Do You Need To Update Your Lead Management Tools?

lead management tools

Creating healthy relationships with a large pool of digitally-led customers can be difficult to tackle, but lead management systems are making leaps and bounds.

According to Inside Sales, “Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.” When future proofing your lead management system which tools should stand out above the rest to ensure a rapid conversion?

Is there enough automation?

Using the time to individually qualify each lead by sifting through resources is a waste of it. Automation has revolutionised how leads are processed, allowing sales and marketing teams to create customised interactions with prospects, without the need for manual involvement. It works by removing any roadblocks during the conversion stage using workflows to shorten the sales cycle and target audiences with accurate data.

What about segmentation?

Segmentation is simply a process that defines who receives the appropriate information and when. Integrating a segmentation process into a CRM is a benefit to any brand because it organises pools of data in a way that creates trends and patterns while also eliminating silos.

Is there a customisable option?

Every company has a mode of operation that differs from another, it’s important that a lead management system has customisable features in its arsenal. An efficient setup would be able to scale according to demand and adapt workflows and other features specific to a company’s needs.

A Few Effective Ways To Use Closed-Loop Data

closed loop data

Closing the loop in business means the sharing of lead insights between sales and marketing. It promotes collaboration between the two parties via CRM systems and automated reporting. Gathering closed-loop insights that are useful is the first step in the process and that can be tricky, especially when numerous leads are arriving from multiple sources.

Without closed-loop data and reporting, budget decisions could be made based on inaccuracies and that’s a waste of resources.

Forbes contributor Kimberley A. Whitler discovered that companies in China – which relies on mobile technology more than the West – have nudged closed-loop marketing up a level by mastering consumer insights beyond the standard criteria. They have done this by focusing on first-party data which, “enables companies to understand actual behavio[u]r.”

The best ways to use this data for the benefit of both ends of the funnel is to take a page from their book and concentrate on ways to produce more customer behavioural data.

Tracking tags are highly useful when you know where to put them, closed-loop data can provide much-needed clarity. If a social media source is providing the most qualified leads then amping up the tracking of consumer activity within that forum is useful. Discover, what content is really working.

Closed-loop data is detailed enough that it also can capture real-time shifts in behaviour, including changes in pain points. Customer pain and need are often synonymous, pinpoint their frustrations by paying attention to what they’re asking, clicking, reading and downloading the most.

Additionally, the data can reveal insights that may fight against existing personas and open up an entirely new revenue stream.

We all know that a thorough use of buyer personas is essential to audience targeting. Data with both sales and marketing input can create personas that include the most current challenges they face.

Closing the loop is a process every commercial and marketing team should be utilising, it’s about using the data the right way and fuelling existing systems with the best there is.

Via: Forbes

Why Call Data Can Answer Your Lead To Prospect Problem

lead to prospect

Sales and marketing terminology is an ever-evolving organism. Some of the most commonly used words are those that make up the buying cycle. Terms such as lead, prospect and customer tend to be company specific, often marketing and sales team differ completely in their individual definitions. However, an indisputable takeaway is that a lead comes before a prospect – which can also be considered a sales qualified lead. The real challenge lies in the qualification process. 

According to AeroLeads, “The one main similarity between a lead and a prospect is that both haven’t shown any interest in buying.”

Yet, there are differing opinions when it comes to deciding when a lead is ready to become a prospect who is ready to buy.

The best place to start is to automate the lead generation process and create ideal criteria for both lead and prospect using the most accurate data you can gather. According to the Ascend2 study, “35 per cent of those surveyed said the biggest barrier to lead generation success is the lack of quality data.”

Where can you source accuracy?

Calls. Real-time call data is proven to be more reliable than any other channel and can speed up the lead to prospect journey. Let’s break it down.

Leads are traditionally defined as potential customers who have problems a brand can solve and improve. Providing a relevant and exciting experience in order to turn leads into prospects can be helped by positively responding to patterns of behaviour and most of all pain points. 

Call data metrics provide stats for call volume, calls missed, time of day, geolocation and sites visited – all important information needed to better understand the journey. Cumulatively, these paint a picture of how leads are entering the brand realm and most of all why they fail to become a prospect. If an inbound campaign is working and bringing in call enquiries or website views, the call data will reveal this.

In fact, in the automotive sector dealerships gain 50% more leads when tailoring phone numbers to be displayed based on geolocation.

lead to prospectEventually, leads become prospects after just the right amount of nurturing and follow-ups. Hubspot found that “the odds of a lead entering the sales process, or becoming qualified, are 21 times greater when contacted within five minutes versus 30 minutes after an inbound lead converts on your website.

Response time can aid in turning a lead into a prospect then towards conversion, for any business utilising call centres this is a major KPI. Fast response times are vital in the final stage of the purchase journey. If agents aren’t calling back or prioritising high-value calls, the leads fall away and sales are left with little.

Fill in the spaces between lead and prospect with more exact data via calls, start the journey strong and end with a bang.

Learn more here

Via: AeroLeads, Ascend2, Hubspot.

Your Inbound Leads Suck And How To Fix Them

inbound leads

Outbound marketing is easy, it’s about the chase, mass emails and cold calls. Inbound leads can be a little more difficult, how do you draw them in? Yet when they do arrive there is a tendency for marketing teams to send the whole gamut down the funnel to sales. This results in frustration from the commercial side of a brand. Wasting time sifting through cold leads to find warm ones isn’t ideal and adds to the miscommunication marketing and sales teams tend to struggle with.

What can be done? It’s down to balancing both the outbound and inbound lead influx, sending qualified leads down the funnel and finding the right technology to do that. Rome wasn’t built in a day but there are platforms out there that can be.

Here’s how.

Qualifying inbound leads

Lead to prospect to customer is the journey of every final sale. It all starts with a qualified lead and for marketing, those are the only ones worth sending to sales teams.

Scoring these leads does not have to be painstaking, use profiling to create a more in-depth impression. Digital profiling collects data from every visitor interaction and creates custom identifiers such as geolocation, clicks, browsing behaviour, etc. When leads do reach out, its easier to determine whether they have the potential to become a customer and to nurture them further until they do.

Using calls

When someone calls to find out about a service, they usually show more interest than a form filler. Phone calls come from those further down the sales process, BIA/Kelsey data, “also indicate that 66 per cent of SMBs (small-medium businesses) consider phone calls the most valuable form of incoming leads.” Use call data to fill the gap in lead management by attributing qualified leads coming from calls to marketing campaigns.

Seeing the big picture

Lead generation in this digital landscape is wide terrain full of multiple campaigns, targeting and relationship building. Consolidating every part of this process to form a clear, long-term strategy is possible with investment in technology that can do the heavy lifting and collaborate easily with a human workforce.

Knowing the best times, locations, industries and audiences to target can save time, money and resources. If your inbound leads suck then make some tweaks to how you approach leads overall and see the results.

Via: BIA/Kelsey

Phone Calls: How To Close This Gap In Lead Management

girl on phone

Phone calls are arguably the black hole in lead management. Why? Because calls are now the highest converting lead source for most businesses, yet a large number of companies are still putting funding into digital advertising without an idea of how these investments are bringing in leads. According to Gartnerout of 14 categories of marketing activity, 65% of marketing leaders surveyed told us they plan to increase their spending on digital advertising.”

The fact remains, customers will close a sale when they are ready, not when the company is ready to sell to them. When they do call, that interaction is more likely to result in a sales lead than relying on web marketing alone.

It’s not that the marketing isn’t working, it is…phone numbers are being dialled and click to calls are initiated as a result of marketing efforts. Proving the ROI of this ad spend is where many brands are at an impasse. The ability to accurately measure campaigns is the goal of most marketing teams and yet the hole is there, how do you measure offline interactions and manage the leads that come from them, especially phone calls?

Understand who the lead is going to

When multi-locational brands like those in the automotive sector send qualified leads to their vendors, the expectation is that follow up is immediate. Not always, it can be difficult for brands to trace the customer journey when they leave the brand website. Using workflows can set up a lead nurturing protocol for vendors so that calls are not missed and brands have full visibility of every step.

Call data is gold, use it

Seriously. Stream call data into software that can meld into an existing system. It’s easier than it seems. With this data, build digital profiles for customers to create personalised experiences for every caller and help sales teams understand exactly who they are selling to – resulting in higher conversion rates.

Infosys found that 59% of shoppers who have experienced personalisation believe it has a noticeable influence on purchasing. Despite the stats, there is a startling lack of investment in personalisation technology, according to Pure 360 via econsultancy, “38 per cent of companies are not undertaking any personalisation.”

Calling customers aren’t going away anytime soon and despite the advances in communication technology, large purchases still need the cushioning of a good conversation. Technology is accenting this process with features that make it beneficial for both ends of the line. Fill the gap by paying attention to who’s calling.

Via: Gartner, Pure 360.