Any effective B2B lead generation strategy includes lead management as a critical component, to ensure that post lead generation the lead is handled most effectively. Without a systematic lead management process, teams experience misalignment, leads may be incorrectly qualified and/or rejected by the sales team, or leads may be ignored, causing them to drop out of your journey. With systematic lead management and the right technology in place, your organisation can manage and prioritise leads with ease while being able to quickly identify your hottest leads.
The Components of Lead Management
Lead generation, lead segmentation, nurturing and conversion make up the three main components of lead management.
Proper lead management can foster stronger alignment between teams building trust.
Lead Generation & Capturing
The lead management process starts with the generation of leads through outreach and the right marketing mix. Once leads are acquired, the real work of lead management begins but how can lead activity be interpreted? How do you gain visibility? For effective lead generation, these questions must be addressed.
To start segmenting, scoring, and grading leads, identifying them on your website in order to capture their behaviour and understand their intent is key. A form on your website, a newsletter sign-up, gated downloads, etc. can all be used to resolve identities and tie their web behaviour to them.
Using a lead website behaviour tracking solution for Marketing Cloud like SalesWings allows you to "unlock" contextual details on a lead once they’re identified. Instead of sending a lead a generic first-touch email, capturing this contextual data enables you to personalise even your initial contact to nurture them in an optimal way.
Lead Segmentation & Grading
The fundamentals of lead management include lead segmentation and scoring. It is simple to segment, grade/score, and then distribute leads appropriately with good lead data and the right lead scoring and profiling solution. With the use of this lead data, we can begin segmenting the leads based on factors such as location, interests, position, or whatever factor that is most important to your organisation. By providing greater insights into a lead, website tracking can help with segmentation by identifying interests around services or products, but also topics that they may have read about on the blog.
Now that you have segmented your leads, you can begin to score (or qualify) them. The technique of numerically "scoring" a lead on a selected factor is known as lead grading or lead scoring. This score may take into account how often they interacted with your website, how many social media touches they received, or any other trackable contact. By using lead scores, you can make sure that your efforts are concentrated on the leads who are most interested in your products or services.
Distribution & Nurturing
Depending on your approach, lead distribution may include manually allocating leads to the appropriate journeys and/or sales representatives, or it may be automated using Salesforce Marketing Cloud. With Marketing Cloud, lead routing (or distribution) can be achieved by using decision splits or with completion actions that automatically assign leads.
Decision splits that look at lead attributes such as lead scoring help with proper lead management.
The nurturing and conversion phase is the final step in the lead management process. Understanding where your leads are in their buyer funnel, allows you to send content that is aligned with their stage in the journey. More qualified leads should receive more bottom-of-the-funnel content, while leads that are not ready to buy should enter a more medium-term nurturing track.
Your leads can only be properly nurtured and converted once they have been routed to their appropriate next step. Too cold of a lead? Place them into a nurturing campaign to "warm" them. Have a hot lead that perfectly fits your ideal customer profile (ICP)? Get in touch with them right now.
How to Implement Lead Management In SFMC
While Salesforce Marketing Cloud may be lacking certain tools you need to easily manage and profile leads, create hyper-personalised customer experiences, and measure the impact of your marketing campaigns on lead qualification rates there are ISV solutions available on the Salesforce Appexchange. One example is a holistic lead profiling and lead website tracking solution such as SalesWings, which we'll look at more closely.
In addition to boosting your marketing and lead management efforts within Salesforce Marketing Cloud, SalesWings also provides rich sales insights in Sales Cloud or other CRM systems, enabling your sales representatives to close deals quickly and easily. Click here to learn more about SalesWings»
SalesWings’ tags can be used to automate hyper-personalised emails within Marketing Cloud.
Best practices for B2B lead management
Having the aforementioned lead management components in place is a positive step towards having a proper lead management process, but it doesn't guarantee seamless lead management. For your lead management process to be as successful and frictionless as possible, use the following best practices:
Better understand your customers with data
An effective lead management strategy starts with strong data collection. You can qualify and rule out leads quickly by gathering strong data. You can essentially look through the eyes of your leads if you have rich first-party data that you have collected from and about your leads, and the tools to understand it.
You can also quickly segment your leads based on particular interests and behaviours using this first-party data. With first-party data, you can hyper-personalise your messages by gaining access to a level of granularity that is otherwise unobtainable. Without first-party data, your personalisation efforts are limited to more readily available information provided by webforms.
Align on a hand-off process
With proper segmentation and the additional data you've gathered, you can create a seamless hand-off process. With this hand-off process, leads are transferred to sales representatives at the appropriate times – increasing your MQL-to-SQL conversion rate. This improved hand-off process will also aid in aligning your sales and marketing teams. Benefits of this alignment include: optimised use of marketing budget, less unqualified leads, and more time efficient sales representatives.
Find your key to success
Any effective B2B lead generation strategy must include lead management. Effectively managing leads is the key to successful marketing automation and more. While setting up an automated lead management process within Marketing Cloud can be difficult, tools like SalesWings can make the procedure simple and straightforward.