In the perfect world, your leads will drive down the sales funnel themselves. They will be excited to buy and will come back to you whenever the need arises. Easy, right? It’s not. And it never has been.
5 Rules of Lead Management
Even in our real, cruel world, the buying process has changed. Buyers are constantly bombarded by ads, not-so-special promotions and limitless selection of products. In such an environment, there is a single path a company can take - to stand out.
The rules of the game have changed.
We can no longer count on massive advertising and “one size fits all” strategies. It’s no longer about finding customers - it’s about being found. Yet, if our marketing team performed a job good enough to indeed get found, the work is far from being over - it has only begun! Upon becoming a lead, most consumers are not yet ready to buy.
A company needs to learn how to build relationships with individual customers continuously. We should not sell them our product - we should satisfy their need. We should not reach them using those channels we can - we have to reach them the way they want to.
We should not rent the positive attention other people have built - we should build our own attention by providing valuable content, insights, and most importantly - solutions. It is crucial to know that even though the product might be perfect, nobody will buy it if nobody knows about it.
Lead management - a fine line.
According to our CEO, lead management process is comprised of lead generation, filtering, grading, distribution, and contact, with the final goal of making the sale happen.
Here are 5 ways to make sure your sales team will come out as a winner!
Provide them with high-quality leads.
As said above, generating a lead is only the beginning of your relationship with the buyer. We need to nurture the leads by letting them know the value our solution can provide. We can achieve that by creating attractive, emotional and personalized campaigns.
With every additional email and campaign, we want to make them feel closer to our company, to know more about our products, to make them aware of the fact that we have the solution to their need.
Four out of five marketers say that their email open rates do not exceed 20% (source 1). That means it is necessary to think beyond the inbox! Every company needs to discover which channels their leads use and adapt itself to this information.
If a lead prefers communication on Facebook, be there. If they prefer to talk by phone, give your best phone support! And if they prefer to communicate using smoke signals, so be it!
According to a Harvard Business Review research, US companies take 42 hours on average to respond to a customer inquiry. In today’s environment, this figure is unacceptable, and the potential client will be sure to switch to another solution provider if left to wait this long.
The mentioned research found out that the odds of a lead entering the sales process are 21 times greater when contacted within five minutes versus 30 minutes after an inbound lead converts on your website. At CallPage, we make it in 28 seconds!
Position yourself in customer’s mind the way you need to
We have already seen how important inbound and outbound marketing are. They are a great tool to inform the customer about your solutions, as well as the company’s story and the market itself.
During the lead nurturing process, you should aim to educate the consumer about the relevant fields and incorporate the way of thinking about the market and your product specifically. This way, when the consumer approaches the time to buy, your product will be much better positioned in their mind.
Don’t forget your manners!
When a certain individual or a company becomes your lead, it is extremely important to welcome them in your family and community. Send them a warm welcome when they sign up and make sure the email comes from someone at a high position within the company!
This way we show the appreciation to the future client and make them feel important. Briefly describe who you are and what you do. There is no need to be too official - we want to be at the same level as the consumer.
By sending them a welcome, we can quickly set up some mutual expectations and give the first insight into the ways the recipient can benefit from joining our fanbase.
It is absolutely crucial to be personal in the mail. Not only by inserting the customer’s name in the subject line, but do your best to modify the emails according to the individual’s interest. It’s all about them!
Work for it!
Great social media presence, intuitive web design, and fantastic user experience are the core of any modern business. But only the core. Modern users are used to all of these and see it as the minimum.
Customers want to feel respected, welcome and appreciated. They need to have the assurance that you are trustworthy and can reliably provide the solution and the value they are looking for. When they first sign up, they probably do not know who you are or what are the most outstanding qualities your solution has.
Lead nurturing is the perfect opportunity to inform them about all the benefits their cooperation will bring, and that you are the expert in the industry.
Lead nurturing is also a brilliant opportunity to discover new market insights - what other products are the leads looking for, what challenges they are facing, what is stopping them from buying? All this can set up the path for better campaigns, as well as the insights the marketing and other departments can use to invent new ways to satisfy the needs appearing on the market.
Moreover, nurturing existing leads can be an exciting tool to get new leads! If your marketing team is good at providing valuable and interesting content, there is a high probability the leads will share the content with their colleagues and friends, opening up the chance for them to join the nurturing process as well.
There is plenty of fish in the sea ...
Lead nurturing is like trying to find the perfect date. He or she won’t commit to the relationship based on the first date, or say impression.
They have other options, and they need to know why they should go with you. They will need constant attention and proving why you are the one he or she needs in their life.
Make sure to prove you are the one! Stand out!
- Oracle Marketing Cloud. “The State of B2B Lead Nurturing Survey”. May 2014. http://www.ciccorporate.com/download/The_State_of_B2B_Lead_Nurturing.pdf. Accessed on 17/08/2017.
- Oldroyd, James B. McElheran, Kristina. Elkington, David. “The Short Life of Online Sales Leads. Harvard Business Review. March 2011. https://hbr.org/2011/03/the-short-life-of-online-sales-leads. Accessed on 17/08/2017.