Lead management methodology is the process by which you manage and measure your leads throughout the sales process.
An optimized lead management methodology must be defined and must be objective. Knowing what’s working and what’s not requires taking an objective look at your leads, measuring them based on the input of your salesmen and the data that you have collected on sales likely to close.
An objective lead management methodology relies on data, history, analysis, and logic. There’s little room for how one “feels” about the potential of a lead to close.
By taking guesswork and tedious over-documentation out of the picture, you can create a more effective strategy with a team that doesn’t waste time writing everything about what they just talked about.
Through automation, personas, categories, and measurement, you can form an objective methodology for your sales and marketing efforts, making it easier to back up the right strategy and improve your ROI.
Utilizing Automation in your Lead Management Methodology
Measuring your subjective interactions with your customers can be an extremely time-consuming process if it’s not set up and automated properly.
If you or your salesmen have to take time out of their day to manually type out how many interactions they’ve had, they lose precious time that could be used to reach out to additional clients.
I recall, during my time as a salesman, a certain tediousness that came with documentation – marking how many phone calls we had with a client, what we talked about (in paragraph form, no less) and what the status of the sale was.
With the right automations (best done with a CRM or marketing automation solution), there’s no longer a need to fill out so much information – the act of the phone call did most of the work already.
These automations are necessary to make turning subjective interactions into objective far less time-consuming. They will be the backbone of the groups and categories described below, and while you can better measure you marketing process without automations, using them will make the setup far easier.
Creating Lead Personas
As a marketing manager, you likely already know who your prime clients are – their careers, wants, and lifestyle.
Those personas are great when developing a strategy, but can also be extremely useful further along the sales pipeline because you can group your clients into easily analyzed categories.
The persona provides a starting point for your strategy with a lead – and can be refined through time.
You must regularly review and refine personas for them to have an impact. Ask yourself the tough questions, such as – are the people you thought were your best customers, truly your best?
There may be other groups of people tapping into market that you would want to target appropriately; for example, Tommy Hilfiger’s clothing line targeted upper middle-class families, but was picked up heavily by the hip-hop artist community. The sales process can be cyclical in this way, and by using the data culled from sales, you can further develop the basis of your strategy.
Creating Categories for the Sales Pipeline
If the complex sales process was either a win or a loss, there would be no need for talented salesmen; however; their process is often difficult to measure.
By choosing prime categories for the sales process, you can allow your salesmen the freedom to get sales their way in conjunction with measuring their process.
It’s fairly easy to measure how many emails it took for a salesman to make their sale, especially with the automations mentioned above.
More importantly, however, is: What types of emails were they?
Did they pitch right away, or was there a lot of follow-up on other matters?
Being able to measure what those emails without reading them individually is a big time-saver, and can be done through categorizing your communication.
Pick which pieces of the sales process are important to you. These can include:
- Following up
- Working a hot lead
- Unable to contact
- Customer unable to afford
By picking these out ahead of time, the salesmen can automatically pick a category instead of having to write out that they left a voicemail and followed up with an email.
Not only is it an excellent time saver, but you will be able to accurately measure these in a quick and numerical fashion.
When the groups of clients and categories of interaction are organized and implemented, the data is not only easy to analyze, but more meaningful to yourself, your investors, your salesmen, and any other stakeholders in your business.
Analyzing your lead management process becomes easier when you have defined the methodology and put in objective markers for success.
Now that you have your personas, categories, and strategies set, you can measure them with solid, objective numbers.
Need to know how many said no to a product because they couldn’t afford it? It’s become a matter of pulling up a quick report rather than sifting through the multitudes of notes, as organized as they could have been.
Because the sales process is much more easily measured, you can make decisions based on the experience and expertise of the salesman rather than a gut feeling or subjective, anecdotal data.
With the automation, there’s no need to even add up the numbers – it’s just a matter of pulling them up.
Knowing the ROI
In the often ultra-competitive complex sale, there is little room for gut feelings and thinking that the sales are doing well.
When you know what works through objective, measurable numbers, developing the right lead nurturing system becomes easier.
Because less time is spent deciding what works and what doesn’t, there is more room for creating great strategies for improving your ROI and expanding your customer base.
Your salesmen will be happier and more productive because there’s less documentation to do, and the documentation they do fill out is easier for you to comprehend and take action on.
Making the right decisions for a marketing strategy requires objectivity and numbers, and with the right setup, those are easy to obtain.