Automating your lead management processes will develop qualified leads and move them through the sales process quicker. Your marketing and sales teams will work together to ensure a more streamlined sales cycle converting leads into customers.
Importing your Leads into CRM
Sales leads are captured into CRM systems in many ways. The process of getting the prospect’s information into your solution typically depends on how you receive the prospect’s information. For example, if you receive a lead through a referral, you may want to enter their information manually. But if you have a list of prospects, you don’t want to waste your time typing in all their data. Most CRM systems have easy, automatic ways to get leads into the system.
If a lead comes from a landing page on your website, their information can be automatically entered into your CRM. The same process would apply if they came from a customer portal or online lead services. However, if you have a list or spreadsheet of leads (like from a recent trade show) these can be quickly imported to your CRM.
You also want to make sure that your CRM catches duplicates if a prospect’s information is already in your system. In this case, it will only ‘update’ that contact’s information (instead of creating a duplicate lead record).
Initial Contact with Email Marketing
Once the lead is entered into your CRM, your first communication may be to notify the prospect with brand messaging about your company. (This is typically communicated from your marketing team, not involving sales at this point). Your communication could be an email that is automatically sent after the import.
Another option would be to add the prospect (or list of prospects) into a marketing campaign. The campaign could consist of multiple customized emails that are sent automatically over time. This process occurs until the prospect reacts (opens or clicks a link) to the email(s). Drip campaigns is another name for this process (read more about drip campaigns here).
Sales reps don’t want to waste their time trying to figure out which leads are qualified and which are not. CRMs segment the leads automatically through “Lead Scoring”. Scoring leads, typically with a point system, is a great way gauging the interest of a prospect without any manual intervention.
Lead scores can be generated from many different conditions. Here are a few examples of lead scoring conditions:
1. How they have responded to the campaign messaging you’ve sent them (opens & clicks)
2. Whether they responded on your company website (web lead)
3. Simply have the demographics that match your company’s business model.
Once the points are generated, for your next step you will categorize the points into temperature groups (i.e. Hot, Warm, Cold). When the lead hits the highest level (“hot” in this example), the lead will be delivered to the sales rep. This ensures that the sales rep spends his time judiciously following up on the most effective leads first.
After the sales reps receive the qualified (“hot”) lead, they will qualify them to see if there is a potential opportunity to pursue. Once a lead is qualified, you will nuture the lead until an opportunity is identified. Depending on the industry, it can be a short or long process. The longer the process, more automation (via Activity Management workflow) is leveraged to ensure the sales rep is properly communicating with the prospect in a timely manner.
This lead management system allows your entire team (sales, marketing, and management) to make effective decisions. These decisions are easy to make based on reports and dashboards that reflect sales opportunities, campaign performance, and ROI. Statistics will automatically populate reports and widgets to get a quick snapshot of where the business stands.
The challenges of a competitive marketplace make managing leads a crucial component to a successful organization. Businesses that implement CRM automation can arm themselves with tools that streamline the marketing process. These tools also build the company into a well-tuned machine that is capable of spending money in a targeted and effective manner.
Marketing teams can have differences between the perceptions of efficient marketing and the reality of the results. CRMs play a vital role in providing accurate, real-time data to where the marketing dollars are working. As a result, your business will save money by spending it where it has the most impact and NOT spending it on wasted efforts.
Many CRM software platforms do not have an integrated marketing automation component. This is an unfortunate oversight because marketing is the lifeblood of every business. Improving marketing effectiveness can give your business a definitive strategic advantage that goes directly to the bottom line.
C2CRM, for example, gives your marketing team instant views of leads in the sales pipeline. They will know where a lead came from, when it was entered, the lead status and who is working the lead. Moreover, information can be charted which shows the number of leads which turned into REAL opportunities. Actual sales numbers can then be traced back to the original marketing promotion to help show the true impact and the importance of the role of CRM in marketing. An ROI can then be calculated giving management a tool to assist them to decide which programs should be renewed and or discontinued based on actual data. Contact our sales team for a quick demo!