Every B2B sales and marketing organization needs leads to flow with a predictable rhythm that seamlessly dissolves the weak leads and amplifies the strong ones.
Yet simple flaws in the process can often promote the weak leads and let the strong ones leak resulting in dissatisfaction, distrust of reporting and relationship fractures both in your own organization as well as with your customers.
We’ve identified 10 key points to help keep you find and keep the ultimate lead flow and management process.
1) Start upstream
Start from the beginning and start with the end in mind – but solve the big needs first. If you haven’t worked out how to route an enquiry to speak to sales effectively then start here. If you major on the majors and the rest will follow. Set clear objectives and KPIs so that all pipeline and marketing activity can be tied back to a demand gen KPI.
> Coming soon to this blog. How to set the right KPIs for your demand gen.
2) Stay out of the weeds
If you keep finding yourself in the detail such as creating multiple scoring models or deliberating the logic for your progressive profiling across multiple audiences – stop. Go back to your KPIs and work out which scoring model is going to deliver the most value and get it launched and tested. If you are looking for perfection across all computations then it’s unlikely you will succeed, as you will be stuck in the weeds.
3) Rock solid attribution
Make attribution a priority from the outset. Understanding which channels and marketing campaigns are driving different lead quality and conversion enables you to systematically evaluate cause and effect. Make sure your method of attributing revenue to campaign results is rock solid.
4) Ever changing winds
Don’t switch your reporting process every month or quarter without really good reason and evidence to do so. Simple.
5) Beware: Contamination!
Lazy data input is toxic and it will spoil all your efforts to manage your leads. Standardize process to drive data hygiene and report integrity – educate both sales and marketing teams on why data accuracy matters at the point of entry: campaign execution, lead conversion, opportunity creation.
6) Map, compass, directions
Delivering your lead management process as a ‘fait accompli’ to your colleagues doesn’t mean they will follow or understand. Take the time and effort to show them how you got to the solution. If they understand the journey, the types of decisions made and can see the logic of the outcome they are more likely to embrace it as it were there own. Give them access and tools that make it easy to use within their working data so they can self-serve.
7) Beware: Storms
You’ve done the groundwork. The business logic for nurturing, scoring and automated integration programs are all in place and your streamlined process is working well. But what happens if you’ve just revamped your lead scoring model and now your telemarketing team is saying that the leads they are receiving are not good enough? Ensure you have the flexibility and mechanisms in place to troubleshoot and avert a full-blown storm. Iterations will always be necessary so gather inputs and collectively work to resolve the issues quickly and efficiently.
8) Different viewpoints
As part of your plan to document and disseminate your lead management model with your stakeholders, add a feedback loop by setting up regular formal checkpoints with marketing, telemarketing, sales, sales ops and any other relevant stakeholders. Creatively seek additional, anecdotal feedback too. Listening to this feedback and giving guidance as to how users might overcome any issues they have in their day to day experiences will help to improve adoption and data accuracy.
Give access to all your stakeholders so they can add suggestions and ideas. Regularly review the backlog and prioritize any changes by effort required and benefits achieved. Use your overall lead management objectives to evaluate and score the requests.
10) Broaden the horizon
Enterprise level lead management is a challenge. Gather a team of experts around you who are wiling to poke holes in your latest flow diagram or design. Look out for coaches or mentors who can be a sounding board for you, even if that person is external to your organization. Sometimes someone without all the political bias and history can see a solution quicker because their vision is not clouded.