By Cari Baldwin, President and Founder, BlueBird Strategies
Lead management is is all about creating “one funnel” for marketing and sales and aligning the teams around a shared process. Our clients need a new lead management process at various times, including:
- When they are implementing a new marketing automation system
- When they are moving from a one-tier to two-tier sales structure
- Or most often, when they grew so quickly and didn’t have time to put a proper structure in place.
I recently saw a stat from MarketingSherpa that reveals that 69% of B2B organizations have not identified their funnel, which means as marketers, we still have a lot of work to do.
Over the years we have developed a lead management workshop methodology that has three main goals:
Bring agreement around a common set of definitions (lead statuses and waterfall stages for example) and map out who is doing what, from top of funnel to opportunity close and customer engagement.
Things to think about include:
- At what point is marketing passing leads to sales?
- What is the criteria for sales to create an opportunity?
- When is a lead sent back to marketing for more lead nurturing?
2. Create a heuristic lead scoring model so sales and marketing will know where a lead is in their buying journey and when they are ready to have a conversation with sales. We recommend weighting later stage content more heavily than early stage content, so prospects that are further along in the buying process won’t have to wait before engaging with sales.
3. Identify what needs to be optimized in both the marketing automation and CRM systems to make the new processes work. Usually, there are new custom fields that need to be created, sales alerts to be built and workflows designed to ensure compliance to new service level agreements defined during the workshop process.
To create an effective lead management process you need commitment from the marketing and sales leaders, clear communication on why the new process is needed and comprehensive training so everyone understands what is expected of them. If you haven’t identified your funnel and created a process, now is the time. Feel free to contact me for a discussion to see if we can help.
Cari Baldwin, President and Founder of BlueBird Strategies, a marketing automation and demand generation agency for fast-growing tech companies, including established firms and venture-backed startups. Baldwin is a seasoned demand gen expert, recognized thought leader and frequent industry speaker on marketing automation with more than two decades of experience. Follow her @caribaldwin.