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Leads are doubtlessly one of the most important issues of the high velocity sales industry and lead management should be the focus of all sales operations managers. Anyone with a deal size under $25k can probably agree that finding, nurturing, qualifying, and converting leads is something that can’t get good enough. It makes sense to get an overview into your lead management process and how to improve it.
Improving lead response time
First of all you have to make sure to shorten your response times. InsideSales.com has done a great study showing that you essentially have to reply the first day.
Theoretically this is not a hard thing to grasp, but practically just asking people to be faster won’t lead to anything. How should you “work smarter, not harder”.
Now it is time to work smarter, and there are two simple things we can do – prioritize leads and find where in the process they are stuck.
An easy thing to improve lead management is to help marketing and sales development representatives (SDRs) spend their time on the right leads. Knowing what lead sources are converting the best you should direct your SDRs on focusing on them first. Also you might want to add Lead Scoring, but best might be custom parameters like if the lead’s email address is a “free address domain” (@gmail.com, @yahoo.*, etc) , company size, or title. In OnePage you do that by creating a simple list with a filter, and sorting it on relevancy.
Making sure leads don’t get stuck
Now your SDRs are responding and reaching out to the right leads, but the risk is that these golden eggs get stuck in the sales process. We recommend people to overview where leads lie still by mapping out their process:
We can recommend having different statuses and people working inbound and outbound (or at least have a flag if the lead is generated by an SDR), but as most companies we’ve seen have one team and fewer statuses, let’s keep the example to that.
When you now know the bottlenecks and timing it is easy to create lists for the SDRs to revisit these leads. We use Cue Cards showing us what Leads have stuck in our differents statuses with different thresholds – for example two days in “Contacted” to make sure that nothing lingers here.
Are you improving lead management?
We believe in running your sales process with engineering precision so one of the most important questions is to figure out if your metrics are improving.