If you are reading this blog then you are likely an advanced marketing leader. You want to stay ahead or you’re transforming an organization. I’m going to go deep with you on the most exciting new development in lead generation: Dynamic Lead Management Process.
First, let me give you background on how this feeds to your marketing strategy.
Companies have invested in content marketing, inbound marketing and marketing automation. Lead development teams have been expanded. However, many marketers are not successfully transitioning to revenue contribution. Activity is not equating to success on the revenue side.
The focus of this year’s research was to understand revenue contribution by marketing.
SBI’s 8th Annual Research Report identifies Marketing Strategy as a core problem. Marketing Strategy is clearly present for top performing marketing teams.
“When we asked average marketing leaders to describe their marketing strategy, they could not. In contrast, best-in-class marketing leaders had clear definition. They could clearly articulate their specific marketing strategy.”
For more insight from the report, sign up for our Workshop.
The workshop provides marketing leaders with a six step marketing strategy methodology. The goal of the workshop is to help you self-assess and identify where you have gaps. You’ll compare your marketing strategy against best-in-class marketing strategy.
This article focuses on Execution Strategy, the fourth step. Specifically the Lead Management Execution plan for your marketing team. You must be able to convert marketing inquiries to qualified leads. This article provides you with a solid plan to improve your lead management strategy.
Why Lead Management Process Must Evolve
A documented process is required for successful lead management. As we all know, early stage engagement of the buying process is not linear. It never has been. With companies increasing the effectiveness at early stage engagement, so have expectations. Prospects used to be impressed with 1:1 engagement with lead development reps and quality content. These are now table stakes in most industries.
Most lead management processes are designed around a common path. Detailed steps are documented for lead development representatives to engage prospects. This has worked because buyers do follow common decision making frameworks. The psychology of a buyer makes them highly predictable. We can anticipate their steps of the buying process with great reliability.
However, the way a buyer chooses to interact through that journey varies significantly.
- There is great variation to when a prospect chooses to respond to an inbound call or email.
- How fast they move at any given time is subject to other priorities.
- Openness to sharing information is largely determined by time demands of the moment.
A linear process places pressure on Lead Development Representatives to think on the fly and improvise. This results in erosion of process as reps freelance. Lower overall conversion rates impact Marketing’s ability to contribute revenue.
Dynamic Lead Management 3.0
Maintaining a process is important. Lead Development Reps (LDRs) are able to benchmark their performance against others. Successful techniques and objection handling can be shared across the team. Teams who execute a planned cadence have better results than ad hoc approach. A ‘dynamic’ process gives you flexibility within a framework.
The first part of lead management is the initial conversation. Once a form fill is received, the hardest part is connecting with the prospect. This is done through a series of phone calls and emails. Optimum cadence is normally six to seven attempts. At any point the prospect may answer the phone, but if not then a voicemail is left. The voicemails are crisp 30-second messages, with each message varying. The call is followed by an email.
Once the connection is made then the process shifts to 1:1 Nurturing. The path forward is determined based on buyer-driven interest. There are five options for determining the future nurture path forward:
Option 1: Grade – this is the demographic (individual) and firmographic (company) fit to your ideal profile. This is an Inward>Out approach based on how much you desire them. Do not recommend.
Option 2: Score – this is the level of interest of the prospect. This is determined by the amount and type of content they have consumed. This is an Outward>In but its weakness is chasing good and bad leads alike. Do not recommend.
Option 3: Grade and Score Combination – The intersection of the Grade and Score provide the right balance. Recommended to start with only if operating with automation and without a LDR.
Option 4: Lead Development Rep Decision Criteria – The LDR is given criteria to determine the path once they have connected with the buyer. In their first conversation (via phone, livechat, or email) the LDR determines if they have immediate, medium or low interest. The nurture path is then determined based on the pace of the buyer. As a buyer responds to the nurturing, then the path is reassessed. Recommended to begin when operating with a LDR. Transition to Option 5 as data analysis reveals direct correlations.
Option 5: Predictive Modeling – Develop a formula based on the results of analyzing successful leads. Recommended for advanced marketers. The formula components to evaluate consist of the following:
- Grade and/or Score
- IP Look-up results (is this a company IP?)
- Work email vs. personal email (@Yahoo, @gmail, etc.)
- Completeness of profile (% of optional fields completed)
- Website engagement (Duration, Quantity of unique visits, Shared content, etc.)
- Quantity of touch-points (Attribution of email, website, direct mail, tradeshow, etc.)
- Recycled lead from previous campaigns
Once you develop the predictive model, then the nurture path is determined based on past success. Rolling forward response rates improve as data insights reveal the ideal fit.
Start by retooling your plan for your Lead management process. This is a major gap for most CMOs. Download the Dynamic Lead Management Process to increase customer acquisition. Contact me via LinkedIn to discuss your unique needs.