Do you want your B2B sales organisation to generate many qualified contacts and develop them further? And at the same time, as many of your prospects as possible should become customers in the process? Read here about how a systematic lead management contributes to achieving these goals.
In practice, you often have to struggle with the following challenges: either you are missing promising leads or the majority of the gained leads is not followed-up on or not within a reasonable period of time. In these cases, you are risking the acquired trust of your target customers, lose them to the competition or senselessly give away sales potential. With a well-organised lead management, you will realise an efficient new customer acquisition in contrast.
Lead management is an instrument to turn unknown contacts into prospects and ultimately into customers. Meanwhile, the process of lead management includes all measures in marketing and sales to develop an unknown contact on the marketing side so that he becomes ready for sales and develops into a real buyer.
Lead management is about generating new prospects. Especially when you are marketing products or services in the B2B segment that need explanations or which are subject to a longer buying cycle, lead management can make a valuable contribution to marketing and sales. At the same time it helps – also over a longer period – to maintain contact with promising leads.
Furthermore, contacts are increasingly being generated through digital channels such as newsletters, websites, blogs, LinkedIn, XING or Facebook. However leads can also be gained by means of download offers such as whitepapers or through trade fairs. Starting from a certain number of leads, these immense data volumes can best be processed in marketing by means of software-based solutions such as marketing automation tools in order to supply the sales organisation with rated and pre-classified prospects for sales acquisition.
This entails: It is not enough that I set targets and requirements for my marketing and sales teams. As a manager, I must also enable them to reach these targets. It is necessary for this purpose to establish a systematic lead management as a process with the teams and to provide the right tools.
With an efficiently organised lead management, you will reach the following results:
Ask yourself the following question in the planning:
Clarify the following points:
Campaigns are often planned in multiple stages to find out more and better information about the target customers and to be helpful in supporting their customer journey. Important information about your leads is, e.g. company size, structure of decision-making in sales, objectives of business development, etc.
Clarify the following points:
Tip: It is ideal to follow up on these points using a marketing automation software program.
Marketing will now hand off a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) according to jointly pre-defined criteria to sales. With this enriched information about the potential customer, the lead can now be developed further in the sales team to become a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). Ideally, conversion rates from prospect into a lead are above 30% and a conversion rate of at least 30% from lead to purchase order is reached.
Once again in the sales CRM, the lead passes through different qualification stages in the so-called sales funnel.
These are, for example:
Sales qualifies the MQL according to its value and classifies it into one of the first three stages. For classification into one stage, you define the necessary criteria together with your sales team. The BANT criteria are frequently used as the basis for a lead definition:
Sales has already spoken several times with a lead in the benefits argumentation phase. It is therefore also possible to define the probable realisation period and presume project size. Both values are entered into the CRM and result in the unweighted sales funnel value. The weighted sales funnel value is derived from it by means of the following factors:
Project value of 1 million euro p.a.,
realisation probability 100%,
closing probability 33% (because there are two competitors)
This results in a weighted sales funnel value of 333,333 euro.
The weighted sales funnel value offers you a very good prediction for order intake that you may expect in the future for 2-3 years after the introduction of the system.
The marketing portion in the leads management process should always be carried out internally. This is where the knowledge about the target customer, its needs and the customer journeys is. An external service provider would take much too long in combination with the marketing automation software to familiarise with all topics relating to your product offer, your marketing strategy, etc.
The lead management process from the MQL stage or the hand-off to sales with pure cold calling based on addresses, in contrast, can be outsourced very efficiently.
You will profit from many years of experience with the expertise of a sales service provider and have the following advantages: