Lead management is a process that helps businesses organize and manage the large volumes of inquiries they receive. It creates an architecture for organizing data, distributed across the different stages of a sales process and among a distributed sales force. Brian Carroll, CEO and founder of markempa, author of the bestseller Lead Generation for Complex Sale, and founder of B2B Lead Roundtable LinkedIn Group with more than 20,301 members, explains the core principles of lead management. The fundamental difference between a prospect and a lead is that the former shows interest, while the latter affirms an intention. Some companies also talk about undecided prospects, to refer to people who have expressed interest but without a real project to back it up, and hot prospects, to refer to people who have a specific buying act to do.
To encourage prospects, companies are adopting specific email-based lead development platforms, such as GlobalSpec Catalyst. The three main capabilities you should have to encourage prospects are the ability to segment your audience, create and send campaigns, and report results. Unless all your prospects are almost the same, you'll need to segment your audience in order to create different prospect acquisition campaigns that meet the needs of different audiences. Both sales and marketing must commit to following the Service Level Agreement (SLA) for the lead management process to work. For marketing, the value lies in the automation, timeliness, efficiency, and effectiveness of processing and routing leads. It also brings together its customers, people, processes and technology to generate a sale-ready prospect that becomes, at the highest possible rate, an opportunity and a closed deal. We help sales and marketing leaders modernize their approach to customer experience to align it with the way buyers make decisions, optimize people, processes and technology, and dramatically increase revenues.
Once again, it's important for sales and marketing leaders to agree to the SLA plan and be informed about the terms of the agreement so they can hold their staff members to account. Many industrial companies are adopting marketing automation to help manage lead promotion and other marketing efforts.
Prospectsare people, not objectives. Brandon says this is due to the difference between company logic and customer logic. During the planning and development phase, and especially as you enact your renewed lead processing and routing plan, it's important to maintain open communication between Marketing and Sales. Learn to recognize what type of prospects generate the most benefits for your company, which contacts are worth investing time and energy in, and which are just a waste of time and resources.
Scoring prospects is only part of the process; without proper guidance and support, prospects won't consider your offer or make a purchase. The value of processing and routing leads for sales is that they receive high-quality leads in a timely manner, giving them higher conversion rates and improving first call quality.