B2B Lead Management Process: Why you need one

Everyone who’s in the business of B2B lead generation knows how important it is to capture and nurture leads. The task does not conclude once the prospect agrees to disclose information, sign up for something or agrees to an appointment. Leads still need a working, effective management process.

Do you have a standard process to manage your leads?  What do you do with leads that aren’t quite ready to buy or commit? How do you define what a good or bad lead is?  Do you have a logical way to qualify your leads? 

If you answered ‘no’ to any of the questions above, you’ve got a problem with a lead management process. Basically, these are the functions:

  • Gather valuable data
  • Validate and rank leads according to probability of success
  • Establish processes to nurture pre-sale leads
  • Identify sales- ready leads

One may find it surprising that most marketing teams have no lead management program in place.  What usually happens is that they put most of the focus in converting a lead so they could pass it on to sales. Sadly, that setup makes it possible that the majority of these leads are not ready to buy right away, and it becomes a total waste of resources.

Also, without a lead management system what would take care of the prospects, they will probably end up buying from your competition. Here’s the solution to that:

The objective of a lead management process is threefold.

  1. Generate more leads of a higher quality – When there is a defined process to capture, nurture and qualify leads, the output is leads of higher quality.
  2. Keep up a recurrent flow of leads – Lead management has multiple processes within a process.  Leads depart each phase after realizing the stage “exit criteria”.  That’s where marketers can measure the conversion rate from stage to stage, making way to a predictable lead flow.
  3. Focus sales reps activities on real opportunities – Lead Management forces sales and marketing to define what a good lead looks like.  The process generates “sales-ready” leads that focus reps on real opportunities.

Research around the web and you’ll find that companies implementing lead management processes see a 10% increase in revenue in 6-9 months.  Yes, at the end of the day, marketing’s gauge for success is revenue, and without lead management this goal cannot be achieved.

This content originally appeared at Sales and Marketing Solution’s Blog.