Sales Lead Management Feed

Leads to Profit: Managing Your Lead and Keeping Them Interested

There comes a point when you lose interest in a career you spent a lifetime building, or just letting go of that dream project because you’re not feeling it anymore. What happened to your dream of being a pilot or an astronaut or a firefighter when you were a kid? There’s a lot of reasons people lose interest and motivation as life happens around them, and in the world of marketing, that is called lead mismanagement.

Businesses try so hard to generate leads, or prospects, in order to grow their revenue and sustain their brand. But getting these leads is an entirely different thing from keeping them. When you get an inquiry from a potential customer, how do you handle them and how do you keep them interested? This is where it gets complicated because nurturing customer relationships takes more than just giving them an automated reply.

A study revealed that 48% of salespeople quit after the first contact, while 90% quit at the fourth. This means only 10% are especially persistent, which is very rewarding considering that 80% of sales are made after the fifth contact. Why does this happen? Maybe the one in charge of lead generation was looking at the wrong person, or maybe because the lead isn’t fully ready yet, as in it is not ready to make a sale. Whatever it is, persistence is key. But other than that, there are other things that marketers can do in order to manage their leads properly, keep them interested, and who knows, maybe they will even become loyal customers. 

Don’t keep them waiting 

Women looking mobile phonePhoto courtesy of antonynjoro via Pixabay

People are becoming increasingly impatient. They don’t like waiting, and they definitely take it personally when they are ignored.

A study from Autodeal about car dealership response time showed that dealers who responded in 6 hours or less achieved an average 40% improvement in conversion rate. And as response time shortens, the probability of making a sale improves. In fact, dealers responding in an hour or less are 48% more likely to close a sale. This only goes to show that the quality of your response is as important as the time you took to respond.

Customer response time shows how a company values its customers. If the customers feel they are being neglected, they will surely bring their business elsewhere. Poor response time means poor customer service, and ultimately will cost a company its customers and revenue.

Track your leads

How the leads were generated is a fairly important question. It is only by knowing where they came from will you have an idea of where they’re going.

There are many ways to source these leads, such as inbound marketing, organic search, paid ads, referrals, etc. If you know how they were generated, it will be a bit easier for you to know what will work for them. For example, if you know that a lead was generated out of a paid ad on promos and discounts, you’ll know which leads to tap the next time you have similar activities. They probably aren’t ready to make a sale on the first contact, but they are likely to be thinking about it.

Pass the lead to the proper person

People-fist-bumpPhoto courtesy of StockSnap via Pixabay

In managing a team, it doesn’t matter how talented or how skilled an employee is. If you put him in a position that is not fit for him, all his skills and talents are put to waste. Such is the case in lead management. If you assign the lead to someone ill-equipped to manage and nurture it, let’s just say you risk losing potential customers and profit.

This is where lead distribution comes in. Well-distributed leads increase the probability of converting these leads. Remember that each lead is different, and it needs a special team or person to handle it. In short, you have to play the matchmaker. For starters, you can match based on skills, geography or location, or niche and expertise.

Once distributed, track the progress and outcomes of the assigned leads. No one is expected to perfect the process all at once; monitoring and constant collaboration is necessary so you’ll know both strong points and weak points that you can use later on.                                                                                                                                                                         

Nurture your leads, don’t give up too easily

Business-dealPhoto courtesy of rawpixel via Pixabay

Just like in life, some things take a little more time than others. But do you give up on a dream just because of a temporary setback?

You need to nurture those dreams. In marketing, you need to nurture leads that takes a while to be sales-ready. A study by SiriusDecisions found that 80% of those marketers consider to be bad leads go on to make a purchase within two years.

Another study by Autodeal also showed that failure to nurture high funnel leads, or customers who are still canvassing from different dealers, are having a negative impact on conversion rate. This is because opportunities are being missed, and that marketers and salespeople gave up too easily.

What you need to do is to discover opportunities in bad leads, and continue fostering a healthy customer relationship by moving your leads along the sales process, giving them relevant content, and maintaining a connection.

Measure success (or failure)

Technology has made it so easy to measure how successful (or unsuccessful) a digital marketing campaign is. All your efforts will go to waste if you don’t monitor and measure, and ultimately understand what these algorithms are all about. Remember that in a quickly evolving virtual world the room for improvement just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Leads are prospects, and they deserve to be treated like a valued customer. You have to engage them and bring them in, you have to make them want to stay, and you want to make them want to come back. You have to take care of them. While strategies can be quite mechanical and impersonal, the usual values of a great sales person or marketer should pay off: persistence, creativity, and genuine care.

A good drive on the 18th hole has stopped many a golfer from giving up the game.

GolferStuff happens in golf and sales. You can shank it, hit into all the traps, and miss every green but that one sweet under-par hole can change the game for you. Just like that one sweet sale can change your outlook on sales.

Continue reading "A good drive on the 18th hole has stopped many a golfer from giving up the game." »

Why You Need to Stop Trying to Align Marketing and Sales

StopMarketing and Sales alignment continues to remain a hot topic in research and conferences. Why? Because in the words of Mary Shea, principal analyst for Forrester, “After years of acknowledging their issues with each other, many B2B marketing and sales teams continue to be at odds.”

Continue reading "Why You Need to Stop Trying to Align Marketing and Sales" »

Sales Lead Manager Job Description: AKA: Demand Manager, Inquiry Manager - Updated


This job description for the Sales Lead Manager has been updated several times and the list of essential functions continues to grow.   It was last updated in June of 2016.  You can forward this to others or give them this link to the description on the SLMA site.    In many respects the importance of this position has grown to be of equal importance to the Marketing Operations Manager.   The two functions may share responsibility.

Continue reading "Sales Lead Manager Job Description: AKA: Demand Manager, Inquiry Manager - Updated" »

If the mediocre are always at their best, who are “the mediocre?”

At the end of another blog entry (one of the best read)  titled “All know the way; few actually walk it. ~Bodhidharma,” I quoted Giraudoux’s famous saying, “Only the mediocre are always at their best.”  

As typically happens when we read something like this, we assume “the mediocre” is always someone else.  It’s certainly not us.

Continue reading "If the mediocre are always at their best, who are “the mediocre?” " »

Without a Sales Lead Management Process, Marketing Plans are Fantasies

IStock-669853862Manufacturing can’t produce products without a process, Sales can’t sell without a process, Engineering can’t define a product without a process, Accounting and Finance can’t manage without a process, and Marketing can’t market without a sales lead management (SLM) process. 

Of course, Marketing can create a yearly plan, but without an Sales Lead Management process the plan is a fantasy; Marketing can’t create qualified leads or measure results without a defined SLM process.

Without an SLM process, no one in Marketing is accountable because success isn’t measurable.  Of course the salespeople are held accountable, but without an SLM process they spend time on ‘garbage’ leads that suck the life out of their jobs and contribute to quota failure.

Today’s Marketing Realities:

Continue reading "Without a Sales Lead Management Process, Marketing Plans are Fantasies" »

How Henry Schuck at DiscoverORG got to 24K Demos

Episode-card-640x640-schuckSitting in for Matt Heinz (jury duty called), Jim Obermayer interviews DiscoverORG CEO Henry Schuck to discuss how his company fed their revenue climb with a journey to 24k demos a year for the SDR team:

  • They discussed the history of DiscoverOrg’s SDR team (comparison of 2015 stats to today’s)
  • How 2015 became the year they focused on hyper growth
  • A realization of the need to step up the SDR program in order to compete with companies of the size they wanted to be

What they did:

Continue reading "How Henry Schuck at DiscoverORG got to 24K Demos" »

Is this a Fairy Tale? A Marketing Manager Builds Demand Gen Based on Sales Quotas?

IStock-802452108 (1)“Do you know,” I asked the marketing manager, “how much money to spend on demand generation, and how many leads to create?”

With a shrug she said, “I do what we did last year.  We have a marketing plan,” she continued. “We review last year's spend and and make adjustments, usually on a budget the CFO gives us.”

Continue reading "Is this a Fairy Tale? A Marketing Manager Builds Demand Gen Based on Sales Quotas?" »

Sunday Musing: Being Good Enough isn't Good Enough Anymore

No one intends to be just 'good enough'; over time it just happens.  To some. 


If salespeople don't follow up on all sales leads, is some follow-up good enough? After all, these people don't report to Marketing.

When Marketing can't seem to create qualified sales leads, are the leads good enough to help salespeople make quota? Most likely not.

For C-Level Management, is it good enough to have a CRM system even if salespeople don't like it and use it only when they must?

Is it good enough for MarCom managers to stand between the warring factions of Sales and Marketing and not take a leadership role to bring the two together?

Is it god enough to not have a marketing automation system when all of your competitors are using a system?  __________________________________________________________

 Step up. Don't be just good enough;

go beyond good enough.


Being 'good enough' isn't good enough anymore. Marketing is in a position unlike any in the last 50 years. It can control corporate growth by creating demand and managing that demand with sales lead management tools. But there has to be a desire to be more than 'good enough.' There has to be a desire to take command of lead generation, create qualified leads, measure what they manage, and nurture prospects until they're sales-ready, and then do it all over again. And again.

There isn't room for someone who is just 'good enough.' Good enough isn't going the extra mile to help Sales make quota.

You have heard me say that pound for pound Marketing creates more wealth for the average B2B company that any department in the company. But to be recognized for it, you can't be just good enough.

Beyond good enough requires leadership, being held accountable, teamwork for Sales and Marketing, and a keen eye for what works, with the guts to measure everything and trash weak lead generation as soon as possible.

It also requires a sales lead management system that is world-class, all encompassing, and comprehensive enough to prove a return on investment for every lead generation dollar spent.

For 2018, Step up. Don't be just good enough; go beyond good enough.