We hope that you have an effective lead management system in place and a solid strategy down; however, we recognize that we’re all human and mistakes can be made. As marketers, we are constantly tasked with showing how each of our initiatives contributes to the bottom line and, without an effective lead management system in place, this can be a challenge.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways lead management can go wrong from the early stages of customer prospecting, all the way through to a sales-ready lead.
1. Ignoring Any Traditional or Digital Channels7 Ways Lead Management Can Go Wrong
Today’s marketing landscape offers a blend of offline and online channels, presenting an opportunity (and a challenge) to gather leads through several channels. A MarketingSherpa Benchmark Report shows offline channels like tradeshows, direct mail, and print advertisements are nearly as effective and as commonly used by marketers as online channels such as email, social media, SEO, and webinars. This shows that valuable leads could be coming from any angle and ignoring any channel, offline or online, could mean the loss of a potential lead.
2. Quantity over Quality
While having mass amounts of leads coming in is a good sign for business, lead quality should always be prioritized over the amount of leads coming in. One high-quality lead is better than five anonymous or phony leads. After all, poor leads will likely waste sales reps’ time, slowing down the overall sales process.
3. Poor/Lead Scoring/Qualification
In order to ensure quality leads are being generated, a well-planned and executed lead scoring process needs to be put in place. Poor lead scoring or no lead scoring process at all will result in a disjointed relationship between marketing and sales. By assigning scores to leads, an organization will have an understanding of which leads are ready to be passed to sales, or which leads need to spend more time in the marketing cycle to be further nurtured.
4. Not Analyzing Data Properly
Alongside having an effective lead scoring process in place, marketers need to make sure they’re properly analyzing data. Failure to analyze data properly and communicate through customers’ preferred channels or deliver the right message at the appropriate time in the sales cycle will run the risk of alienating prospective buyers. By identifying the most popular channels and matching individual customers with preferred channels, marketers can more effectively nurture leads and save valuable dollars by only sending relevant messages through the right channels.
5. Not Properly Aligning Marketing with Sales7 Ways Lead Management Can Go Wrong
The lead management process relies on a solid working relationship between sales and marketing. Without properly aligning marketing with sales, leads that are brought in may not reflect exactly what the sales team is looking for, or vice versa. To make sure the marketing department is delivering sales-ready leads, the two departments should take the time to establish an “ideal customer profile” which creates an ideal figurative profile of a sales-ready lead.
6. Letting Leads Fall by the Wayside/Not Responding Quickly
Once a lead has been identified, it’s essential to not only respond, but to respond a short-time after the lead has been received. Data from the Harvard Business Review shows just how fast generated leads can go cold; in fact, firms that contacted prospects within an hour of receiving a query were nearly seven times as likely to qualify the lead as those that waited even an hour later. Further, those companies that contacted leads within the hour are an astonishing 60 times more likely to qualify the lead as compared to companies that waited more than 24 hours.
7. Unclean Data
The lead management database needs to be cleansed; unclean (inaccurate) customer data can have an impact on conversion rates and can ultimately result in lost marketing dollars, especially if expensive campaigns like direct mailings are being sent to inaccurate addresses. Updated, clean data will ensure the sales and marketing departments are performing their duties with success, targeting and messaging existing customers or prospects through the appropriate channels.
As already stated, the convergence of offline and online channels presents both opportunities and challenges for successful lead management strategies. Successful marketers orchestrate online and offline channels to generate quality leads that are highly qualified and scored in way that is coherent to meet sales teams’ objectives, with the quickest follow-up possible.
How do you ensure your lead management is working efficiently? What metrics are in place to measure and optimize the efficiency of your lead management strategy?
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