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How to Create a Lead Management Strategy

Lead management is a term that we still find many companies struggle with executing successfully. The idea behind lead management is to track inquiries or leads from the first touch through to a sale or lost opportunity. Sounds pretty easy right?

Well, Jon Miller at Marketo said it best, “No matter what you do, don’t pass leads directly to the sales team.” Your very, very first lead is a marketing qualified lead. That means that they engaged with content that your marketing team created but they are not yet ready to chat with a sales representative. It’s up to your marketing team to now gauge the value of the lead that came in before even thinking of transferring them over to the sales team.

3 Steps to Create a Lead Management Strategy that Drives Revenue

Let’s look more closely at the keys to lead management and why some companies fail while others succeed. It takes three simple, yes, simple, steps to be able to create a lead management strategy that will help drive revenue.

1. Create a Lead Management Task Force

The ability to create a task force that is mutually responsible for lead management, effective triage of leads, lead decay and funnel velocity is key to a successful lead management strategy. To that end, it is important to choose members who have a stake in the game.

For example, with one of our clients, our first step was to create a team with the following roles:

  • Sr. Manager of Sales Operations

  • Director of Marketing Operations

  • 2 Sales Team Members

  • Director of Demand Generation

  • Director of Sales Ops

The final recommendations had to go before the CMO, the Head of Sales and the CEO. In doing so, we were able to help them go from seven days to touch a lead to less than 24 hours and increased their revenue by more than 17% in just two quarters.

2. Build Out Your Funnel

Regardless of how old your company is or how long you have been doing marketing automation, taking the time to build out your funnel completely makes a huge difference for the entire company.

Let’s look at some key steps to building a solid funnel strategy:

  • Have agreed upon funnel stages and definition with both marketing and sales

  • Create a SLA with your sales team to ensure leads are handled systematically

  • Create a lead decay dashboard in your CRM to ensure you can monitor lead velocity and the SLA

  • Have an SLA with marketing to deliver the right leads

  • Identify the “ideal” leads with your sales and marketing teams both in the room

  • Create a lead scoring methodology and test and iterate on it until you improve your lead to close ratio

  • Have standard KPI’s to ensure the entire organization is aligned

Don’t miss or skip any of the above steps to further build and create your lead management strategy.

3. Have a Lead Management Playbook

After going through the above work, it is important to document the agreements, strategy and process so that in the future it can be revisited to determine if the funnel or key tactics need to shift. Remember, with each change in sales strategy or sales management, it is important to revisit this work as it will likely need tweaks. This is not a one and done scenario. Thus, if you document the process, then future iterations become much easier.

Delivering a Lead Management Strategy

Having a solid lead management system can transform an organization from normal growth to a well-oiled engine of growth hacking. Remember, enjoy the journey and don’t forget to have fun along the way. This process is not as easy as it seems, so if need be, bring in some extra muscle to get it done as it directly impacts revenue so is well worth the investment.


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