Four Reasons Why Lead Management Falls Short
- Sending leads to sales without agreed-upon criteria
- Sending Automation Qualified Leads (AQLs) to sales based on behavioral lead scoring does not fit the ideal prospect profile
- Sending a lead record to sales without unifying other lead and contact records in the CRM
- No process for sales to give back leads to marketing
Lead management is the process that unites marketing and sales efforts. The essential step to improving lead management outcomes is to increase collaboration between marketing and sales.
Most B2B marketers are frustrated by their lead management outcomes, even as they increase investment and adopt marketing automation and improved lead management processes.
The average conversion rate of B2B marketing qualified leads (MQLs) to sales qualified leads (SQLs) remains low – an average of 20% to 30% depending on industry and lead source.
That means that 70% -80% of MQLs don’t make it to the sales pipeline!
We’ve learned that increasing lead quality and quantity won’t make much difference unless the organization addresses why lead management falls short.
Four Areas That Contribute to Poor Lead Management Outcomes
1. Sending leads to sales without agreed-upon criteria
Marketing’s definition of a qualified lead must be embraced and confirmed by the sales team. The improved alignment will lower the number of MQLs, but you’ll also see a meaningful increase in the conversion to SQLs.
2. Sending Automation Qualified Leads (AQLs) to sales based on behavioral lead scoring does not fit the ideal prospect profile
Lead scoring reflects engagement. Still, the engaging person may not be in the proper role or position within the prospect company. Applying a grade to prospects helps prioritize the ideal prospect profile and give better leads to sales.
3. Sending a lead record to sales without unifying other lead and contact records in the CRM
All too often, a lead record may also exist as a contact or lead record in the CRM. Unless salespeople are skilled at researching the CRM, they often don’t leverage information in other CRM records that can help them advance the sales process. Marketing qualification processes should include unification or indication of related records so the salesperson can action the lead faster.
4. No process for sales to give back leads to marketing
There will always be a portion of MQLs that the salesperson cannot reach or convert to SQL. A robust process is needed to inform marketing on re-engaging or nurturing leads on the salesperson’s behalf. The big idea here is not to limit re-engagement to email. Social and outbound outreach can deliver high ROI once a prospect has already engaged with your organization.
Here’s The Bottom Line
Lead management is the essential business function that bridges marketing and sales through a combination of people, process, and automation.
It’s more important than ever to make sure the sales and marketing teams align on the lead management process. Your organization can achieve meaningful improvements in sales pipeline growth if you address the areas that contribute to poor lead management outcomes.
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