Optimizing your Lead Generation Process
A healthy sales pipeline is a basic fundamental that helps ensure long-term success for any company, while sales and marketing managers are tasked with building out strong and effective sales pipelines throughout the year, without the right lead nurturing sequence and use of supporting sales tech, the lead generation process can fail to give sales people and business leaders their desired results.
To capture value from existing leads and new prospects, new sales technologies offer a set of capabilities that can help teams align efforts with the aim of executing a more fulfilling lead management process.
A Few Common Mistakes that Several Small and Mid-Sized Teams Still Make
Despite the endless solutions and opportunities that new sales tech offers, a few common mistakes that sales and marketing teams do end up making include:
- Putting in place a lead management cycle or process that is not centrally aligned, to help ensure that everyone across departments has visibility into latest lead activity changes
- High dependence on analog methods that lead to siloed information clusters and increase incidence of human error
- Relying too much on spreadsheets and other documents that can hamper regular updates due to busy schedules and defy the sharing of latest information with other key stakeholders
A small company that doesn’t have a long lead generation or sales pipeline due to its size and stage of business might not be affected by the factors above and might also still be able to carry on everyday business and lead activities without the use of sophisticated sales technologies.
Growing businesses, mid-sized companies and others need to adapt the right automation and techniques to ensure better management and execution of their lead generation process, without this step being done right, the growth of the business can in several ways be hampered.
For any growing business, at some point, it will get difficult to manually manage the entire lead generation activity. A sound lead management system can in this case help facilitate faster conversions while also reducing the sales cycle besides ensuring an optimized lead generation and overall management process.
Here are 5 steps that can help:
Mapping out a short to long-term sales and lead generation process
Every sales and marketing leader has to come up with a new strategy and plan at the start of the year and at the beginning of every quarter, having a short to long term plan in place while making constant updates and revisions to the core plan on a daily, weekly or monthly basis can help sales and marketing optimize their lead generation process based on what’s working and what’s not been working to help achieve the desired business outcome.
As a basic effort, a core central strategy that is further optimized depending on changing economic environments and changing business and consumer trends is needed to keep sales and marketing activities up-to-date and to ensure they work effectively in garnering the right target’s attention.
Better alignment between sales and marketing
The two basic criterion to help ease the age-old friction between sales and marketing lies in clearly defining the hand-off stage of leads between the two teams and also by clearly setting aside the evaluation and metrics for each. This will help marketing to understand what they need to focus more on while also helping sales understand where they need to further optimize their sales cadence and outreach to win more conversions, as sales tech and martech leader Matt Heinz once said in an earlier episode of the SalesStar podcast.
Optimizing the lead organizing process
The first steps involved in the entire lead generation process involves capturing leads and then organizing them within the central CRM. Sales and marketing need to work closely to optimize how they automate and input the data on each lead, and identify who will enter the key details if this has to be done manually.
Importing contact and lead data from existing lists while also complimenting this effort with automatic lead generation capture processes that includes picking up lead data from web-to-lead forms, twitter and other actively used social channels or platforms creates a healthy balance.
In this step, as a follow-up, it is crucial for sales and marketing to work on cleaning their database on a regular basis and updating the information based on latest executive movements and new hires!
Optimizing sales and marketing activities based on who from the lead target list is in-market for a product like yours will lead to better ROI. Sales tech that can help you identify their intent to buy can help you drive the right conversations at the right time. But the first step when it comes to segmentation is prioritizing leads using a lead scoring system and then further categorizing the list based on various aspects.
Tracking every activity and effort- Using the right CRM and tech
The best part about the array of sales technologies and lead generation tools available today are how they help track every activity and effort to help sales and marketing understand what they can focus their efforts on and what they need to redefine and why.
Using an end-to-end CRM or lead management system to help identify and track the source of your leads (did they come from your website, or from your LinkedIn page?), using lead history to analyse the health of the lead pipeline, diving into every marketing and sales campaign or outreach metrics to denote what messaging worked, which lead is at what stage of the buying journey, etc are essential activities that can be seamlessly maintained, updated and integrated into an all-in-one solution that allows multiple members of the sales team know the story of each account.
This will help prevent lapses in follow-ups, because every sales member will have visibility into the stage of every active lead. A central CRM database will also allow sales and marketing leaders to streamline the updating of information to prevent duplication contact information or slow response times.
And end-to-end CRM will also help automate tasks that help in lead distribution, tracking and qualifying activities including setting up alerts and reminders for regular followups.
Optimizing and strengthening your overall lead generation and lead management process with the right CRM and supporting sales technologies will ensure improved outcomes and results while also saving time on coordination and manual effort.