In a recent webinar titled “The Blueprint for Turning Prospects into Customers” Carlos Hidalgo, CEO of Annuitas Group and Craig Rosenberg, author of the blog, Funnelholic discussed lead management and how it relates to demand generation.
Carlos began by defining “lead management” as the answer to the question, “I generated a lead or inquiry…now what?” He also noted that “lead generation” usually means: Someone leaves their name or gives contact info to marketing, and marketing passes that to sales to follow-up. That really isn’t a lead at all; it’s an inquiry, and it makes up 70–80 % of the results of lead generation.
All organizations, and particularly small or mid-market businesses, have to be efficient. Your salespeople have to be working on prospects that are ready to buy; they don’t have time to qualify inquiries. The way to ensure that the right people pay the right kind of attention to the right contacts is to use lead management.
Lead management involves shepherding leads from generation through closing, using a combination of people, process, content, and technology. Content and content architecture support demand generation; sales and marketing alignment begins with defining what makes a contact (and all the levels of leads) and progresses to a service level agreement between sales and marketing. All of these steps, plus a few more, equal lead management.
Carlos discussed his company’s Lead Management Framework™, saying that it incorporates the seven components that comprise a lead management process:
- Data management
- Lead planning
- Lead scoring
- Lead qualification
- Lead nurturing
- Content blueprint
The webinar goes into detail, with tips and techniques in each category.
Starting the Lead Management Process
Carlos and Craig address the sticky wicket of getting started with lead management.
- Know What You Don’t Know
Begin with an audit that includes sales. Ask yourself: “What don’t we know as an organization?” and “What are we not doing that is preventing us from growing?” Use the framework to guide the hard questions.At the same time, try to highlight what you are doing well and replicate those activities wherever possible.
- Get Executive Buy-in
It’s difficult to get started with executive buy-in and if you don’t go in with a good business reason, you’re going to be met with resistance.Consider using revenue numbers. Look at the funnel, pay attention not only to marketing qualified leads, but also sales-accepted leads to show where opportunities are missed.If you organization doesn’t have a solid lead management strategy, chances are there are a lot of qualified leads being left in the funnel. Talk to your executives about how your teams are driving value through the pipeline. Show them where additional opportunities exist that they’re currently missing out on.
- Prioritize Implementation
Once you understand what you don’t know, you’ll be able to look at all your limited factors and begin to prioritize which of those factors you need to deal with first.
- Drive and Manage Change
Trying to do too much too fast is one of the biggest obstacles in lead management. As Carlos suggests, “Dream big. Start small. Scale appropriately.” Pick one area where you can get a really quick win; don’t try to change the entire organization at the start.
Want to learn more about how to create and leverage the framework for better lead management? Make sure to check out this full webinar: “The Blueprint for Turning Prospects into Customers.”