Dropped, lost, forgotten: the sorry state of lead management

So you’ve spent all that time and investment trying to pick up some really good leads for your business. And you’re rightly proud of finding them. But guess what happens next? If you’re not careful, these precious sales prospects can get lost, ignored or simply forgotten. Can you really afford to let that happen?

 MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Lead generation report revealed some interesting priorities for B2B marketers in lead generation, namely that:

  • 52% want to be able to prove ROI;
  • 51% are focused on optimising the sales/marketing funnel; and
  • 51% want more audience insight. 

Yet the same survey also revealed that 86% of respondents didn’t have a lead nurturing programme in place. How the goals above can be reached without a lead nurturing programme is anyone’s guess!

It’s only by tracking your prospects’ activity and engagement from initial response to close of sale that you can prove the ROI on marketing activities. It’s only through analysing and understanding a prospect’s digital body language during the sales cycle that you can optimise the sales/marketing funnel. It’s only tracking, analysing and understanding the data gathered throughout a lead nurturing programme that will give you audience insight.

Are you content with your content?

Effective lead nurturing programmes rely on great content to lure customers in. However, many businesses think that they don’t have the content needed to deliver it, mistakenly thinking that it has to be brand new. By aligning content pathways with your buying personas and identifying which business pains your existing content speaks to you’ll be able to see which of your segments are well catered to and which need some additional content to move prospects along the sales funnel.

Virtually every B2B business will have more content that can be used in a lead nurturing programme than they realise. Case studies, white papers and feature articles are all great items that buyers on the hunt for new providers want to read but videos, infographic and presentations are rising in popularity now too.

While you’re creating a content marketing strategy, perform an audit of existing content. You’ll more than likely find that you’ve got much of what you need to get started. Map the route your prospects need to take through your content to reach conversion and you can identify the gaps where you need to provide more. Using content as part of your inbound marketing strategy can cut marketing costs by 62% per lead compared to traditional, outbound marketing.

Embrace the automatic

To really get lead management processes delivering what you need them to, marketing automation software is the way to go. It can:

  • Deliver trigger-based emails in response to a prospect’s activity - 66% of buyers indicate that ‘consistent and relevant communication’ is a key influence in choosing a provider.
  • Assign a lead score - lead scoring not only aligns sales and marketing teams more closely. Companies using it see close rates increase by 30% and company revenue by 18%.
  • Nurture it all the way down the path that leads to the sales team - nurtured leads have a 23% shorter sales cycle and 9% higher average deal size.

 

So, by making 2013 the year your business embraces the world of marketing automation you can improve lead management and achieve those goals of more audience insight, proven ROI and a fully optimised sales and marketing funnel. 

To find out how to make the most of your leads, visit Leads World now!