Every company likes getting leads. But determining which ones are a good fit for your business can be challenging. That’s where proper lead management comes in.
When you generate a lead, you most likely have limited information. Maybe it’s only a name with an email or phone number and the company. With this limited information, you need to determine if your sales team should invest time and resources to reach out and sell. Identifying good leads early in the sales process will allow your team to work more efficiently.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s no right or wrong answer. It’s about defining a system that works for you and your business, often referred to as a lead management system. So, let’s look at some best practices we employ at Kuno Creative that may help you and your sales team.
You have a quality product, you’re generating a lot of leads, but you need to determine what to do once you capture them. Creating a lead management system helps define your sales process and, in turn, helps move your leads through the funnel and make them customers.
Your lead management system will allow you to identify the qualities you’re looking for to ensure your leads are qualified. A good place to start is with your personas—remember, it’s about determining which leads are a good fit for your business . Using buyer personas to find out who is most likely to 'buy' your services makes perfect sense. You can take a look at a lead and decide if they fit the mold of your buyer persona.
But there are also metrics you can consider, including:
Culture is a big one for us at Kuno Creative. We’re on the lookout for companies that have an ability to make an impact in their industry with our help, but we have to believe in what they’re doing. Our motto: “We help companies we believe in get results.”
We want to work with companies that are making people’s lives better. Maybe it’s a prosthetics manufacturer providing a better quality of life for people. Or a company developing, manufacturing and marketing products and services for employee safety monitoring. Or maybe a firm that sells software to help other companies work more efficiently. Those are just some of the types of companies we’re looking for.
We’re always on the lookout for established companies already selling a good product. Our goal is to take their business to the next level.
Understanding these parameters is a big part of lead management. As leads come into the system, our sales team knows when they’re handed off that they’re getting strong leads to follow up with.
How? It comes down to communication and making sure marketing and sales are on the same page. Constant communication is a must. To deliver quality leads, marketing should do a few things, including:
A lead management system helps optimize your sales team’s efficiency—and reduces the risk of calling on dead ends. You end up only with leads you think will be a good fit for your company. In the end, they are leads both your marketing team and your sales team believe can be helped by you.
Now that you’ve determined the types of companies you’re seeking, there are other things to consider to fine-tune your lead management system. Your parameters will find you qualified leads, but this is where lead management really begins. It starts with a defined sales process.
At Kuno, we use HubSpot’s CRM and automation to organize our leads into life cycle stages. Life cycle stages represent where a lead is in our typical buyer’s journey. For instance:
Note: This is Kuno's definition based on the way we work. Other companies may label these stages based on marketing and sales' acceptance of leads.
Let’s say you’ve determined you have a sales qualified lead. Now’s the time to really get to know if this relationship will work. There’s still a chance the company may not share your core values or may not be a good fit. Set up a phone call or two to find out.
Maybe there’s a conflict of interest or unrealistic expectations. You never know.
Once you and your lead get to know each other, you’ll hopefully agree on the parameters of your partnership and begin working toward a scope of work or a contract.
In essence, your lead management system will create opportunities for your business and companies who can use your help. It’s really a two-way street. Lead management saves everyone time and creates a more efficient sales process, It funnels leads through multiple engagements and, in the process, buyers become more familiar with your company or products and more comfortable with the decision to buy.
There’s a lot that goes into lead management. But having a good lead management system in place will help you and your sales team work smarter, not harder. It will be built on your company’s core values and create opportunities you believe in.
If you’d like more information on lead management download our guide: “Effective Lead Generation and Lead Management.” In it you’ll learn how aligning sales and marketing can boost ROI and how you can use a demand generation campaign to improve lead quality.