It’s marketing’s job to generate leads. For some, determining a strategy around lead management can be daunting and confusing. Where do you start? What do you do once you get a lead? How do you pass it to sales? How do you know if sales is following up on the lead? Should marketing still communicate with the prospect? How do you know if that lead purchased?
With these 6 simple steps, you can begin to design your lead workflow to ensure line of sight on the lead and lead conversion points:
- Get a sense of your sales landscape. How does your sales team process a lead in your CRM? Can they easily identify a lead (i.e. lead stages)? Can they see where that lead fits into their sales pipeline?
- Get a sense of your marketing landscape. Much like understanding your sales landscape, you need to have a good understanding of marketing’s role within the sales cycle. Do your marketing initiatives align with your sales stages?
- Clearly define your lead stages. In order to engage with a lead and encourage them to move to the next step in the buyer’s journey, work with the sales team to clearly define each lead stage and specific marketing/sales handoff points to ensure the lead is being nurtured and converting. Common lead stages are:
- Inquiry (Inbound and Outbound)
- Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
- Sales Accepted Lead (SAL)
- Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
To learn more about lead stages, check out SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfall concept.
- Define the Buyer’s Journey and align it to your lead stages. We all know that the purchase process is a journey and we as modern marketers refer to it as the buyer’s journey. The buyers journey is a framework that outlines a buyer’s progression through a research and the decision making process leading to a purchase. Because of this, defining your buyers journey is important to your lead workflow. Work with your sales team to define your organization’s buyers journey. Here’s a great blog post by Sirius Decisions discussing the buyers journey.
- Create nurture campaigns that align with your lead stages. Each lead stage should have a nurture (or drip) campaign that encourages the lead to move to the next stage in the buyer’s journey. Each step in the nurture campaigns should entice the lead to self-educate or request more information. The content should be engaging and bringing them back for more. Remember the goal is to close the deal.
- Report! Report! Keep reporting simple, but create reports that provide marketing and sales a clear snapshot of the contacts within each lead stage.
Lead management is an important process to define (and over time, refine) no matter what system you are using to execute. Oracle Eloqua customers with an integrated CRM system are able to automate this process, and in most cases, speed the amount of time it takes for Sales to receive new leads. Tegrita can help to integrate your CRM with Oracle Eloqua, audit your current configuration for optimization, and monitor your integration monthly to ensure everything is running smoothly. Let’s discuss how we can help you improve your lead management process.