What is the current picture of lead generation and management in your business?
Here's the deal: in order to start generating more leads with less time and financial investment, you first have to spend time setting up systems and making some changes.
Your goal is to establish a solid lead tracking and lead management system, and make small tweaks to your existing lead generation strategies.
This article will show you:
Do you know where your current leads are coming from, or how many you get on a daily, weekly, or by-campaign basis?
If I asked you to tell me right now what your top lead generation strategies are, what would you say?
A big part of step-one is gaining a solid understanding of where your business stands right now in terms of lead generation. Otherwise, how are you going to know when your lead generation strategies are working? Or which strategies are working?
In a few minutes, I'm going to show you how to set up a lead tracking and lead management system that works with your business. But first, I'd like you to write down (on your pad of paper) what you think your top three lead generation strategies are right now.
Every business needs a lead tracking and management system. Do you have one in place?
A lead tracking and management system is absolutely essential to your business for a number of reasons.
One, it is the only way to know which marketing strategies are working, and which ones aren't. The information your system gathers will allow you to make educated decisions about marketing campaigns and investments.
Two, it organizes your sales and marketing efforts and manages contact information in a user-friendly way. It's clear who you called, when, what you said, and when you said you'd follow up.
Three, it enables you to manage your sales staff by tracking their progress on several leads at once. You'll have access to an at-a-glance picture of their sales figures and productivity.
Your lead tracking system needs to:
Your lead management system needs to:
Here is a list of information you will want to gather from your leads.
Depending on the needs of your business and the lead tracking and management system you choose (i.e., do you need a mailing address, or just email address?) some of these items may be optional fields.
Keep in mind that your lead tracking and management systems need to be simple enough for everyone in your company to use.
Unless you are the only person in your company who manages incoming phone calls, greets customers and chases down leads, the systems you implement will need to be used consistently by everyone in your organization.
Once you have decided on a system, schedule enough time to train your staff thoroughly and be open to feedback. Since you're not the sole user, you'll need to consider their thoughts on the usability of the systems.
Pick a lead tracking and management system that suits your budget, and offers the features your business needs.
Each business will have different requirements when it comes to lead tracking and management. A retail store will have different needs than a realtor's office or an online business.
The retail store may only need to record leads based on lead generation strategies, and keep lead information for their direct mail or newsletter databases. On the other hand, the realtor will need to make contact with their leads on several occasions, and need a system that will record and remind them of those correspondences. Online Businesses will need to know how many people are clicking on their ads, opting in for lead magnets and going on to make purchases.
Software for lead management ranges from simple to highly sophisticated, and can be a great investment depending on the needs of your business. Some CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools are available online as a web-based system you can subscribe to and have access to on the road. For example, Infusionsoft Pro is an all-in-one power marketing, sales, and business suite. It automates sales, marketing and business processes, giving you the flexibility and power you need to grow your business with confidence. (I am an Infusionsoft Certified Partner – ask me about a demo or pricing)
I've listed the features and advantages to a number of different systems below - ranging from low-tech to high-tech, paper-based to web-savvy.
Bringing qualified leads into your business will save you and your sales team time, and result in higher revenues.
Qualified leads are simply the potential customers who are the most likely to buy your your product or service. They're not just in your store taking at look at the latest features in refrigerators, they're in the market to purchase a refrigerator. They're not wandering in to see what a $500 handbag looks like, they are the kind of person who can actually spend $500 on a handbag.
Some of the people who will call you or visit your business will never buy from you no matter how good your sales scripts are or how much time you spend overcoming their objectives. There are a variety of reasons for this - and you'll never eliminate all of these people - but you will need to focus on bringing in more of the people who are ready to buy.
The good news is you have spent so much time and energy cultivating a comprehensive knowledge of your target market, that you're in a great position to increase the number of qualified leads you bring into your business.
How do You Get Qualified Leads?
The crux of qualified lead generation is making decisions based on the market research you completed on your target market. You basically need to know where to reach your market, and how to speak to them.
When you are designing, executing and making choices about your lead generation strategies, always consider these questions.
I'm going to show you how some little changes will generate big results for your company in short order.
Once you're set up with a testing and measuring system (your lead tracking and management systems) to evaluate the success of your lead generation strategies, you need to start by looking for opportunities to juice up the strategies you're currently working with.
Stop using strategies that don't work.
Now that you have a comprehensive lead tracking system in place, you'll be able to track the leads that each strategy is responsible for generating.
When you complete your first few campaigns with the lead tracking system and analyze the numbers, compare the results to the initial predictions you made. Were you correct in your assumptions, or were you surprised by how things shook out.
The purpose of testing and measuring using a lead tracking system is to figure out which strategies work, and which don't, as well as which strategies work best, and which generate mediocre results. This not only will save you money but is incredibly useful information to have when developing marketing budgets and, of course, trying to drive sales.
READ THIS: A quick cautionary note on conversions.
While the focus of this post has been lead generation, remember the first part of the formula:#leads x %conversion rate = #customers. Don't lose sight of the relationship between leads and conversions in the overall formula.
Remember… when more leads start flowing through your door, you'll need to have the resources and systems in place to give a high level of customer service and to convert them into loyal customers. You've put effort into generating these qualified leads, but if you don't have the resources in place to give them the attention required, you'll lose them.
Once established, your lead tracking and lead management system should require minimal time investment...if you keep it up to date.
One last reminder before I sign-off - keep your systems up to date. The biggest pain (and drain on time) is having to go back and enter heaps of data into your database or management system because someone has let it pile up.
It's also a huge missed opportunity! If you fall behind on your lead tracking system, because you won't be able to effectively evaluate your campaign or strategy. Or, you may have missed a lead because you didn't follow-up soon enough.
Be diligent, and set a strong example for your staff members.