To generate leads, you’ve spent a lot of money on advertising, trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, etc. Plus you’ve spent more money qualifying those leads. How do you ensure that your sales team will follow up on and close on your leads? You need a system to manage your leads. This system should also provide tools to track the leads and to report progress to management and the sales reps working on the leads.
Two keys to successfully managing leads are:
(1) Make it easy for your sales reps to maintain the information and follow up on the leads;
(2) Set the expectation that management will review leads and hold sales reps accountable for lead development.
Sales representatives manage their limited resources very efficiently. If your sales reps need to work extra hard to qualify, follow up on, or manage leads, they are less likely to do so. However, if you integrate your lead management process into your sales reps’ established sales processes, you will significantly increase the likelihood that your reps will use the process.
Create a repository for leads and the data associated with the leads. Integrate this database with your CRM system (customer relationship management). This will allow a seamless hand-off to the sales team as leads become opportunities and prospects become customers.
Accountability is equally important. Sales representatives need to know that you are committed to developing new business through new leads and that you will review the status of all leads distributed to your field sales team. With a strong management commitment, your sales representatives will be more motivated to follow up on leads and report their results to headquarters.
Lead Tracking and Reporting
After your lead data is consolidated and maintained in a centralized database, the information can be analyzed and viewed in multiple ways to facilitate tracking leads and evaluating marketing campaigns. Here are some reports you should consider creating:
- Aging Report – presents leads by date to ensure action on more recent leads and immediately identifies leads that have been ignored by the sales team. You can develop aging reports by: individual sales rep to evaluate performance, lead status (A/B/C), markets, products, and tactics.
- Won/Lost Report – tracks your efficiency with closing leads. You can develop reports showing: initial lead status, markets, products, and time from lead identification until close.
- Tactic Code Report – compares relative success of various marketing tactics.
- Territory Report – compares leads by sales region, sales representative or other territory.
- Competitor Report – identifies possible competitive weaknesses.
Finally, tie the lead management database to your order entry system so that when a lead becomes a sale, it can be tracked and sales reps can be rewarded. This also provides you with key conversion information and allows you to track the success of your marketing campaigns.
For more information, contact Wallace Management Group at (203) 834-0143 or email David Wallace.
© 2010, David P. Wallace