Once a sales funnel is all set up, building a lead management process flow becomes crucial. Great marketing efforts can go to waste if you do not know when to nurture or pitch the prospective buyer for a higher conversion rate. Whether to achieve personalisation, targeted marketing, capture better user data, etc., all boils down to how efficiently a lead management process flow is set up.
Extensive content marketing, paid ads, and SEO practices work together to bring in traffic. Through lead nurturing campaigns, the traffic gets turned into leads. But how to achieve this workflow efficiently?
How will the leads get segmented, scored, recorded, analysed, tagged, and complete their buyer journey? All this is what a lead management process answers.
In this blog post, I have created a step-by-step framework that any marketer can use to map out their lead management flow and boost their ROI.
Let’s get started.
What is Lead Management?
Lead management refers to capturing, tracking, and nurturing potential customers, also known as leads, to convert them into paying customers. It involves a set of activities that helps businesses to manage and convert leads throughout the sales funnel.
The lead management framework includes identifying and attracting potential leads, qualifying them based on predetermined criteria, and nurturing them through targeted communication until they are ready to purchase.
A lead management system is critical to the sales process. Businesses can ensure they are not wasting resources on low-quality leads. Instead, they are maximising their efforts on prospective leads. Lead management can be done manually or with the help of automation tools such as marketing automation software and lead scoring models.
What is Lead Management Process Flow?
A lead management process flow refers to the series of steps or stages that a lead goes through from the moment they first interact with a business to the point where they become a paying customer. It involves activities that help companies to organise, track, and manage leads effectively throughout the sales funnel.
Benefits of Lead Management Process Flow
- Improved lead quality: By qualifying and nurturing leads through an efficient lead management system, businesses can improve the quality of their leads, ensuring that they engage with leads that are more likely to convert into paying customers.
- Better user experience: A well-designed lead management process helps ensure that leads receive the right information at the right time, providing a positive customer experience and building trust with the brand.
- Improved forecasting: By tracking and analysing data on leads, businesses can improve their forecasting and predict future sales trends. A lead management system helps businesses make more informed decisions and adjust their sales and marketing strategies accordingly.
- Less lead leakage: A lead management process flow ensures that good leads don’t fall through the cracks. It serves in-depth user insights, so businesses do not miss potential sales opportunities.
5 Steps to Build an Efficient Lead Management Process Flow
Before jumping into building the lead management process flow, marketers must have their buyer journeys and other initial research ready. To make it easier, below are some blog posts you can follow to get started:
- What are the Three Stages of the Buyer’s Journey?
- How to Create a Buyer Journey Map: A Complete Guide
- 5 Steps to Build a B2B Lead Qualification Checklist
Now, let’s understand the step-by-step plan of how to develop a lead management process flow.
Step 1: Define Qualified Leads
Reaching an agreement on the definition of a qualified lead is critical in building an adequate lead management process flow. It involves aligning the sales and marketing teams on the criteria defining SQL, MQL, and IQL. It enables them to focus their efforts on leads most likely to convert into paying customers.
Below are the factors to keep in mind when defining your leads:
- Involve all stakeholders: Bring together all the relevant stakeholders involved in the lead generation, management, and nurturing process, to discuss and agree on the definition of all the different types of a qualified lead. It ensures that everyone has a shared understanding of what is expected.
- Identify the characteristics of a qualified lead: Discuss and identify the characteristics of a qualified lead. These may include demographics, firmographics, budget, timeline, pain points, and other relevant factors indicating a lead’s purchase readiness.
With the above two points in mind, marketers can define when a lead is ready to move between the different tags of SQL, MQL, and IQL.
Suggested Read: What are Unqualified Leads: Identification and Management
Step 2: Build Lead Scoring and Segmentation Criteria
A combination of lead scoring and segmentation means assigning a score to each lead based on their level of engagement and interest in your service and segmenting them based on their score and other characteristics.
From an in-depth analysis of past user and client data, marketers can determine high and low user activities that lead them to conversions. A lead scoring model based on such research makes it easier to predict a buyer’s journey and build a better user experience.
Through scores, businesses can identify which leads will most likely become customers, prioritise their outreach efforts, and deliver relevant content to each lead at the right time.
Segmentation, conversely, involves grouping leads based on their characteristics, such as their industry, job title, company size, or geographic location. It allows brands to tailor their messaging and content to each segment and deliver a more personalised experience.
By segmenting leads, businesses can also identify common pain points and challenges among different segments, which can help them to create targeted marketing campaigns that address these specific needs.
Step 3: Work on Lead Routing
Lead routing is the process of distributing leads to the appropriate sales reps or team members based on predefined criteria, such as territory, product expertise, or seniority. It is an essential part of the lead management process flow, as it ensures that leads are promptly followed up and engaged with by the right people.
To start with lead routing, businesses should first, define rules based on their sales organisation’s structure and goals. For example, you may route leads based on geographic location, company size, or product interest. Lead owners should get assigned to each lead based on these rules to ensure that the leads are distributed to the right sales reps or team members.
To streamline the process and reduce the risk of human error, businesses can use automation tools, such as Salesforce and ActiveCampaign. By following these steps, companies can ensure that leads are quickly, accurately distributed and hear the right sales pitch.
Step 4: Integrate with Sales Funnel
To integrate a lead management process flow with the sales funnel, businesses should define their sales funnel stages and map the lead management process to each stage. They should establish clear communication and collaboration between the sales and marketing terms and teams while using automation tools to streamline the process.
By doing so, marketers can ensure that leads are properly nurtured and engaged throughout the customer journey, improving the likelihood of conversion and building stronger relationships with potential and existing customers.
Step 5: Keep Optimising
The lead management process is not a one-and-done task; it requires continuous monitoring and refinement to ensure it remains effective and efficient over time. It is where the importance of continuously optimising the lead management process flow comes into play.
One of the key ways to optimise the lead management process flow is by analysing the data collected throughout the process. Regularly reviewing and analysing the data can help businesses identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement. This information can then be used to refine the lead scoring and segmentation criteria and identify any bottlenecks or inefficiencies in the process.
Another important way to optimise the lead management process flow is by testing and experimenting with different strategies and tactics for engaging with leads. It can include trying out different types of content, calls-to-action, or outreach methods to determine what generates the best response rates. By experimenting with other strategies, businesses can identify what works best for their target audience and refine their approach accordingly.
Revamp Your Lead Management With Strategic Guidance
Get direct business consultation to guide you in developing effective Lead Management Process Flows. As your Fractional CMO consultant, I offer strategic insights and hands-on guidance to optimize your lead acquisition, nurturing, and conversion processes. Elevate your lead management capabilities for a competitive edge in effective lead capture and nurturing. Let's collaborate for business success.
Ready to Build a Lead Management Process Flow
The lead management process is essential for every business to manage, track, and boost its conversion rate. It gives businesses a high view of how their leads move throughout their sales funnel and help identify gaps immediately.
An automated lead management system becomes more fun as it requires little effort to build but pays off with a steady flow of quality leads. First, you need to understand lead nurturing to get started with it. Here is a guide that can help you- B2B Lead Nurturing: The Ultimate Guide.