Lead generation is an important, often difficult part of growing a business. It not only takes time and effort but also money; and even then, generating qualified and quality leads remain elusive even for the largest companies. The reason is, lead generation can be fraught with multiple pitfalls. Unfortunately, there are many ways to lose a lead, but one of the most tragic ways is letting an already-generated lead die in your inbox pile. Think about it, you’ve wasted all that effort getting them to this point, only to forget about them altogether – as we said, tragic! So here’s what you should be doing to help your business avoid this fate. Here’s a quick hint: it involves a lead system and automation.
What’s a Lead System & Why Do You Need It?
If you’re putting any effort into generating new leads, you should also take the time to implement a lead system, which allows you to evaluate, track and follow up with your leads all throughout the conversion funnel. A successful lead system connects your sales and marketing efforts into one streamlined approach to generating and nurturing leads. Without it, you’re essentially spending time and effort collecting information that’s not being put to good use. You might think you’re doing everything because new leads keep popping into your inbox, but you’re actually wasting both time and money.
How To Set Up A Lead System?
To implement a lead system you’ll need to focus on two things: communication and automation. You’ll first need to learn all about your potential leads from your sales team, and then incorporate that knowledge into an automated CRM system that can analyze and segment your leads according to their qualification, quality, and interest. Let’s break down what you’ll actually need to do.
- Learn From Your Sales Team
Your sales team members are at the front lines of driving conversion and dealing with leads, so they’re the ones best positioned to tell you all you need to know about identifying qualified leads. You’ll need to start by taking the time to ask your sales team various questions to understand what signifies a “qualified lead.” Ask questions such as:
- What do you consider a qualified lead?
- What is your definition of an ideal lead prospect? Be specific about the industry, job title, or geographic location.
- What activity (activities) do you consider a signal for a sales-ready lead?
- What issues do you frequently see with prospective leads?
- Score Your Leads
Once, you’ve established the criteria for a qualified lead, it’s time to use all the information you have to create a lead scoring model. What this means is that you’ll assign a score for each variable associated with a potential lead, and then score them accordingly to figure out where they fall in terms of necessary follow up. You’re going to have to create and understand your lead persona to score all potential leads against this model. Doing so will guarantee that your sales team is only focusing on quality and qualified leads instead of wasting time on those who don’t fit the category.
- Automate Your Lead Assessment and Follow Up
You might be thinking: “That’s great, but how can I possibly evaluate and follow up with all of my leads and still have time to run a business?” This is where automation comes in. A quality CRM system allows you to input your lead scoring parameters, and automatically manage all of your valuable leads without taking any time out of your day.
Here’s how it works: You simply set your desired threshold scores or grades, which will automatically channel your leads to a designated sales representative. You have the choice to automate assigned leads by a round-robin style order, or by using a lead queue within your CRM system. This will ensure that you’re following up with active and qualified leads every time, without the risk of letting them go to waste at the bottom of your inbox.
A prompt follow up can mean a world of difference when it comes to lead generation. In fact, a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review found that companies that follow up with their leads within a few hours of generating them enjoyed a 60 times greater chance at winning their business.
What should I do?
If you’re still missing out on converting hard-earned leads, it’s the perfect time to implement a lead system and CRM in your business. Not only will you see an increase in qualified leads and conversions, but you’ll also free up the necessary time in your day to focus on other parts of your company. By communicating and learning from your sales team, you can get the information you need to automate your lead flow system with a CRM. To keep your lead system flowing smoothly, you should always follow up with your marketing and sales teams and evaluate the effectiveness of your efforts. Soon, you’ll stop wasting your opportunities to convert your leads and gain access to some you didn’t even know existed.