The last of five blogs tying into Bython’s series of marketing whitepapers.
Nobody enjoys wasting time and money. This is especially true for companies and sales professionals. That’s why it’s imperative that marketers make sure all leads generated through their promotional efforts are qualified and worth following before giving them to sales.
Never hand off all general mass leads collected through initial widespread campaigns. The sales team doesn’t have time to weed through hundreds or even thousands of contacts trying to find the few who are interested in your products.
It’s marketing’s responsibility to do that. How? By developing and utilizing an organized and dedicated lead management system.
Lead management is where marketers evaluate all leads to determine their level of interest and position in the buyer’s journey. It’s a major part of the full-funnel B2B demand generation process.
As leads are generated through every step of the marketing/sales funnel, marketers score them and categorize them at these four stages: Inquiry, Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), Highly Qualified Lead (HQL), and Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). (For more details on these stages, see our previous blog entry.)
But scoring them is just one aspect of the process. Marketers also nurture them to push leads upward through each stage into the higher levels toward purchasing and becoming a customer.
This involves providing relevant information and support through well-timed and personalized marketing initiatives that provide more details and answers about your products and company. It also enhances the overall customer experience.
They may vary, but successful lead management programs usually follow these steps:
- Lead Generation— Marketers launch a series of campaigns to draw new leads.
- Customer Inquiry— Potential customers respond to the campaigns.
- Inquiry Capture— The prospects’ data is captured.
- Inquiry Filtering— The data is filtered to determine validity.
- Lead Grading— Leads are prioritized according to their buying potential.
- Lead Distribution— HQL and SQL leads with the most potential are given to sales.
- Sales Contact— Sales contacts those leads.
- Sales Result— Leads buy products and become new customers.
- Lead Nurturing— All leads are entered into the system for follow-up processes, even after they purchase.
Lead management is also important because it helps you track and understand which initiatives are producing the best opportunities and results. You can then apply that knowledge toward improving future campaigns and generating more high-quality leads.
Plus, it helps validate ROI and proves the value of B2B marketing solutions to the company.
To learn more, go to our whitepaper page and download our paper “Using Lead Management to Streamline Your Sales Efforts.”
To find out how Bython can help you with your B2B demand generation program and manage your leads and opportunities, contact us today.