Lead Generation for the Complex Sale
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B2B Lead Gen Roundtable According to research conducted by InTouch, Marketers’ top challenges include converting leads to pipeline revenue, closing the loop on every lead and deciding which names are valuable
Many of these problems stem from perception and communication issues between Marketing and Sales. Getting both departments on the same page is the foundation of a well-optimized lead generation process. The solution involves more than just generating more high quality leads. Marketing and Sales need to use qualification and nurturing to optimize the leads already in the pipeline.
During this Webinar, Carroll outlined his ‘playbook’ for effective lead management and showed how the guidelines helped a partner optimize the lead generation process to produce major ROI gains.
Partner Company Overview: This organization handles the simplification of IT management of desktops and servers, and offers real-time change management capabilities. With $80 million in annual revenue and a team of 21 salespeople and 10 marketers, this company had a solid foundation but faced several lead management issues.
Before Lead Nurturing: The amount of leads was growing rapidly, but conversions to sales were not increasing at a similar pace. Marketing felt that the leads passed on to Sales disappeared into a “black hole,” and the Salespeople often provided little or no feedback on leads. Ultimately, we discovered the lead-to-sale pipeline conversation rate was less than two percent, and the organization was unable to consistently measure ROI.
After Lead Nurturing: Here’s an example of the huge impact an optimized lead generation efforts can have on an organization’s ROI. By re-engaging and nurturing early-stage leads as well as those not touched by sales, InTouch helped this organization add 4.9 million to the sales pipeline in just 8 months without a budget reallocation or increase. A majority of the early stage leads were actively nurtured, and they were able to grow sales ready leads by 375%. Overall: this organization achieved a 200% increase in the number of opportunities in their sales pipeline.
InTouch used the lead management playbook as a tool to identify, evaluate and address the underlying issues which included:
Marketing’s effectiveness was being hampered by a lack of consensus on a universal definition of a qualified lead.
Promising leads were disappearing because they weren’t qualified and prioritized, while early stage leads weren’t being nurtured into viable sales opportunities.
The lack of consensus and follow through meant that the sales team didn’t pursue the majority of leads.
Because there was no clear hand-off process or accountability connecting the Sales and Marketing teams, communication between the two had deteriorated.
Here’s what Closed Loop Lead Management should look like:
Lead Management Playbook: Five Keys Steps
The steps outlined in this playbook are actions InTouch took to rectify the partner’s issues. The five steps are the foundation of Carroll’s closed-loop lead management system:
1. Refine universal lead definition of “sales ready”
2. Qualify leads based on universal lead definition
3. Nurture early leads until “sales ready”
4. Define hand-off process from Marketing to Sales
5. Close the loop via Sales and Marketing “huddle”
To understand the process of moving from effective thinking about leads to effective implementation, let’s examine the essential elements of each step.
Step One: Refine the Universal Lead Definition of “Sales Ready”