In today’s highly competitive market, businesses need to keep customers needs and the changing market demands in mind. The customer today is increasingly aware and uses online channels to research purchases; thus marketing meets prospects earlier than ever in the buying process. Every customer is not only looking for a good product; he also wants to get a good deal. It is important therefore for businesses to nurture the prospect, thereby ensuring that he actually buys the product.  

The best way is to use lead management to bridge the gap between marketing and sales. Lead management is the entire business process of gaining new customers to retaining the existing ones. Lead management begins from the time when you capture or generate a lead to filtering leads based on the lead intelligence, to the point a high priority prospect is ready to engage with a sales representative and qualified leads to the marketing team for lead nurturing.

Lead management requires the following capabilities:

·          Lead scoring- With robust marketing automation applications, leads can now be automatically scored and prioritized based on their activity, interest and intent.  Makes Sales more efficient by helping them focus on the hottest leads first and get to them with a relevant solution in real time.

·         Lead Intelligence - Offers marketing and sales teams a user-friendly way to fully automate and gain critical insight into the prospect's buying intent and process. Marketing and sales can identify opportunities with greater clarity and more effectively drive sales opportunities to revenue.

·         Lead nurturing – As all leads are not sales-ready, to convert them to customers, they have to be nurtured well. Lead management enables businesses to track interaction and feedback, which can help determine whether leads have been nurtured enough or not. Lead nurturing best practices helps to build relationships with qualified prospects and aims at building a long term relationship with prospects through a consistent and meaningful dialog between the marketer and the prospect throughout the sales cycle.

·         Lead distribution - to pass the sales ready prospect to the right sales channel seamlessly.

Enterprises need to evaluate their lead strategy and create an effective lead management with queries about lead flow, current lead generation campaigns, sources of leads, the process of transferring leads from marketing to sales, measuring lead follow-ups, tracking sales leads to closed sales, etc. Thus it is seen that well nurtured prospects tend to buy more in comparison to others. Companies having an efficient lead management have better alignment between marketing and sales leading to increased revenue.

Also read on - Lead scoring,  Lead nurturing best practices

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