Are you still stuck using legacy CRM’s to drive your Lead Management process? CRM’s have introduced a lot of fantastic features that over time have become staples of almost every sales and marketing organization. While they provide a lot of great features for tracking different sales processes, they don’t always hit the mark when it comes to Lead Management.
Perhaps you even fall into a category that a recent client introduced me to. They manage thousands of qualified inquiries every month utilizing a nifty solution they call Excel-RM. “I can get everything I need out of one of those 14 spreadsheets. Once Pam is in, I’ll have her update the report and show you. Should only take a few hours or so”. Don’t be that team.
Whether you are using legacy CRM’s or lower tech solutions, it might be time for you to review what your tech stack needs are in relation to Lead Management.
Download our our Feature Ranking Tool to capture your team’s current needs and help identify what you should look for out of your lead management process.
Lead Management Defined
First, let’s take a step back and define what the Lead Management process is. Lead Development Reps (LDR’s) are tasked with taking qualified interest (i.e. internet inquiry or response to an email advertisement) and maturing it into a qualified lead which then becomes an opportunity for Sales.
It is often confused with Opportunity Management, even though they are very different. Opportunity Management is straightforward process that moves through clearly defined stages, where the Lead Management process is very ambiguous and non-linear. LDR’s need to think like a spider trying to capture a bumble bee. They need to spin many webs to capture the bee wherever it might pop up. Where will their lead resurface and how can they be prepared to nurture them and qualify them? The needs of an LDR to be able to manage all of their leads is substantially more than what a sales rep needs to manage their sales opportunities.
- We’ve observed that many companies are shifting to a more cost-effective coverage model in the form of Inside Sales.
- The move to Inside Sales plus the advances in technology have come together to create exciting new technology offerings for lead management.
- New vendors have emerged offering very niche solutions, as well as new add-ons for legacy CRM systems. These allow LDR’s the ability to more accurately track lead behavior, but also report better KPI’s back to their Managers.
To read an article that effectively outlines different software solutions that are currently available, click here.
Is Your Current Solution Cutting It?
Utilize the following questions to evaluate your current situation:
- Now that we have a better idea of what is needed to manage leads, how does your current CRM stack up in serving these needs?
- Are you able to identify the 4-5 lead opportunities as 1 actual person, or does the system require that you keep them all as separate records?
- Are you able to track easily where each of these lead opportunities are in your process toward advancing from Qualified Interest to Marketing Qualified Lead to Sales Qualified Lead?
- Does your system allow you to update information and dimension it around Budget, Authority, Need, and Time (BANT)?
- Is the system perpetual or periodic – which means you lose the ability to compare records over time?
Legacy CRM systems struggle in these areas of lead management. They are designed to optimize Opportunity Management, but not the ad hoc nature of true Lead Management. Simply not being able to see where your lead is at in the funnel is where legacy CRM’s typically fail.
I worked with a client that used to invest a lot of resources in sending out email marketing content to potential new customers. They utilized a fairly simple CRM system to manage all of their sales and marketing processes and had never defined a good way of tracking the response to their email content inside of it. When we did an audit of records within their CRM, we found the same people duplicated many times over. They would put baseline contact information into the CRM, but then manually update a series of complicated spreadsheets to track qualifying activity outside of the system. This made managing and reporting on where leads were in the funnel very difficult. The first time you start to introduce spreadsheets or other methods outside of your system of record to do tracking, you know you’re CRM is not meeting your needs.
Call To Action
So, what can be done if you want to ensure you have a technology solution in place to optimize Lead Management? First, find out what your front-line sale resources think about the CRM. Are they able to efficiently use it for their needs, or are there critical areas missing? Are you using solutions outside of the system to mask the lacking functionality you need?
Download our Feature Ranking Tool to capture your team’s current needs and help identify what you should look for out of your lead management process.
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