5 Steps for Lead Generation and Lead Management Process
Here are 5 steps you should take to improve your lead generation and management process. It’s a simple question, but few of the companies we talk to have an unequivocal answer. More often than not, there is no procedure in place for generating and managing leads from first conversion through sales closing. If a process exists, it’s usually a mix of manual sorting and uneconomical communications that risk losing leads and the all-important timing between a bottom-funnel request and a sales response.
1 – Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, and Product Alignment
Lock your Sales, Marketing, Customer Service and Product Development teams in a room and don’t let them out until they come up with a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that commits them (and Management) to:
- Agreement on definitions and criteria—what is a lead, marketing competent lead, sales qualified lead, sales accepted lead, opportunity, customer, upsell opportunity, retention opportunity, etc.
- Reporting—dashboards and in-depth reports for each team and how they will be spread to stakeholders
- Lead management process (have them bring this 10-step list to the locked-down meeting to guide them)
- KPIs, benchmarks and monthly, quarterly and annual goals for Sales, Marketing and Guest Service.
2 – Lead Generation
Capture qualified sales lead through high-quality content and targeted:
- Demand generation—paid search (PPC), social media ads, native ads, email marketing, direct mail, print ads, media ads, trade shows, speaking engagements, personal networking.
- Inbound marketing—blogging, guest blogging, blogger outreach, blog syndication, social media updates, social media engagement, SEO on-page optimization, premium content (eBooks, infographics, videos, webinars), calls-to-action, landing pages.
3. Lead cleavage
Set up marketing automation workflows to categorize leads and section them into lists using criteria established in Step 1. Use these lists to nurture leads with applicable content and personalized email communications. Also use them for targeted campaigns, segmenting leads with a certain role or title or within a certain industry or market segment.
4. Assign Leads and Transfer to the Sales Team
Automatically move inbound leads over to your CRM using marketing automation workflows and assign them to befit sales reps when they reach lead scoring thresholds and trigger specific behaviors, such as requesting a free trial or demonstration. Use cleavage rules to assign leads to an appropriate sales rep, for example by territory or industry. This process should be carefully planned in Step 1.
5. Marketing Automation and CRM Integration
You will need sales and marketing application to put your process in place and get it running. As part of your alignment process, your teams need to agree on tools they will perpetrate to using every day to capture and manage leads and customers. The best solutions are easy to use and merged every aspect of inbound marketing, including:
- Website content management system.
- Content creation and promotion (blogs, social media)
- Lead conversion (landing pages, forms, and calls-to-action)
- Lead nurturing (email campaigns, personalized content)
- Marketing automation (email marketing, list segmentation, lead scoring, lead management workflows)
- CRM integration (seamless, bi-directional transfer of lead data, KPIs and communications)
- Enterprise application integration (customer service apps, e-commerce, business intelligence systems).