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B2B Marketing: 10 Ways to Build Sales through CRM Lead Management by Julie Bevacqua
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B2B Marketing: 10 Ways to Build Sales through CRM Lead Management by Julie Bevacqua

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Every sales cycle follows a pattern. Explore 10 ways to exploit this pattern and build sales through CRM lead management.

Every sales cycle follows a pattern. Explore 10 ways to exploit this pattern and build sales through CRM lead management.

Published in: Marketing

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  • 1. No matter the product or service you sell, every sale will follow a similar pattern, known as a sales cycle, and a successful salesperson will understand the need to work through each of the steps to get to the final result. But the most important in all these steps is engaging your ‘lead’, without whom there cannot be a close. It is important to clarify the difference between a prospect, a lead, and a qualified lead. A prospect (sometimes called a suspect) is in your target audience, those you are trying to educate about your product. A lead is a person from your prospect pool, from whom you have heard from or are able to get contact information from, via a sales form, meeting them at a show, a referral etc. A qualified lead has a specific demand, which your business may be able to fulfill. In order to build your sales, you need to work on lead management strategies that focus efforts on the final goals. That requires strategies and tools that help develop prospects into future leads, qualify current leads, and convert qualified leads to sales. Here are 10 ways to effective lead management, that can ultimately move prospects to closed business. 1. Install a workable CRM tool. We’ve already seen the many uses of a CRM tool environment. Lead Management featuresin a CRM software solution will let employees score and hand over leads to explore further sales opportunities. Use it to help your team fulfill the below listed criteria.
  • 2. 2. Ensure everyone in the team understands the difference between a prospect and lead. There is often confusion in defining prospects and leads, and your employees may spend a lot of time following prospects instead of nurturing leads. Make sure everyone is on the same page with regards to understanding the difference and recognizing the value of a lead. 3. Define the correct target market. As your leads stem mostly from prospects in your target market, correctly define the right target audience for each product and service. Trickle this information to all of your employees, and in particular, to everyone in your sales team. 4. Encourage immediate contact with the lead. Research shows that the quicker a lead is contacted, the greater the chances of the deal being closed. Given the tough competition you face, you need to act quicker than your neighbors. Often companies offer bonuses for staff that have contacted leads within a stipulated time frame and closed the deal, in a bid to encourage quick action. While some companies allow employees to keep written notes, a more efficient method is to use the Lead Assignment features in CRM, to distribute and respond to leads quickly and efficiently. 5. Nurture your leads. It is very rare that a sale is made in the first round of talks. Usually, the lead has to be encouraged and nurtured by a series of meetings and conversations. It can become easy to drop the lead, especially if a new and exciting one is lurking on the horizon. However in most instances, patience does pay, so teach your sales team the value of nurturing a lead. To make it easier, use Lead Scoring to explore leads that are colder, stalled or on hold, and establish a stream of communication with them. 6. Spend time on building your information database. The more you know about your prospect, the greater the chance you have of converting him into a lead. And the more you know of your leads, the greater the chance you have of making a sale. Spend some time filling in the blanks – ask questions, offer suggestions, collect data, and keep meticulous records of each and every name on your list. An adaptable CRM software solution will allow you to enter information as you source it. 7. Make customer service a priority. Don’t reserve it for your paying clientele only. A good sales team will understand that even a prospect, and most certainly a lead, requires time and attention before they say yes. Use great customer service to leverage a sale. Encourage feedback, share testimonials, and help them to assess the ROI in using your solutions. 8. Track, monitor, and measure each lead. In order to measure results and effective sales techniques, you need to start at the beginning. Track each lead to see where they came from, why they came to you, and how they were converted into a client (or why they fail to convert). By
  • 3. tracking and measuring not only results, but also failures, you have a better understanding of your sales cycle and are able to modify it to capture higher ROI’s. 9. Encourage face to face time. If it applies, get your sales team to do some leg work and meet with prospects face to face. Research shows it’s easier to close a sale in person than it is to do so over the phone. Integrate your sales processes in the field by taking your CRM mobile. With Mobile features, you can immediately give customers the answers they want and, ultimately, you stand a greater chance of converting leads to customers. 10. Hold regular internal meetings. Salespeople often work in isolation, and regular meetings can foster not only teamwork within the group, but also allow management to keep track of progress. Schedule a time when everyone is free, and use it to discuss the workings of what’s in your CRM lead management tool, review those leads, discuss sales, and note successes and failures. A good lead is worth the investment, and with the support of a strong sales team and customized CRM system, you should be able to convert leads into sales successfully. POSTED IN: CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT / TAGGED: B2B MARKETING, CRM, CUSTOMER SERVICE, LEAD MANAGEMENT, LEAD NURTURING, LEAD SCORING A thought-leader in the technology marketing space, Julie Bevacqua is a leading expert in business-to-business (B2B) marketing with hands-on executive experience in corporate, industry, and product marketing; demand management; and social media. She has held executive positions at global enterprise software companies, heading up integrated marketing strategies from brand differentiation, demand generation, sales and marketing integration, and digital marketing strategies to media and analyst relations and corporate social responsibility. By taking every opportunity to extend the company’s digital footprint, Julie guides her team to achieve online dominance within the global marketplace. A natural networker, motivator and mentor, Julie shares her marketing and business savvy through her blog www.JulieBevacqua.com. Business and corporate marketers and entrepreneurs gain unique insights into the latest techniques on digital and social marketing that can be applied in any organization. Julie lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia, a haven for technology and enterprising upstarts, dubbed ‘Silicon North’.
  • 4. Reach Julie Bevacqua at: LinkedIn: Find Julie on LinkedIn Twitter: Follow Julie on Twitter Google+: Add Julie on Google Plus Blog: Visit Julie’sBlog