More than 80% of all business transactions are now concluded online or at least influenced by the information offered online. So it’s no wonder that the topic of lead management has become increasingly important in recent years.
But what exactly does lead management mean and how can it influence your own business success? In this blog post, you will learn what lead management consists of, how your marketing and sales processes can also benefit from it, and how CRM software supports lead management.
What is Lead Mangement?
According to the knowledge portal Onlinemarketing Praxis, lead management is defined as follows:
Lead management encompasses all the measures a company takes to turn potential buyers or interested parties into actual buyers or purchasers.
This means that it includes all strategic processes and measures that are undertaken to win over new prospects. The primary goal of lead management is to acquire new customers.
The measures often involve several departments in the company. This is nothing new and has always been the case. What is new, however, is that due to the abundance of digital channels that now exist, the number of leads is also a much larger than it was a few years ago. As a result, it is now almost impossible to track all potential new customers manually, and people rely on automated processes. In practice, these look like this, for example: marketing runs a campaign for a new product and places online advertising for it. This generates new contacts, which are then enriched in marketing by means of previously defined modules – usually e-mails. At a certain point, these are then transferred to sales for further processing. As a rule, the transfer takes place on the basis of defined scoring points. Once a lead has responded to the marketing building blocks, it is credited with points depending on the action taken. Once a certain number of points has been reached, the lead is automatically transferred from the marketing automation system to the CRM.
Since the lead is now quite “mature”, i.e. the sales department already knows quite a lot about the demand from the actions previously undertaken, the sales closure is much higher than with a cold call. In the best case scenario, the sales department signs a contract and has thus acquired a new customer. The new customer is then managed by After Sales in cooperation with Sales. The leads that Sales could not persuade to buy can be returned to Marketing and thus fall into follow-up campaigns.
As you can see, a well thought-out lead management strategy not only increases the number of leads, it also makes internal processes and resources more efficient.
What are the phases that make up effective lead management?
To ensure that lead management is as efficient as possible, a distinction is made between different phases in which different departments also participate.
Lead generation is the process of acquiring new leads. This is usually done through marketing campaigns that are carried out online and offline – usually in a mix. However, the planning of these campaigns should not be done by marketing alone, but in cooperation with sales.
Once you have hooked the fish, you need to develop it further – until an initial interest has turned into a genuine purchase intention. In this phase, you have to make sure that your prospect is provided with the relevant information at the right time. To do this, however, you also need to know which phase of the purchase decision your potential new customer is currently in. Impossible you think now? Don’t panic. What used to be done manually can now be automated by so-called marketing automation systems. This software enables the creation, execution and management of personalized and automated marketing campaigns. In doing so, the software uses the collected customer data and triggers predefined processes. As you can see: maximum campaign success with efficient use of your resources.
The customer Jauch Quartz GmbH shows you how lead management can be successfully implemented: To the Succsess Story
Lead Scoring and Lead Transfer
As mentioned earlier, not only the marketing department but also sales participate in the process. However, it is no longer possible to decide manually or “by instinct” when a lead has more than just an initial interest. So what can be done? Just hand over all the collected contacts to the sales department, who will know how to get the prospects to buy? Absolutely not! That would be good old cold calling, and almost no one jumps at that anymore. Here, too, marketing automation software can do a good job, because it can award a certain number of points for each prospect collected, depending on which action was performed by the prospect. Only when a predefined number of points is reached is the now potential new customer handed over to the sales department. This has the advantage that the wheat has already been separated from the chaff and the sales colleagues deal with the right – i.e. the promising – leads.
Now you know the individual phases that make lead management successful. But theory and the purchase of marketing automation software will not make your lead management successful. Rather, it takes a company-wide strategy to make your lead management successful.
What makes successful lead management?
Consistent processes and uniform strategies
What makes for successful lead management? We are often asked this question. Because the number of leads doesn’t explode just because you’ve invested in marketing automation software. Nor is it because the marketing department locks itself away in a quiet closet and thinks up creative campaigns. No, the be-all and end-all of successful lead management is that it is seen as a company-wide philosophy or strategy and that campaigns are designed by various departments. This includes not only marketing and sales, but also colleagues from product management, production or the service department. Marketing is only the “executive force” that packs the input of the departments that are close to the customer into a creative framework and plays it out on the right channels.
The right content at the right time
The marketing department, for example, has worked with product management and sales to come up with a strategy for generating interest in the new product series. Now it is a matter of delivering this input in the right form at the right time. A 30-year-old production manager will most likely want to be addressed differently than a 55-year-old or will use other channels for research. And this is exactly the task of marketing: selecting channels -online as well as offline- and putting the sales arguments into the right framework. This can be e-books, whitepapers, but also webinars or simply a first contact form in which a demo is offered. It is important that the future customer gives his contact details at some point. But beware here: less is sometimes more. It’s best to start by asking for the email address and then try to ask for the rest of the contact information successively as the campaign progresses.
The right Leadmanagement Tools
Once you have defined the relevant buyer personas and the content of the campaign and created the content, it’s time to get down to business. If we spoke earlier about the marketing department as the “executive force”, this must be expanded to include the right software that gets the content to the man or woman. After all, once a certain number of leads is reached, it is impossible to manage the campaign manually. It is therefore necessary to select the right marketing automation software. In the meantime, there is an abundance of providers. When choosing, it is important to ensure that German data protection requirements are met and that the software is compatible with the CRM system. After all, what good is the best data if only the marketing department has access to it, but not the sales department or all other departments with customer contact? And what is better suited as a leading data pool than the CRM?
Learn more about the topic here.
You are still undecided whether a marketing automation software is something for you? Then take a look at our e-book: Get to the e-book.
How does CRM software help with lead management?
Let’s summarize once again: With marketing automation software, you can target messages or campaigns so that everyone receives the right information for them. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) collects and organizes customer data. So it’s clear: if you want to be successful in lead management, a connection between the two systems is essential. Because let’s be honest: no one wants to work with dozens of systems in their daily work, most of which have to be operated differently. Therefore, it makes sense to appoint the CRM as the data-carrying system and to collect and manage all relevant information on contacts there. This not only reduces data silos, but also intensifies cooperation between the individual departments, especially marketing and sales.
Advantages of integrated systems at a glance:
More efficient collaboration between departments
CRM as a leading data pool not only combines all relevant information about the contact, but also SAP data can be made visible to everyone, at least in itmX crm.
Data maintenance without process gaps
Extensive analysis options
No duplicates thanks to automated check whether the contact already exists
Digitization has changed buying behavior. Everyone notices this in themselves. Not only our information behavior, but also the quality of the information we expect is different today than it was ten years ago. In addition, people are no longer prepared to wait long for the information they want, but want to consume it the moment they look for it.
As a company, you therefore need to ask yourself how you attract the attention of new potential customers. With the right use of content, processes and tools, well thought-out lead management fills your sales funnel with qualified sales opportunities.
Have you caught lead fever? We would be happy to show you which tools you can use to take your lead management to the next level and what the right processes for you might look like.