B2B Marketing: 10 Ways to Build Sales through CRM Lead Management by Julie Bevacqua
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
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
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
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
Julie lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia, a haven for technology and enterprising
upstarts, dubbed ‘Silicon North’.
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