Lead Management Best Practices [Infographic]

Lead Management Best Practices

Too many businesses put an overwhelming focus on lead generation and not enough on turning those leads into customers.

“Let’s go out and get as many high-quality leads as we can – that’s how we’ll hit our numbers.”

But what happens when you have those leads? What’s the next part of the journey?

Lead management is the systems, practices, processes and activities that support the nurturing of a prospect from “lead” all the way through to “paying customer”. It’s the money-making part of the marketing strategy that too many businesses give very little attention to.

So while lead generation is important, without a way to nurture those leads, it’s wasted energy.

Why do you need lead management?

If you have a well constructed lead management strategy, it helps you understand where your best leads are coming from, and how you can better focus the energy of your sales team.

It also ensures that less qualified prospects fall through the cracks, because they weren’t nurtured appropriately.

Over time if you fine-tune your lead management processes with lead scoring, grading, filtering, contact touch points and follow-ups – you can begin testing and optimising the individual components of your strategy and increase the ROI from your marketing efforts.

What are best practices for lead management?

When it comes to best practices for getting your lead management in order, we have found a great infographic from the Harvard Business Review. This infographic was published on the Inside Sales blog, and is packed full of helpful information to help you with this topic.

The research behind the graphic comes from three years of data across companies that respond to web-generated leads. It tracked results of 15,000 unique leads and 100,000 call attempts, so it’s a good sample size to go off.

The focus is to visualise how businesses can better respond to leads they get on the internet, to maximise results and minimise effort.

Below the infographic I dive into the findings in more depth with some additional comments and actions.

Enjoy.

Lead Management Best Practices Infographic

This infographic was originally published on the Inside Sales blog.

Key Takeaways

Qualify leads on Wednesday and Thursday

The findings of this report suggest that the most effective time to follow up with warm leads and qualify their interest, is on Wednesday and Thursday.

And it’s not by a small margin… In fact there is a 49% difference in responsiveness between Tuesday and Thursday.

What does this mean for you?

When you are building out your lead management workflows and follow up processes, include follow up calls on Wednesday and Thursday.

For a better response, contact leads between 4 and 5pm

As well as considering the day you contact warm leads, it’s also important to take into account the best time of day to do so.

This study found that between 4 and 5 pm in the afternoon delivered the best results for the participating companies. Again, there was a significant difference in the responsiveness based on time.

For example, participants were 169% better off contacting leads between 4 and 5pm than they were between 1 and 2pm. (Perhaps due to a lunch break)

If late in the afternoon doesn’t mix with your ideal workflow for lead nurturing, consider contacting leads first thing in the morning. Between 7:30 and 8:30am is the second preference.

What does this mean for you?

Think about how this affects your team’s day-to-day workflow and structure. If you have them following up with prospects on Wednesday and Thursday, you could chunk the calls down into two slots – one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Be responsive, or lose your leads

The section on response time was definitely the most disturbing section in this infographic.

The longer you leave a lead sitting dormant, the less chance they are of converting. In fact, the less chance you even have of qualifying them.

Without doubt the craziest part about this research is that a lead contacted within 5 minutes of submitting their information is 400% more likely to be qualified than a lead that is left for 10 minutes.

What that means is you have to be responsive. People want immediate attention and if they don’t get it, there are too many other factors that will help them change their mind.

Strike when the iron is hot or miss out.

What does this mean for you?

A 5-minute turnaround on an inbound sales lead is a tough ask for any business, but there are some things you can do to increase your response time and subsequently get better results from your lead management.

For example, live chat tools such as Lead Chat provide real-time engagement with your prospects and help them overcome any challenges they may have.

Marketing Results lead management live chat example

You can also setup direct alerts and chat management capabilities for your sales team, to make sure they are prepared to respond as quickly as possible when a lead is on your website, or ready to chat.

Don’t give up on a lead, they need a bit of persistence

Believe it or not, but 30% of leads in this study were never contacted at all…

Are we really investing money and resources into lead generation and then not bothering to talk to them?

Depending on the sales team you have on the ground, and how diligent they are with follow ups, it’s quite common for salespeople to give up far too early. So even if they do contact someone, it won’t take much for them to get disheartened or write the lead off completely.

In fact, 44% of sales people give up after one follow up… and 80% of sales actually require FIVE follow ups to close the deal.

What does this mean for you?

Build multiple follow ups into your lead management workflows, and use performance reviews and KPIs to make sure your sales team are making it happen.

Final Thoughts and Next Steps

Far too often lead management is an after thought. It’s a haphazard process where a lead comes in, someone calls them up and then gives up when the phone goes to voicemail.

It needs to be better than that.

The more time and energy you put into marketing your business online, the more important the management of your leads becomes.

Treat lead management just like you would any other part of the marketing equation. Drill down a process, create some workflows and build it into the performance reviews of your team.

We all know how hard it can be to get leads, so when you do, make sure you’re ready to capitalise.

How does lead management play a role in your business? 

The post Lead Management Best Practices [Infographic] appeared first on Marketing Results.

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