One of the most vital processes in any business is lead management. How your team handles lead generation, interaction, scoring, and follow-ups has a direct impact on your business’ future – but it’s a complicated process with a lot of moving parts. As lead generation experts, we’ve seen plenty of businesses squander their potential with an inefficient management process. So, we decided to create this article, walking you through five of the most common mistakes we’ve seen.
1. Not Following Up Soon Enough
This might seem counter-intuitive, but research from Harvard Business Review shows that following up with online prospects sooner rather than later (we’re talking within hours after contact, not days) can lead to up to seven times as many conversions.
While many people in sales are worried about annoying their leads with too many follow-ups or coming off as pushy and exploitative, the truth is, quick and relevant follow-ups work. Online leads go cold fast, so it’s best to engage with them quickly and then follow up with them shortly after. This is a great way to show the lead how dedicated you are, include more data-backed points and case studies relevant to their needs, and personalize the message to show them how much you listened.
2. Not Building a Versatile Lead Handling Process
Do you know what should happen when a lead comes in or when they first make contact with your business? If you don’t have a specific process in place with clear milestones and roles, then there may be a lack of clarity in how your business handles leads.
In an optimal lead management process, everyone on your team will know what their role is while engaging the lead, and they’ll know when in the process they’re expected to play that role. Any confusion here will make it difficult for your team to quickly funnel the lead to the proper departments to give them the best experience possible. In this way, not building out an efficient, versatile, and clear lead handling process could be a costly mistake.
3. Not Identifying What a Qualified Lead Looks Like
While it’s essential to interact with all of your leads, some should be prioritized over others. If your sales team doesn’t know what constitutes a qualified lead, then they won’t know when to prioritize them – meaning valuable conversions could be lost.
What’s the fix? Make sure everyone has a clear understanding of what a qualified lead looks like for your business, give them a list of features that make up this target persona, and show them how such leads should be funneled through your sales process as opposed to less promising leads.
4. Not Meeting the Leads Where They Are
Everyone knows that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all sales approach, but there’s a reason this platitude is repeated so often: it’s true. In sales, you’re going to deal with a lot of different types of people – some are in different industries, so they’ll need personalized pitches; some will have varying levels of familiarity with your product, so they’ll want to skip right to the checkout or be walked through the whole process slowly; some may be using your competitor’s service and just want to know what you can do better.
In all of these cases, these leads have unique reasons for interacting with your team. The information or sales process that’s optimal for one might be unnecessary or annoying for another. That’s why it’s so important to meet your leads where they are – figure out what they need and cater to it. Otherwise, they might look elsewhere.
5. Not Measuring the Right Metric
There’s a lot of easily-attainable data about how your business is doing these days – from page views and organic search figures to sales numbers and more, there’s no shortage of metrics that can be pulled into a dashboard to visualize your business’ performance.
But what type of performance? How successful your interaction with leads has been won’t be measured in website interactions and conversions alone. Sometimes, all of these indicators can follow positive trends while your goals still aren’t being met. Putting too much stock in the wrong metrics can misinform you about the viability of your current sales process and overall business success. If your KPIs don’t align with sales, it’s time to revisit your dashboard and figure out what you’re missing.
Our team at Beyond Codes can help. If you have questions about any of these mistakes, or if you have other marketing goals that you’d like some help with, we’re here to help. Beyond Codes is a B2B lead generation company that simplifies your biggest marketing challenges and delivers programs with measurable results.