Companies spend millions of dollars generating leads and yet most of them do not translate into business. Marketing people fail to keep track as to what actually happens to the leads post they go to the sales channels. In other words there is no effective measurement or ROI. But there is a solution to this problem. Lead management system can be used to automate the entire lead processing function, starting from lead generation, classification and assignment, through to closed loop contact management and leads status reports creation.
There are several CRM automation tools available in the market that can help close the loop. But nonetheless it is necessary to direct the leads to the correct sales channel in a timely manner. You can also use the systems to reply and update the status of the leads. However the success of these systems depends largely on the leads quality, lead management processes and utilization of these processes to monitor lead reporting and to establish sales accountability for leads.
Categorize leads to improve effectiveness of Lead management system
Categorization of leads by the marketing people as cold, warm, hot, etc allow the sales reps to plan their strategy in accordance with its type and improve sales productivity. Sales people do not like to waste their time on poor quality. It is up to the marketing people to capture quality leads and pass them on to the sales reps to follow- up on them. Lead Management
A well structured lead routing system can be leveraged to generate feedback on it. Lead management system can capture marketing inquiries and enter them into database, which is cleansed and de-duplicated. Once the inquiry is scored, it is categorized as SMB or enterprise and accordingly put through suitable qualification process that determines the quality. The enterprise size leads are graded by the sales force as qualified and can then be passed on to the sales channels that are expected to provide closed loop feedback. For smaller SMB leads the process is not much different. These are also classified for the benefit of the sales channel that can be completely awake to the quality. By ensuring that the sales channel is aware of the quality of the leads they are going to be handling, you can expect to get higher sales productivity.
Lead management system supported by well-defined management process
If you want your lead management system to deliver results, you have to etch out an appropriate management process that will make the channel responsible for tracking it. It is proven that even a good management system needs the backing of a proper lead management process to get closed loop feedback. For example a lead routing system can be used to deliver and distribute the leads, but efficient management of the leads is what is required to achieve closed loop results.
A well consolidated reporting tool that can track leads status can be useful for sales channel. This makes it easy to calculate the direct sales results by regions, sales teams and sales reps or by channel manager channel partner and channel sales rep for the indirect channel.
The tool can indicate the percentage of leads that are in pending status, active status, and percentage of leads that are marked as unqualified. This will help you understand the actual value of the pipeline. By measuring its quantity through the different stages of sales cycle you can calculate the actual ROI. These reports can be published out to the channels regularly thereby making the accountability for lead management becomes a channel responsibility.
Lead management system can only work when you have good quality and a proper lead management process in place. Use lead management system to effectively exploit a lead generation source, develop a system for prospecting the source and capture the lead as a client.