and marketing funnel with sufficient nurture campaigns and brand awareness. Your team should follow-up your leads quickly on personal level (As I said earlier, your leads won’t wait) and work to cultivate relationship management with your existing and potential customers throughout their buying sales cycle.
10. Great leadership skills are enough to bridge the gap. Lead management tool can wait!
You have a great team leader with a great vision. Your team leader has excellent ideas. But that does no good in capturing leads profile, generate relationships, nurturing them, and closing them in less time. Lead Management relies on the effective use of the variety of features depending upon proper planning, efficient lead scoring, and effectively managing the functionalities. So only visions and motivational quotes aren’t sufficient for companies to attract prospects and grow. Your team leader must know when to assign roles, whom to assign them, understand your lead management solution in-and-out, and work towards using it to its fullest to improve results in less time.
Put thy faith in Numbers
Let’s take a look at what numbers say about adopting lead Management.
- 80% of marketing automation users saw a spike in their number of leads, and 77% reported increased conversions. Source.
- 68% of B2B companies are using landing pages to nurture new sales leads for future conversions. Source.
- 48% of businesses have reported that most of their leads require ‘long cycle’ nurturing with many influencers.
- Targeting users with relevant content based on their buyer’s stage and the buying process increases the conversion rate by 72%. Source.
- Only 29% of businesses nurture their existing relationship with customers beyond the initial purchase stage. Source.
- 40% of professionals across various businesses, sales and marketing admitted that lack of right strategy programs impacts lead generation. Source.
- Nurturing leads indulge in 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. Source.
By following up with sales leads within 5 minutes, the conversion chances increase 9 times more. Source.
Tell me what you think
We’ve come to the end of this post. Have you come across more facts and facets about lead management that changed your views? Did you find something new while strategizing your lead management process efficiently for sales and marketing? Tell me all of it. 🙂
Before signing off –
Are you using Aritic PinPoint for your lead management?
No? Well, why don’t you start a free trial to see how Aritic PinPoint perfectly fits your needs and solutions. Schedule a personal demo! I will see you again with another new post soon.