How to Strengthen your Lead Management Tactics?
A few years back, just generating leads would have been enough to drive sales. However, today the circumstances are different. Nowadays, lead generation is only one piece of the puzzle, and you must have a well-defined lead management system in place to drive conversions.
In this article, we'll discuss tactics to handle leads effectively and how to have a strong lead management system in your organization.
Lead Management System
This process involves guiding a qualified lead into becoming a customer. The lead management system usually follows these 5 steps.
All of the details provided in these steps will definitely help you strengthen your lead management tactics.
1. Lead generation
Lead generation involves piquing interest in strangers and prospects towards your brand's product and service.
E.g., your content mentions your copywriting course while providing valuable information about copywriting skills. If they are satisfied with the value you're providing; then they may become interested in your copywriting course as you will establish yourself as an industry expert.
There are several actionable ways to fill your lead pipeline; let's discuss them.
#1 Buyer focused website
Your website won't generate many leads if it only has the experience, contact, and services page. It should include more than that. You need to build your website taking point of view of your targeted audience into consideration.
This means you should educate them instead of just hard selling your products and services. You can also publish relevant blogs and other free resources for the buyers. This will lead to a huge increase in website traffic.
Have a strong landing page tied with a lead magnet such as a free e-book or mini-course on topics that are helpful for your target audience. This will allow you to collect the contact information of your leads.
#2 Optimize your company's 'About' page
The 'About' page is one of the most significant pages on your website. Use it to impress and build trust in your audience towards your brand. It should appeal to them in such a way that visitors can't help but ask for more information about your company.
If you want a detailed guide on what your 'About' page should include, then read this Hubspot guide on critical elements that should be a part of it.
#3 Use the power of SEO
If you are unable to comprehend how search engines work, then you're letting your content's potential go to waste. Moreover, you're losing out on free organic traffic if you don't use SEO.
Study SEO to know how search engines evaluate and rank your content, use keywords, backlinks, guest posts, and so on.
#4 Fast mobile responsive website
People get most of their tasks done using smartphones; thus, it's critical that your website must be fast and responsive on mobile. If it's not, the reader will click away and that will hurt your website and will also lose a potential lead.
You can check the mobile responsiveness of your website through Google's mobile-friendly checker tool.
#5 Make contacting easier
According to a research most of the customers say that having a live chat that answers a query of the visitor while they are in the middle of purchase is one of the most important features to have.
#6 Product explainer videos
Explainer videos help explain complex matters into simple terms. Having such videos on the landing page can drive more conversions.
#7 Use a strong, personalized, and single CTA
Too many choices or options lead to confusion and decreased satisfaction. Make sure you're encouraging them to take one action at a time, or it will prove to be counterproductive.
Personalized CTA captures attention far more effectively. Hubspot has a tool called Smart CTA's, which allows you to personalize CTA for your target audience. So after a person has downloaded an initial offer and returns to your website, they'll be shown a CTA tailored to them.
#8 Add testimonials and guarantees
Adding testimonials increases credibility and trust. The prospect feels relieved when they see good reviews and testimonials as they imply that you're an expert in what you do.
Giving a money-back guarantee or any other sort of guarantee helps the lead decide in your favor as it minimizes the risk factor from their end. This establishes authority and reputation for you and your firm.
#9 Use emotions
There is a famous saying regarding the use of emotions, "People buy because of emotions and then justify it using logic."
You might have previously believed that we need to convince people through rationale. While this can be useful, it doesn't even come close to the power of emotions. Emotions can be the difference between prospect converting or moving onto one of your competitor's sites.
#10 FAQ section
There are several common questions that are asked by your prospects, and if you are not able to respond to them on time or not at all, chances are they wouldn't proceed with you and shift to your competitor.
Answering them properly and timely will take a bit of effort on your part, but the rewards are astonishing.
#11 Add real photos
Adding pictures of yourself, your team, your office, and your customers add a human element to the face of your business. This builds trust and a bond between unknown leads and your company.
Lead generation can be done in so many ways, as you might have witnessed above. However, to improve the lead quality, you need to constantly test and improve each step of your lead generation process.
2. Lead qualification
Lead qualification helps you determine if the lead you captured is the right fit for your products/services and matches your ideal customer persona. It also helps you identify their willingness and ability to buy.
This way, you get to know leads with the most and least potential.
There are two stages to lead qualification
#1 Marketing qualification
This qualification is done by the marketing team.
#2 Sales qualification
The sales team qualifies lead by checking their information from a sales perspective.
In an ideal scenario, leads qualified by both teams should coincide, but there can be exceptions. If the sales team is rejecting the majority of the leads, then you might need to evaluate your marketing lead qualification criteria and correct them if needed. You can also add new criteria if required.
According to the stats, 61% of the marketers make the mistake of sending all leads directly towards sales. However, data showed that only 27% of those leads were qualified.
While determining the qualification criteria for your target audience, keep one thing in mind, there should be a healthy balance between the desired quantity and quality of leads you want to acquire.
This process requires testing and experimenting until you find your desired balance.
It also depends upon the preference of a certain company. Some companies decide to have strict lead qualification criteria and would be happy to have a few and specific high-quality leads. Contrary to it, other companies might have broader criteria and would focus on the number of leads.
IBM's lead qualification criteria (BANT)
IBM invented the acronym "BANT" as a criterion to qualify leads.
Budget: Can they afford to buy this product?
Authority: Do they have the power to make the purchase decision?
Need: Is our product/service fulfilling one of their needs?
Timescale: Do they purchase at a specific point in time(month/year)?
Lately, there has been some criticism on "BANT" that it isn't a fit for today's world. However, BANT can prove to be quite useful if it is not taken literally and adapted to current reality.
If we look at the need criteria of BANT, we see that with the advent of technology and innovative products, this criteria has changed. Now there is no longer the case that people exactly know what they need.
In some scenarios, people don't even know that they need a certain product/service. Henry Ford (founder of Ford cars) said that if he had asked people, they would have demanded faster horses.
In some cases, the target audience only has a vague sense of their need. For example, If a person goes to the market to buy a smartphone, they may not know which additional features they need.
If we talk about the other 3 criteria, authority is an important criterion as knowing who has the decision-making power can help us identify their reasons and motivations. Budget is also a significant criterion as it helps us pitch our services tailored according to the client's budget. At the same time, timescale helps us identify when the buyer can make a big purchase decision.
Several organizations use qualifying questions pertaining to BANT or some similar lead qualification criterion to identify hot, warm, cold, or disqualified leads. They use a lead scoring system to give ratings based on the answer to the qualifying questions.
3. Lead tracking
Lead tracking is the process in which you track the activity of your potential consumers, from the initial encounter to the closing stage. It helps you keep an organized track record of consumer's activity for analysis and optimization.
Another use of lead tracking is that it lets you monitor where the lead originated from and whether they are outbound or inbound.
An Inbound lead is one who contacts your organization directly, such as organically searching about your company's website. An inbound approach brings in leads through blogs, lead magnets (free resources), organic search, SEO, and so on.
In an outbound approach, the organization approaches prospects through email, phone calls, or display ads, etc. Outbound is about going out and finding leads.
Lead tracking is a crucial step as it allows marketers to gauge how close a lead is to purchasing. This helps you make timely decisions according to the position of your prospect to convert them successfully and avoid losing opportunities.
The data derived from lead tracking software help us understand the sales pipeline, what strategies are working, and what strategy needs to be revamped or completely changed to move forward in the sales pipeline.
For tracking leads effectively, both sales and marketing teams should collaborate and work closely. This approach will help your company uncover more qualified leads and will allow you to pitch in a more personalized way, thereby making the customer feel like a king.
This will create a deep connection between the prospect and your brand. A significant point to consider is that there's more to lead tracking than the collaboration between the marketing and sales team.
Lead tracking involves a lot of other factors such as what qualities should be present in a qualified lead, how the data should be organized, and what are goals and key performance indicators (KPI) on the basis of which we will qualify the lead.
Lastly, an essential part of lead tracking is lead scoring. It involves assigning a positive or negative score on how the lead is behaving. Lead scoring goes hand in hand with lead tracking, and it allows you to predict how close a lead is to become a paying customer so that you can take necessary actions.
If the lead is close to conversion, then you need to act fast and make a move. However, if they are not close to conversion, then it implies that they need further nurturing to move forward in the sales pipeline.
Here is an example of what the lead scoring chart looks like.
Source: Kevin Payne
4. Transferring the lead to sales
Capturing leads isn't enough, as every lead is different.
- Only a few percent of them are ready to purchase the solution you're offering.
- Others want what you have, but they aren't in a rush. These people need nurturing.
- The last type of people is those who stumble upon your content by mistake but don't need your product. Identify them as soon as possible so you can engage them.
Now that you know it isn't an easy process to convert leads into consumers let's discuss ways on how to make it happen.
#1 Know where the lead is in the buyer's journey
Making content personalized to where your target audience is in their buyer's journey can be the difference. This way, you will stay on top of their mind as they move through the stages of this journey.
#2 Leads should be nurtured at multiple touchpoints
Nurturing is the continuation of the point mentioned above, where you try to engage with prospects at multiple touchpoints in the buyer's journey in order to make a sale.
It takes approximately 6-8 content interactions to turn them into sales-qualified leads.
#3 Use outbound approach on leads generated through inbound
Don't be scared to combine these approaches. While an inbound approach brings you marketing qualified leads, applying outbound strategy to them can turn them into sales qualified leads.
This way, you'll be able to ensure that you get a return on investment from your inbound marketing efforts.
#4 Omnichannel Approach
This approach is about connecting with your prospects through every available channel (SMS, email, chat, social media, etc.).
Make sure to consistently deliver the same high-end experience across all channels to them. This magnificently increases their conversion rate.
#5 Research your audience well
Know your audience's love language well. This can be a powerful lead conversion tool. Get to know what they want and how they would like to be engaged.
#6 Offer freebie and discount
Offering freebies or a significant discount along with a strong call to action can lure the majority of prospects into buying from your company.
Giveaways are a foolproof way to get people to be interested in your business. Just imagine that you get a smartphone in a giveaway from Samsung. How will you feel about it?
You would become a diehard fan of Samsung, right? You might post it on social media and convince your network to buy from them. This is how powerful a freebie is.
Imagine a situation where a company is charging you $15.99 for delivery, while the other company is offering you free shipping. Even when the latter company is charging high for their product, you will likely buy their product as it offers free delivery.
Following these tactics can give you an edge in taking your leads effectively through the marketing and sales funnel, thereby leading to sales. The characteristics of your customers will evolve, so you need to monitor and make continuous improvements in your approach to make conversions.
5. Sales follow-up
Drawing the line between being engaging enough to build a value proposition in the eyes of clients and being pushy that drives prospects away is difficult. Moreover, engaging in the right amount with your existing customers also requires a cautious approach.
A Sales follow-up is what you do after your initial conversation with prospective customers to encourage them to take action.
One saddening fact is that the majority of sales representatives give up after the first follow-up. We need to at least engage a few times before giving up on a prospect.
With that being said, let's discuss how to follow up effectively.
#1 Use different follow-up methods
Each prospect has a personal preference of channels through which they want to be followed up. If you don't know about their preference, then don't be afraid to reach out and ask them what they prefer.
#2 Space out the follow-ups
You don't want to push them away by following up too many times in a small time frame. Space it out as the purchasing process moves slowly.
#3 Review the information you have about your prospects
This will allow you to move forward by relating it to previous conversations instead of starting from scratch.
#4 Provide value at each step
Hard selling doesn't work anymore. This era requires you to engage with your prospect and provide value to them at each stage. This can be done by offering a solution to their pain points, including a relevant resource in the follow-up email, and more.
#5 Define the next step
It should be clear what action they should take next. Be as specific as you can. Don't say that you'll call you next week, instead say, "How about I call you at 5:30 on Saturday?"
#6 Write a personalized and relevant subject line
Research has shown that open rates increase by 40% if an email begins with the person's name. Also, 64% of people claim to open their email only if the subject line is relevant to them.
So you see how a subject line can make or break your efforts. Use it wisely and make it short, relevant, powerful, and personalized.
Sales follow-up is the last stage of the lead management process, and with that being covered, let's move onto more tips that will help you strengthen your lead management tactics.
More Tips To Strengthen Lead Management Tactics
#1 Create buyer personas for your ideal customer
To effectively manage leads, you need to know your customer well. It is a waste of time to go for the wrong target audience for which your product/service is not relevant.
For this purpose, you should create customer personas. This will help you identify people who would be best served by your company.
Buyer personas represent the profile of your ideal buyer. You can create these profiles by answering different questions related to demographics, personal details, goals, and challenges, and so on.
Once you know your ideal customer, you'll be able to design marketing campaigns and content that are tailored to them.
#2 Use CRM and Lead Management Softwares to your advantage
These systems are capable of providing detailed data of your prospects which includes page visits, purchase history, demographics, etc. This can allow you to personalize your marketing efforts.
Some of the most popular CRM software include HubSpot CRM, Salesforce CRM, Zendesk Sell, Keap, and Zoho CRM. Also, you can go through the comprehensive list of CRM software here and have more options to consider. Here, you will have access to in-depth details about the best CRM software and authentic users' reviews that would help you make smart purchasing decisions.
If your limited budget is becoming an obstacle to a new CRM implementation, you can go through the information about the top free and open source CRM software and select the one that best suits your business.
To get help with choosing the best CRM software, just go through the buyer's guide to CRM software and get experts' advice on this topic.
Boiling It Down
Even though lead management is an extensive process, it can be different because of which a person chooses your brand over your competitor.
You need to ensure that the right amount of resources and budget is being allotted to each stage of the lead management process to appear on top.
This process is complex and requires a lot of effort on your part, but it will bear fruit in the end. Missing even one of the steps can lead to poor results. For this purpose, you need to build a robust and seamless process as it will drive growth and profitability in the long term.
With that being said, we would like to wish you the best of luck in strengthening your lead management process! Hopefully, this article serves as a stepping-stone in doing that.
For more information, you can contact us, and we'll make sure to cater to you to our best abilities!