Vaguely defined processes for your lead management will turn your lead’s journey into a mystery wrapped in a riddle. The solution: stop treating your lead like a means to an end.
Customers don’t enjoy lead processes
In a current study by software company LeanData more than 500 sales and market experts (B2B) gave their opinion on the state of their lead processes. More than 57% are convinced that their processes are not able to give a satisfying lead or customer experience. Every fourth lead gets assigned to the wrong sales manager. This translates into a loss of money, time and the lead’s patience.
66% said that the sales team does not follow up on the marketing generated leads. 38% have no possibility to connect the right sales manager to the right lead within their CRM system.
This study confirms what we found out ourselves in our customer journey management market guide. We asked managers and deciders in German companies how they plan or implement customer centricity. 23% of the participants give every single generated lead to their sales team. Another 22% don’t have any clearly defined processes for their lead management. MQL and SALs seem to be not even on the radar of these companies.
- MQL (marketing qualified lead): a lead whose contact data – email, name, etc. – is already known and who has shown interest in the company and/or product but still is in the information/research phase of their buying cycle
- SAL (sales accepted lead): a lead that has a clear intention of buying and therefore will be further nurtured by the sales team
Integrated lead management helps everyone
Especially one truth becomes clear with these results: apart from the obvious lack of technological help, these companies need a lead management system that connects marketing and sales activities. And getting back to the results of the LeanData-study, this system needs to be approached from the customer’s view. Instead of asking which phases the lead needs to pass to become a customer, companies have to ask themselves: how does the lead experience the workflows, how does he experience the “transfer” from marketing to sales and how can he take control of the pace of these processes?
Marketing and sales need to sit together and develop strategies how to nurture the lead, when and how to make the change from MQL to SAL and how to individualize communication despite automated workflows.
What you need for this kind of integrated lead management:
- One database that collects all information on the lead and is shared by marketing, sales (and service).
- A lead scoring system that defines which criteria need to be met so a lead can go from MQL to SAL
- Service level agreements (SLA) that make sure that both marketing and sales know who is responsible for what and how to communicate
- Marketing automation to nurture newly generated leads, collect information and step by step individualize the lead’s journey
- A regular conversation between marketing and sales to talk about promising leads, workflows and campaigns. That way, you can make sure that everything goes according to plan. This conversation also helps to identify especially promising leads (for example, the CEO of a big company) and prioritize them.
If you want to know how to define a lead management system that is customer-centric, read our white paper “Integrated Lead Management Roadmap”.