When it comes down to the process lots of companies will do the outbound calling, some will do direct mails, some will do social media. But what about lead generation? The key is how to put them all together in an organized fashion that is precision-targeted spot on what our clients are looking and trying to achieve is lead generation. What do you do with leads once you generate them?
The premise of the businesses growing our client’s business. When we are sitting across the company and talking to them it’s really important is to understand their business. What are the client thinks their salesforce needs to help them be more successful. So, our job is to deliver them more leads.
How we do that?
Well, the first thing, we have to understand what this company is about.
Secondly, our premise is about the business cycle and its a holistic process to a lead generation. It’s a whole serious of things working together to generate a very specific result.
What do you do with leads once you generate them?
This basic question is overlooked by so many and yet it’s the leading cause of failure in what would otherwise be effective lead generation programs.
The common-sense answer to this challenge is easier said than done: Have your best people respond to them quickly and consistently in order to qualify them into sales-ready leads. The ones that aren’t qualified yet (but are a fit) you put into a pipeline or sales cycle.
The need to better manage leads and inquiries has given rise to a slew of new software companies offering a variety of lead management or marketing automation solutions.
An interesting conversation was started recently by Laura Ramos on the Forrester Marketing blog about lead management software. I’m really glad to see an analyst giving their opinion and I look forward to more insights. Ramos’ post, “B2B Lead Management Market Heats Up,” is definitely worth checking out.
According to Ramos, there are four primary buckets of technology solutions aimed at solving the “how do I make lead generation activities more effective?” They are:
- Web analytics
- Database services
- Marketing automation
- “Pure play” lead management
That being said, it is enormously important to realize that lead management software and marketing automation tools are only one part of an effective process. I am going to share with you what I’ve learned…
Any kind of software will not spontaneously generate you ‘hot’ leads or collaboration between sales and marketing, nor will it create solutions that match your processes and it certainly will not generate sales-ready leads on its own. Nevertheless, for many, the allure of easy execution and fast results are difficult to resist. It’s easy to overlook that these systems require plenty of hands-on input and maintenance to be fully appreciated.
I regularly encounter organizations that invest in expensive software before they fully understand the fundamental operational processes that we are supporting. This was and still is true of CRM and SFA systems. Lead management software has turned out to be no different. If you want to fully leverage your lead management software, you’ll first need to develop operational discipline and focus on good execution.
Start by understanding your lead generation requirements and design a suitable process to support it and insert all into the process where it will be most effective and actually used. Most importantly, don’t underestimate the need for a dedicated team of people that will drive the process and make the inputs into the system.
Begin by mapping out a clear process. At KG Digital we use process flow and data diagrams to collaborate with clients when designing lead generating process. Make sure you involve and collaborate with everyone who will be part of the process. Their buy-in will be key to the programs success. Then identify if there are still any gaps in staffing. Finally, once people and process are mapped out, select the tools or systems that will help your people efficiently manage the process.
Lead generation is the bridge between sales and marketing that connects the beginning and middle of the customer acquisition process. It requires engaged people to execute the right process, which is then supported by the right technology.