As with every tech sub-industry the number of marketing automation vendors is growing rapidly; or is it? The number of technologies that claim they are a marketing automation platform is definite, but the key question is, are they really marketing automation platforms? The honest truth in many cases is no.
Effective lead management is key for a number of reasons, from being more aligned with sales, to being able to market more effectively, to well defined segments. The five Do’s and Don’ts outlined below will give you a great pointer in the right direction to ensuring your marketing activity is not lost at that critical stage.
Use lead statuses It is critical that you have a set lead path and that lead statuses are mapped into your marketing process. Sit down and discuss what this looks like and build reports to view leads at each stage of the process. This allows you to monitor where the gaps in the process are.
Track lead source You need to measure your marketing ROI, so tracking the lead source enables you to do this. Once you can report on the source, you can reallocate the budget accordingly next year. Before you go lead source mad though, make sure the lead sources are well defined and kept to a maximum of around 10.
Use lead scoring Scoring leads means you can prioritise them based on their profile and their behaviour. This in turn means that sales are picking up on better qualified leads and not wasting their time sifting through CRM. Lead scoring needs careful thought though and needs to correctly profile your customers – definitely one to do with the sales team.
Automated lead assignment Real-time is a buzzword right now, but in this case, it carries some weight. Automatically allocating leads based on specific criteria means they are followed up in a timely fashion and significantly increases your chances of a close. ‘If you follow up with web leads within 5 minutes, you’re 9 times more likely to convert them’ – www.insidesales.com
Make sure all users have a full understanding of the lead process Having a process is meaningless if not everyone knows it inside out. Documenting the process using lead statuses in particular means leads follow the correct path and are handed over to sales at the right time.
Use standalone web to lead forms Gone are the days when form submissions are sent directly to email addresses or static databases. There is no visibility on this and it requires manual input into CRM. Use marketing automation forms if you have a platform and CRM forms if not. This allows you to capture important information and allocate out immediately.
Convert to sales too early Leads should be well qualified before sales pick them up as sales people are expensive and their time is not to be wasted. That said, do not wait a light-year or the opportunity will be missed.
Allow duplication of leads Data quality is paramount, particularly when leads are entering the database. Duplication means you may be marketing to the same person twice, which, as I’m sure you’ll vouch for, can get really annoying. Worse still if one person converts to sales twice – you’re going to lose the prospect if two people pick up the phone and dial!
Allow for decay of your lead data It takes a lot of time and effort to build your CRM database so don’t let it slide. It will do if you’re not careful – at around 30% a year! Need more stats, see Ringlead. Use the many tools out there to make sure people still work where you think they do.
Lose sight of leads if they don’t convert immediately Recycling leads back to marketing is a no-brainer. Use lead statuses in CRM to hand back to marketing and enter into a ‘remarket’ pot (using campaigns). Remember, just because someone isn’t interested right now, doesn’t mean they never will be – keep your proposition front of mind. With proper recycling “80% of ‘bad’ leads buy within 24 months”. www.siriusdecisions.com
Ok, so I’ve provided you with the tips. Now what can you do with them? Well, I’m not going to lie, it will take a little time to get everything just right, but with the right tools and resources, all of the above is absolutely achievable. Sit down with your team (and don’t forget sales) and come up with a 3-month plan. HINT: An essential part of that plan is to adopt marketing automation and deploy a de-duping tool.