The lead management process is how your company finds and acquires potential clients and customers. There are several steps involved, including:
- Identifying potential customers (i.e. leads)
- Engaging with and educating them about your service or product
- Qualifying leads and passing them onto sales
Lead process management essentially bridges your marketing and sales teams. Marketing is responsible for cultivating leads using several different methods, including:
- Cold calling
- Content marketing
- Using sales prospecting tools (e.g. LinkedIn Sales Navigator)
Once those leads are qualified (we’ll explain more about what this means below), they can be handed off to sales so they can work to close the deal.
Having an efficient and optimized lead process is important. Although it’s easy enough to contact many prospects through email, phone calls, and social media, it’s important to know that you’re contacting the right people. You want to ensure that you’re reaching out to people that would be interested in hearing more about your product or service rather than wasting time and resources on people that aren’t looking for what you’re selling.
In this article, we’ll give you a list of helpful lead process tips on how you can streamline your business’s lead management and vet prospects to ensure they’ll be receptive to what you have to offer.
9 Lead Process Tips to Streamline Lead Management
1. Determine Sales Qualified Leads
A sales qualified lead is a prospective customer who is ready to engage with your sales team. At this point, your marketing team has thoroughly vetted this lead and determined that they have expressed significant interest in your product or service. This lead is likely to be receptive to your sales team’s effort to close the deal and convert them into an active customer.
2. Distinguish Marketing Qualified Leads
A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is someone who has engaged with your business in some way, shape, or form. An MQL could potentially be converted to a sales qualified lead if they continue to express sustained interest in your product or service.
Someone could be deemed a marketing qualified lead if they take actions like:
- Adding items to a shopping cart
- Signing up for an email list
- Downloading free materials
- Repeatedly visiting your website
A marketing qualified lead needs to be vetted more before they can be deemed a sales qualified lead.
3. Know Your Buyers’ Personas
A buyer persona is a detailed description of a fictional person that represents your target audience. This description includes things like:
- The person’s name
- Demographic details
- Behavioral patterns
- Goals and motivations
Buyer personas can help guide your product development, brand voice, and marketing strategies. After all, how can you target your products and campaigns successfully if you don’t know your target audience?
4. Determine Your Lead Generation Process
Lead generation is a marketing process that involves attracting prospective clients and customers to your business. The main goal of lead generation is to build a sales pipeline in which prospects can be nurtured until they’re ready to become an active customer.
You can generate leads in a variety of ways, including:
- Social media content
- Blog posts
- Deals and coupons
- Live events
5. Lead Sourcing
Lead sourcing is another, less common name for lead generation. For more information on lead generation, see tip 4.
6. Lead Scoring and Prioritization Tracking
Lead scoring and prioritization help you automate your marketing by assigning a score to each of your leads. This score represents how much a lead has interacted with your business and how interested they are in your product or service. Marketing qualified leads that score over a certain threshold can be given priority and passed from your marketing team to sales.
The following is a list of activities that could potentially increase a lead’s score:
- Visits to your business’s website
- Chatbot engagement
- Email activities (opt-ins, opens, clicks)
- Downloads (e.g. free resources, e-books, whitepapers, etc.)
- Webinar registrations and attendance
- Contact form submissions
Activities that could potentially decrease a lead’s score include:
- Email opt-outs
- Lost deals
7. Lead Nurturing to Land Sales
Lead nurturing is an important marketing activity that involves engaging your prospective customers and clients by supplying them with useful information and offering a delightful experience throughout the buyer’s journey.
It ensures that you cultivate and solidify your relationship with prospective customers at every stage of the sales funnel. Effective lead nurturing results in more conversions, more sales, and larger purchases.
You can use lead scoring to prioritize the prospects that would be receptive to further nurturing. Lead nurturing activities include but are not limited to:
- Providing educational content
- Sending out personalized email campaigns
- Facilitating social media interactions with sales reps
8. Segmenting Emails for Lead Personalization
We mentioned segmentation as an effective lead nurturing tactic in the previous section. But, what exactly is it?
Market segmentation is the process of dividing your target audience into subsets based on shared characteristics. Segmentation can be carried out based on:
- Demographic data (e.g. age, gender, geographic location, religious or political affiliations, etc.)
- Stages of the buyer’s journey
- Website behaviors (e.g. what pages your leads are clicking on)
Effective segmentation can help you personalize your email campaigns, social media outreach, and more.
9. Lead Tracking for Optimization
Lead tracking is the process of tracking and recording your leads from initial touch to close. It involves:
- Determining where each lead was sourced from
- Monitoring where leads are in the marketing and sales funnel
- Taking actions to help move leads into the next stage of the funnel
Reach the Right Prospects with Aktify
Once you’ve prioritized and qualified your leads, it’s time for you to engage with them in a more meaningful way.
Aktify can help you adopt conversational AI technologies and build meaningful, authentic connections between you and your prospects. We use robust data science and machine learning methods to help drive thoughtful and effective conversations that will delight your customers. Our solutions are invisible and will integrate seamlessly with your favorite CRMs and marketing automation platforms.
Interested in nurturing your leads more effectively and supercharging your sales funnel? Contact us today for a demo.