By Rick Faulk & Seamas Egan, Campaigner
Leads are the fuel to your sales pipeline. You put considerable effort into developing inbound marketing activities so that your sales teams have a continuous flow of opportunity. Success however, does not come without challenges. Too many leads without an efficient system to manage them can clog your sales funnel. The result may be good leads growing cold while your teams work to clear the funnel.
Lead generation is only one part of the sales cycle. In reality, less than a quarter of inbound leads are sales ready. Yet, that small fraction can easily become lost in a sea of data. This inefficient process not only hurts sales numbers but increases tension between sales and marketing teams. Sales teams may complain about not having good leads to work with, while marketing points to the volume their efforts generate.
Lead Scoring - prioritizing sales-ready leads based on a pre-determined set of criteria - allows you to work your best leads first, rather than working from the bottom up. While organizations recognize the value of adding efficiency to the lead process, only 21 percent of B2B marketers have actually established a lead scoring program.
Lead development and management is a joint sales and marketing effort. To maximize leads and keep teams aligned, use the tips below.
Lead scoring allows you to be more efficient in your lead development and management. It not only allows you to close sales-ready leads, but prevents irritating those leads that are not quite ready to buy. Using lead scoring with your CRM system adds a systematic structure so that you can always apply best practices to your lead process.
About the Authors: With more than 30 years of experience in executive management, sales and marketing for some of the world's most successful SaaS and technology companies, Rick joins j2 Global® as its General Manager of Campaigner®, the sales and marketing brand of j2 Global, Inc.
Seamas Egan, corporate sales manager for Campaigner, has five years of SaaS sales experience working in SMB, corporate and enterprise sales.