Lead management is one of the most critical parts of the sales process. These days, almost every company relies on a lead management platform to help streamline the process. However, no matter how good a tool is, it’s only as good as the processes that back it up.
There’s no doubt that automation, and the data collection that underlines it, is the way to go when it comes to lead management. Research conducted by VentureBeat reveals that 80% of companies who automate lead management receive more leads, and 77% report greater conversions.
Automation via platforms such as Conversica (or Conversica’s alternatives) can throw your processes in disarray because there’s a learning curve to them. You’ll need to prepare your team and ensure your tools are in order before going down that path.
Here are 5 lead management best practices that will make sure everything runs smoothly.
Know your sales process backwards
Creating a lead journey map is a critical step that often gets lost in the rush to automate everything. If you don’t know how your leads are entering your funnel, you won’t know which parts of your process to automate and which ones need a personal touch.
Automation is limited by the technology that underpins it. While it allows you to respond to your leads quickly, it cannot fulfill all of a prospect’s needs. Automate the wrong portion of the journey, and you’ll end up losing leads instead of gaining them.
Create a map of how your leads enter your system, whether it’s through chat or a form. Define how they’ll be followed up with and who is responsible. Consider that the questions a lead asks in the form might dictate how your automation workflow proceeds.
Over time, your map will change, but the key is to define the lead’s journey at all times.
Use the right tools
Currently, Conversica is the lead management tool of choice, but there are many alternatives out there. AI-powered rules are Conversica’s strength, and the good news is that there are many highly reviewed Conversica alternatives in 2021.
These alternatives to Conversica contain all of the powerful features such as notification via SMS, messaging, and multi-platform adaptability. Some of them even allow you to build lead nurturing campaigns within them and define complex rules around manual intervention.
The right tool makes all the difference, so take the time to review all of its features. While many tools offer automation capabilities, make sure your tool of choice allows you to automate the portions of your lead journey that make sense.
For instance, it doesn’t make sense to use a tool that offers advanced lead nurturing automation if your goal is to automate just the initial steps of the journey.
Track KPIs for every step
A key part of lead management success is understanding where the majority of your leads come from and how they prefer to interact with you. For instance, if the majority of your leads arrive via chatbot messaging, it makes sense to devote more resources to that source.
Every company has a different lead journey, and the metrics you use to measure each source are critical. Note that lead volume isn’t the only relevant metric. A webform might deliver lower lead volume, but it might result in greater SQLs down the road.
Examine the context in which the lead capture method exists. If a webform is tied to highly relevant content, it makes sense that this source will deliver good quality leads. It’s best to tailor metric thresholds to your expectations of lead source performance.
For example, a chatbot is unlikely to deliver a ton of high-quality leads since it captures a lot of casual browsing traffic. Lead volume is a good metric for it. A webform tied to a case study or whitepaper should yield more SQLs, so you’ll need to monitor conversion rates instead of solely volume with this source.
Don’t neglect anonymous visitors
Anonymous visitors tend to get ignored by most sales teams, but they can provide you with valuable data. For instance, you can map their IP addresses to a geographical area or an organization to figure out whether you’re attracting the right demographic to your website.
Monitoring the levels of anonymous traffic is also helpful since a large percentage of them might indicate that you need to tweak your webpage copy or social media messaging to attract more relevant visitors.
Avoid data integrity issues
Data integrity, or the lack of it, is one of the biggest issues sales teams face. Data is often incomplete, in different formats, and this makes running analytics on it tough. For example, one lead source might capture a lead’s first name, but another might capture their last name as well.
If the lead enters information in both sources, they’ll appear as 2 separate visitors, which renders analytics useless. Adopting firm-wide data standards is a good first step to take. Make sure all of your sources are capturing leads in the correct format and that your lead management platform is connected to all of your data sources.
Run periodic checks on your data to make sure there aren’t any integrity issues creeping in. It’s a tedious process, but it will pay handsome dividends in the long run.
Aligning data with tools
Advanced lead management tools like Conversica or its alternatives are only as good as the processes that back them up. Use these 5 tips to make sure your lead management runs smoothly.