Getting a new sales lead is only half the battle. How you convert that lead into a new customer is what really counts. Here are guidelines to setting up your sales lead management process.
Clearly Define Your Target Customer.
Both your sales team and your marketing team should have a finely-tuned target customer profile. That includes demographic, behavioral and lead source information. Work with your sales team to determine what a lead is vs. a contact and be sure your marketing and sales teams are on the same page.
- Develop a standard for handing off leads. Your marketing team should communicate the how the lead came in and what product/service is of interest before sending the lead to sales.
- Develop items like email, call script, and sales qualification templates to assure such information is complete.
- Develop consistent sales methods and review which techniques drive the most results.
Decide What Information You Want to Gather From Prospects.
If your main method of communication with your prospects is email, then stick to asking for name, company, email address, and which product/service the prospect would like more information about. Include a question for how they heard about your business. Make sure the information you ask for compliments your lead generation systems/customer relationship management (CRM) system, as well as information collected from your landing pages, online advertising campaigns, email or other marketing efforts.
Classify and Follow Up.
Classify leads by their actions, what information is sought, what/how often links are clicked on emails, web pages and the like. Then organize leads as a contact, a prospect, an active (warm) lead, an active client, extended lead and so on. Once classified, assign the lead to a sales person for follow up. Studies show the best time to respond to a lead is within the first five minutes after generation. Keep in touch with leads that are not ready to purchase yet; over time you can develop a relationship with these prospects that could turn into a sale.
Become a Resource to Your Customers.
Track and continuously adjust your lead generation and marketing efforts. In time, this will help identify areas of improvement in your lead management techniques and areas of excellence. A great way to extend a relationship is to provide useful information on best practices, statistics, research and the like for your industry or products/services to help customers make decisions. Include your own white papers or content on your website, email marketing and landing pages to keep your audience engaged and to position your business as a resource.
For help tracking and managing new sales leads for your business, contact the
Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County. Conveniently located in Camarillo, California, we’re here to help.