When an organisation starts on the CRM journey, one of the key processes they are looking to incorporate is leads – or sales – management, the cornerstone of any CRM solution. There is often a gap between the marketing effort and the sales process of a company – a CRM solution can provide a two-way communication channel that delivers benefit to both teams in your organisation:
tracking the source of leads, qualified leads, and converted leads gives valuable feedback on the success of campaigns, advertising, website content, telesales etc
when the lead converts, the marketing team can report on the value of the sale, the length of time to close, the potential for further sales, all relating back to the lead source. Using this information you can identify the best lead generating channels (and continue to develop them further) to attract more of the same quality leads
the sales team must have read and really know the content of marketing material which the lead responded to and is likely to comment on
sales data captured can help marketing to adjust content and messages eg FAQs that could help qualify leads and progress decision making
data captured from support and customer service teams quickly show which questions/issues continually come up from existing customers. Marketing and sales teams can help the lead by answering those questions now and at the same time illustrate a problem solved, perhaps using a case study or testimonial
using data collected from the entire marketing and sales journey, create a profile of your customers: where they are found, what they are interested in, information and processes that helped them buy, and other demographics. Do this for both converted leads and lost leads. It is just as useful to know which leads you DON'T want as those you do!
the sales team should be given the tools (in their CRM solution?!) to track the problems faced by the lead, not just the products/services offered and prices quoted
visibility of the preferred communication channels of the lead tells us which are likely to best nurture the relationship
connect with the lead via social media if possible. Leads may not be ready for a decision yet (subscribers to blogs/newsletters are, by their very nature, passive). This is a soft way of building the relationship until the lead is ready to buy, and gives the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to solve customers’ problems
send relevant, interesting and informative (non sales) information throughout the sales process – and consider continuing even after the lead is officially closed. There may be a further opportunity later
re-visit the strategy around qualification of leads and when the sales team actively start the selling process. Research last year from MarketingSherpa shows that only 27% of leads are likely to be qualified enough to be worth a sales call
consider lead scoring, pass leads to the sales team only when the score indicates a likely readiness to buy (using existing customer data to build a profile) and leads with a low score should remain part of the marketing process for nurturing to readiness
Your organisation can use all the information collected along the marketing and sales 'journey' to help define future strategy, and at the same time, an organised approach ensures no leads get missed.