There's an old saying, "Time kills all deals". Growing businesses can't afford to waste time with expensive, mass email lists that result in high bounce rates. Or, time-consuming, manual spreadsheets not in real-time. But, what's the best way to find new customers? Assigning and grading leads confirms which leads to pursue (and which to avoid wasting time on).
Let’s explore how to assign and track leads with CRM (so you can reach the decision-makers!).
Why Assign Leads?
"The lead generation process starts by finding out where your target market 'lives' on the web," - Wayne Davis
Assigning leads helps narrow down who to pitch your brand/business to. You can send the right campaigns to decision-makers ready to make purchases/sales.
To understand leads in the funnel:
- The Top of the Funnel attracts visitors and includes videos, blogs, newsletters, and ebooks. Anyone can complete forms as you introduce your brand.
- The Middle of the Funnel is nurturing to build relationships with your leads. Examples include case studies, demo videos, tutorials, and product spec sheets.
- The Bottom of the Funnel educates your leads on making purchases. Examples include testimonials, reviews, and sales follow-ups.
Leads and Prospects - What's the Difference?
The words 'lead' and 'prospect' differ drastically. Leads are people who don't know about your brand. Prospects are leads that you've contacted.
Here's how to differentiate them:
- Top to the middle of the funnel, vary in their qualification level.
- Receive a general form of communication.
- Several steps from becoming a customer.
- Low to the middle of the funnel, qualified to make a purchase.
- Two-way communication exists with a rep.
- One step away from making a purchase.
Why Grade (Qualify) Your Leads?
When assigning and grading your leads, they must fit specific profiles that match criteria for your ideal customers. For example, Yale sells robotic truck lifts to facilities to help improve warehouse resiliency.
Qualifying criteria can include:
- Geography/location: Where are your leads located? This helps with 'near me' campaigns to increase local traffic to businesses (warehouse, facility, store).
- Industry-specific: What is their industry? Autonomous robotic companies sell to manufacturers and warehouses that need AGVs, AGCs, and AMRs.
- Position/Title and Experience Level: Who's the decision-maker you are targeting, (VP, Operations Manager)?
- Company Size: What is the company size, (enterprise, medium, small)? A new industrial equipment company may struggle to pitch to Fortune 500 companies. However, local or regional companies are good starting places.
Grading and Scoring Your Leads
"It's important to decide on what types of leads you want at the middle and bottom of your sales funnel," - Chris Knipper
Grading and scoring leads with points prioritize and qualifies them based on the actions they take.
Actions might include:
- Downloads: With your content marketing, are they viewing blogs and downloading white papers or case studies?
- Email Click-Through-Rates: Are they opening emails and clicking on links?
- Keyword Searches: Are they viewing different page categories?
- Visits to your pages: Are they visiting multiple pages? Spending extensive time on your site?
When scoring, rate leads based on their purchasing power. This lets sales members know how to follow-up.
Josh is an inventory manager for a warehouse. He's visited your site a few times and clicked on your pricing page. Score this lead higher because he is a decision-maker. Have sales reach out ASAP. Josh is likely ready to make a purchase.
Lisa is a temp for a shipping company. She clicked on a free logistics ebook and your employment page. Score this lead lower. She doesn't have purchasing power. Don't nurture this lead. She is not a decision-maker.
Assigning Leads to Sales Members
“Lead generation is a fairly core activity to marketing,” - Chris Brogan
When assigning leads, don't give low-scoring leads to high-performing deal closers. Furthermore, don't give leads ready to make purchases to new staff. They might delay or use the wrong techniques to close the deal.
Here are a few tips:
- Who's up next? Assign leads in tandem with large sales teams and generic leads.
- Who wants this one? Ask who wants to take a lead based on a lead's particular behavior.
- Who's got the time? With leads that visit pricing pages, assign closers who can readily respond.
- Who knows this particular industry? Assign the most knowledgeable members in a given industry.
- Who knows this customer's persona? Assign members based on lead preferences.
- Who's on this account? Assign leads by account (improves lead distribution). And, use key performance indicators (KPIs) to avoid leads slipping through the cracks!
How to Track and Manage Leads in a CRM
Lead management and customer relationship management software (CRM) work in tandem. They can help with following leads through the funnel. Features like automated campaigns and lead qualifying give your teams better insights.
CRM gives creative ways to attract leads. These include social media, blogs, email campaigns, white papers, PR, and special events.
Sorting, Filtering, and Contacting Leads
CRM solutions let you quickly sort, filter, and categorize leads. Then, divide them with automation or by preference.
Nurture Your Leads
Sales members have several ways to nurture leads. These can include social media, emails or follow-up texts and calls.
Manage Leads with CRM Automation
Businesses can lose up to 80% of leads if they delay. Hence, automating lead management is crucial to saving time and capturing leads.
When automating your CRM, it:
- Works in real-time and manages lead activity 24/7.
- Automatically captures, manages, and distributes leads.
- Provides advanced reports and audits and lead tracking. Simplify emails, campaigns, and other processes.
- Gives you measurable results (CRM onboarding, CRM management, technology audits). Say goodbye to outdated data and stale reports, templates, and ad campaigns!
Turn Your Leads into Customers
Assigning leads helps you convert them into customers. However, it requires careful planning and strategy. Without an effective process in place, leads can slip through the cracks and you can miss sales opportunities. As part of your strategy, assign leads to the right team members and automate your CRM. Spreadsheets are time-consuming and prone to errors. However, CRM automation lets you send optimized campaigns and you can qualify leads faster. And, that's where Synchronicity can help.
At Synchronicity, driving growth through operational efficiency is our specialty. Let us help you keep all teams accountable for revenue - with metrics you can measure. Increase your lead conversions and maximize ROI. Connect with us today!