Implementing an Efficient Lead Management Process in Six Steps

Lead management bridges the gap between marketing and sales. It’s a customer acquisition process which identifies potential buyers (leads), educates them, engages with them, and when the leads are considered qualified, get passed from marketing to sales.

Is your business following an organized and effective lead management process? Doing so can improve the results of your lead generation efforts and ultimately contribute to more sales. If your business is lacking a solid system for managing leads, the following five steps will help you create and implement a successful and efficient lead management process from start to finish.

Step 1: Identify and Understand Your Leads

This initial step is crucial to the success of each of the others. You need to determine first and foremost who your potential buyers are to develop a process that will enable you to identify in which part of the sales process these prospects stand.

First, your marketing team should identify buyer types and what their personas are. This will help you identify your ideal lead picture for your product or service. This persona can be carved out by identifying the following:

  • Demographics: Where do your ideal customers live? What’s the size of the company they work for? What industry market are they in? What are their problems, wants, and needs?
  • Behavior: Are they reading blogs, whitepapers, or just searching via Google to find the information they’re looking for?
  • Lead Source: How do your best leads typically find you? Do they come from direct traffic to your website, did they read an article mentioning you, did they see one of your tweets?

You should also dig deeper by trying to understand the mindset of your ideal customer. Is he/she the business owner, the VP, the tech guy? Determine where he or she lives, what he or she reads, and how he or she visited your site.

Step 2: Generate & Collect Intelligence About Your Leads

The sales cycle has been extended because the lead process begins in marketing where the marketing team figures out where the first point of contact was with the potential lead. The key to generating leads and knowing their source is to create and track content.

  • Place your premium content offers like whitepapers and webinars behind a lead-capture form to generate leads and gather critical lead intelligence information about them that can be used during the lead management process.
  • Add a tracking token to links you share in social media and through email marketing to help you identify leads’ behavior and interaction with your content.
  • Use your marketing analytics to determine how people are coming to your website or blog and where they are clicking. This will inform you which types of content leads are looking at and help you understand what their interests, needs, and wants are.

Capturing this information about your leads is critical for step four, lead nurturing.

To read about the other 4 steps on how to be effective with lead management, read my full post on the Hubspot blog here: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/28889/6-Steps-to-Implementing-an-Effective-Lead-Management-Process.aspx#ixzz1eOI8ScIh

How To Use Social Media to Generate and Nurture Leads

Generating and nurturing leads is a key part of campaigns and the sales cycle for a business looking to kick butt and make a good profit. But did you think social media would be a great way to nurture those leads? Social media is the key to inbound lead nurturing because it allows people to come to your brand on their own accord. I am not saying you shouldn’t utilize email marketing and other forms, but social media can be a great additional source, and also to use in conjunction with your other avenues for lead generation.

3 key methods to lead generation and nurturing

1. Participate in the Convo

More than likely there is already chatter about your brand on the Internet. The key is to find it, listen often, and participate in it.

Find and Listen: You can utilize a tool as simple as Google Reader (or Feedly) in order to hear what your consumers, competition, and others are saying regarding your brand, product, or service. For example you can take RSS feeds from Topsy, Twitter, Facebook and have them all set up in your Reader. Additionally you can set up keyword alerts for your industry. Way simpler than checking every day on what’s out there or getting a billion email alerts.

Listen more: The key is to find out what the key themes are that your consumers and competitors are talking about on these social platforms and across the web. What are the pain points? Then you have an avenue to talk to them about and engage on a level that they want to be engaged on.

Engage: Don’t talk to, but talk with your consumers. Are the majority wishing they had a service that helped them do X better? Or had tips on how to do Y in a shorter amount of time? Perhaps you already have content on how they can do just that. Provide a link to a source of content to help them, rather than just selling your service right away. In short, this will help build awareness, start a conversation, and lead them through the funnel.

2. Share some Content

From part one you have begun to listen to your consumers regarding what they have to say, what they want, what they don’t want, and what information they could use more of. Now what?

Create Valuable Content: Focus on their pain points and offer content on what will help relieve those pain points. For example, if your brand is a software service and your potential consumers are having a hard time with efficiency, perhaps write some whitepapers, blog posts, or record some webinars which give them tips and tricks to increase efficiency (and of course you can throw in a little plug about how your product is the key to that efficiency).

Provide Valuable Content: So now you have this content, now what?

  1. Join the groups where your target consumers are in Facebook or LinkedIn.
  2. Use the hashtags they are using on Twitter.
  3. Share your content in these groups, on your Facebook Page, through your Twitter stream, and on your LinkedIn group.
  4. Make sure there is a link that leads these consumers directly to this content on your website.
  5. If they keep clicking, and look for more info regarding XYZ, now you know what more to provide these specific consumers. You can nurture these leads further all because you listened first, and engaged second – and on the social media platforms where they like to speak and engage (not where you think they should).

3.  Measure, Measure, and Measure some more

Did someone say the word “measure”? You may be tweeting, commenting, sharing, and chatting online with your consumers, but how much are they engaging with you? How often are they clicking on your links? Are they converting? Key areas to measure to see if you are utilizing social media to truly generate and nurture leads include:

Measure the visitors

  • Analyze how they got to your website or blog. Was it through a bit.ly link used on Twitter? Was it through a Facebook group post? Track your links and see where the majority of your consumers came from.

When did you see the most / least traffic

  • You can see which campaigns on social worked the best or least and repeat and further the better ones, and perhaps drop the lesser ones.

Conversion

  1. How many just perused (and what did they look at)?
  2. How many clicked, and converted? What did they look at and view before they converted. Was it the awesome webinars you record each week? Now you know what works and what doesn’t for your target audience.

Although social media is not going to get your lead to convert by itself every time, it is a great bonus tool to use in your nurturing process. Combine it with your email efforts, and make sure your emails and newsletters all have your social buttons on them for potential and current customers to follow and fan when they wish.

And….don’t forget to also keep in touch after you have converted those leads into customers. There is the after sale process part that is very important. Customers want more information on training, tips and tricks, and more. And if they are avid social media geeks, they may be subscribing to your Facebook feed in order to keep up with the latest and greatest from your company.

 

 

Three Steps to Utilize Content Mapping to Improve Lead Nurturing

Marketing and sales teams must work hand-in-hand in order to provide a company with the leads and profits it needs to grow and succeed. But let’s back-track a bit. Exactly how does a marketing team help a sales team with those leads once they’re generated? It should all start with a content map for lead nurturing, which can help a marketing team nurture existing leads into more qualified leads for their sales team. As a result, these more qualified leads will be more likely convert into customers at the end of the sales cycle.

What Is Content Mapping?

Content mapping is the process for lead nurturing by which a marketing team prepares and organizes relevant and valuable content. Once organized, this content can be distributed to prospects depending on the type of lead and their point in the sales cycle.

Here are three ways to strategize a very helpful content map:

1. Identify Marketing Personas

First, you need to identify the different personas of the target audience you are selling to. Each of these personas will likely have a different variety of needs and wants when they’re considering your particular product/service. Once this identification had been made, you’ll be able to identify, create, and provide the valuable content different segments of your target audience wants and needs.

Depending on your company, you may have 3 personas or you may have 50. It all depends on your products/services and all the different types of people who become customers of what you offer. Are you a marketing agency selling a service to help people with their social media marketing needs? What types of people would want this assistance? You can determine these personas by examining roles, titles, demographics, goals, pain points, and more. Just make sure you define these personas in a way that allows you to easily group and segment them using similar motives and that you can clearly define their stage in the buying process.

To continue reading my other two steps on how to best utilize content mapping for lead nurturing efficiency and success, please continue reading my full post on the Hubspot blog at the link below. 

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/27100/3-Steps-to-Improve-Lead-Nurturing-With-Content-Mapping.aspx#ixzz1b5ZzU8C5

5 Types Of Lead Nurturing Emails You Should Be Sending

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lead nurturing, which helps move your leads down the funnel via email marketing, is essential but not always implemented properly or efficiently. Most companies would like their leads to move down the funnel and become customers. However, converting leads to customers is not just about sending random emails. The content of each email should be relevant, targeted, and communicate value that your company has to offer.

Before you even start, you should strategize a content map, which will allow you to plan out your email campaign for different types of leads, and how it should be changed as they click on items, and move down the funnel.

5 Types Of Lead Nurturing Emails You Should Be Sending

1. Educational Content Email - You could start with some general educational emails that have content demonstrating the value your company can offer (without being “salesy”). For example, you could have 5 different types of educational emails you can provide depending on upon the type of lead they are. You can provide educational content regarding marketing, technology related to your service/product, selling to their customers, managing their business better, etc.
This was an excerpt of my post for Hubspot. Click the link below to read about the other 4 emails you should be sending in my full post!
Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/25494/5-Types-Of-Lead-Nurturing-Emails-You-Should-Be-Sending.aspx#ixzz1YpEITXkm