3 Steps in Efficient Lead Management in B2B Marketing
Traditionally, one of the biggest struggles between B2B marketing and sales is lead management. When done poorly, lead quality suffers, prospects get lost in the sales funnel, and sales teams end up wasting valuable time on unqualified leads — meaning that an inefficient lead management process poses a huge risk to the pace of your sales cycle. Fortunately, through lead qualification and detailed prospect tracking, marketing automation can help get your lead management process back on track, leading to better alignment between marketing and sales, higher close rates, and a shorter sales cycle.
- Save time with automated lead qualification.
Combined lead scoring and grading ensure that only the most qualified leads get passed on to sales (a lead score measures the amount of interest that a prospect has shown in your company while a lead grade determines how good of a fit they are for your product or service). Using both a score and a grade helps marketing and sales teams find common ground when it comes to defining a qualified lead.
Companies throw away huge portions of their marketing budgets generating and qualifying leads that will never buy. If you’re operating under a tight budget, like many marketers, putting your dollars where they can make the most impact is essential to business success.
61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to sales; however, only 27% of those leads will be qualified. (MarketingSherpa)
- Save even more time with automated lead assignment.
Combined lead scoring and grading also make it easier for leads to be assigned once they’ve reached a threshold score and grade, keeping sales from wasting time on leads who aren’t good matches for their product. This can be a huge timesaver for both marketing and sales — marketing doesn’t waste time feeding sales low-quality leads, and sales only follows up with the leads who are more likely to close. By focusing on the quality of leads, rather than the quantity, you can invest your time and resources in the leads who are more likely to move all the way through the sales funnel.
- Take advantage of detailed prospect tracking.
Marketing automation’s scoring and grading capabilities are powered by detailed prospect tracking and analytics, which provide the prospect activity data needed to fine-tune your lead qualification process. With marketing automation, your prospect’s location in the sales cycle is never a mystery. Real-time alerts delivered straight to your sales reps’ desktops or phones give them detailed information about which types of content their prospects have engaged with, what actions they’ve been taking on your website, and what their interests and pain points might be. This makes it possible for your reps to respond quickly with relevant information, increasing the effectiveness of sales calls and improving your chances of a lead turning into a closed deal somewhere down the line.
Companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months. (Gartner Research)