Most organizations’ sales departments have a love-hate relationship with their leads. While marketing teams are simply appraised according to the quantity of leads generated, sales teams (as well as everyone else) are appraised on the number of leads that actually become paying clientele, therefore the quality of lead is more important than their mere existence.
As a result, lead management within sales teams becomes more complex and oftentimes tense, with the sales and marketing teams at odds for who credit should go to when the job gets done.
Leads are the critical link between a prospect’s first interaction with a brand and their buying journey until they abort or become paying customers. Using a few basic principles, you can get more from leads generated into your pipeline. Keep reading to find out more.
Cut down your response times
Research has shown that only a shocking 27 percent of leads generated for companies actually get contacted and even these have an average response time of over 60 hours. Companies struggle to effectively manage their leads, especially those who provide usable data (and hence no excuse for non-communication).
To grow and sell faster and smarter, sales teams must find ways to reduce response times for every stage of the buying process from prospecting, routing and scoring to qualification, tracking and conversion. Thanks to the technological advancements, you have immediate solutions available through salesforce and SalesforceGitHub for lead generation and tracking. Potential customers need fast and personalized responses from prospectors if they are going to be converted to loyal clients.
Raise your lead quality standards
Your end goal from the beginning must be to generate quality lead over quantity. This means building usable leads, i.e. those that provide complete and accurate information. This can be an unattainable standard, considering how most leads are generated. To begin with, you must know:
- How leads are introduced into your CRM systems.
- The portion of leads drawn from web forms (manually fed information) versus your sales-averse window shoppers (automatic information).
- The number of leads from marketing endeavors including lead programs, events, third-party listing and webinars among others.
- How sales teams are feeding data into the CRM: social networking, collecting business cards or building personal contact lists.
Most of these collection channels have inherent data deficiencies. The answer isn’t to scrap them, but rather to discover new, high-value sources of promising leads and improve management of your existing leads. Use the best of your existing leads as a guide into possible places to generate similar leads.
Focus on success tracking
From the sales reps to the managers, you must utilize data to prioritize and effectively manage your leads and hence measure your level of success. Closely keep track of reports from your CRM system to shed light on lead stage SLAs, time to conversion, conversion rates, lead volume and logged activities among many more.
Managers should be able to easily track their teams’ performance in forecast quotas, leads expected to close, leads won etc. If you are not, there are critical insights into your sales and lead generation process that is flowing through the cracks.
Using your sales CRM data, you should be able to know:
- Who your next big customer and customer segments are
- What lines of business should be grown
- Performance of revenue streams compared with previous periods
No matter where the business goes, data should be able to propel you to the next level, so that you can focus attention on the areas that will bear most fruit for your business.