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Lead Management: 5 Must-See Resources

Lead Management: 5 Must-See Resources

The Problems With Lead Management

The lead management discipline encompasses the entire marketing process, from generating a new lead to nurturing to qualifying to scoring and handing that lead of to the sales team. But consider these statistics:

94 percent of marketing qualified leads will never close (SiriusDecisions)Only 25 percent of leads are legitimate and should advance to sales (Gleanster Research)61 percent of B2B marketers send all leads directly to Sales; however, only 27 percent of those leads will be qualified (MarketingSherpa)56 percent of companies have not yet adopted lead scoring (Decision Tree Labs)Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20 percent increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads (DemandGen Report)Marketers are dissatisfied with the availability of data on their prospects (Decision Tree Labs)25 percent of marketers who adopt sophisticated lead management strategies have sales teams contact prospects within one day, whereas only 10 percent of marketers report that same follow-up time w/o lead management processes (Forrester Research)

For many marketers, driving demand and acquiring new customers rank as top goals. We know that a solid lead management process can help us get there more quickly and efficiently. So, what gives? Why are so many lead management issues and challenges present, in organizations small and large?

You CAN Manage Your Lead Management Process

We scoured the Web and turned to the marketing community to find the best resources on lead management and lead qualification. Here’s what we found.

Start with the Essentials

To ensure a smooth lead management process, one must understand the definition of a lead! It sounds like common sense, but misalignment on what makes a good a lead between marketing and sales is extremely common. Sherry Lamoreaux at ActOn recently shed light on the omnipresent issue (offering a slurry of good stats) of defining a marketing qualified lead. She offers three tips on building a definition that both marketing and sales can agree to, in addition to offering a nice worksheet to help guide the process. To top it off, Sherry offers guidance on exactly what marketing and sales is responsible for, eliminating any finger pointing. Read more on the ActOn blog to get the full story on marketing qualified leads.

Beware of the Pitfalls at the Top of the Funnel

Lead management is such a crucial process for any B2B company. We already understand that it isn’t an easy process to perfect, so it is important to foresee, and hopefully avoid, any challenges whether you are just getting started with lead management or trying to push your process to the next level. Jenna Hanington of Pardot recently shared four lethal pitfalls to lead management. But don’t worry. She also offers solid advice to help you overcome the challenges. Jenna cautions marketers to be discriminatory when it comes to qualifying and passing leads to the sales team and to ensure they take advantage of lead scoring! Read more on the Pardot blog.

Know that Mid-Funnel Leads aren’t Safe Either

Some may think that leads in the middle of the funnel are in no man’s land. They are not like the new, shiny leads you are pulling in with your inbound marketing tactics and they are far enough from closing to get the same level of attention as leads in the bottom of the funnel. Simply put, they require a different type of engagement and nurture. Steve Gershik recently shared five typical mid-funnel missteps and solutions in a guest blog for Marketo. He advises marketers to always start with the best data, consistently test campaigns and messages, and avoid jargon in all communication. Get the full scoop on the five missteps here.

Generate Leads your Sales Team Loves

Once your demand generation process is running smoothly, you expect to see the leads pouring in, right? With inbound, content and social media, things should be rocking and rolling. But they might not be. Chuck Malcomson offers some great insight as to why this process may not be working well on the Hubspot blog. Chuck discusses the process of an IQL becoming an MQL, then SQL and so on. For those new to IQL, it refers to information qualified lead and refers to the leads that come from your content and inbound activities. It’s an initial stage to indicate that a lead is interested in the material and content you are sharing, but that doesn’t automatically equate to an MQL. Read more advice on lead qualification criteria on the Hubspot blog here.

Educate and Score your Leads

Many marketers utilize webinars as a lead nurturing and qualification tactic. After all, providing valuable and educational content is a solid way to engage an audience. The folks at B2B Lead Blog recently shared Adobe’s remarkable story of moving away from a one-off webinar strategy to a focused qualification process to boost conversion by 500 percent. Adobe focused on understanding which content their prospects engaged with most to learn what messages and products would ultimately stick best. Watch the video with Adobe and MECLABS here.

 

   Image Credit(s):                USDAgov                    

Written by

Amanda Maksymiw
April 28, 2014

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