May 14

Lead Management: 4 principles to follow to get better results

Lead Management


The following is focused on lead management which will dive into broader topics, including lead capture, lead qualification, and lead nurture.

The main principles of the Lead Management Workshop were pulled from that book.

Key principles of lead management

At the fundamental level, lead management is guided by four key principles:

1. Leads are people, not targets

This goes back to the difference between company logic and being customer-centric. The focus should be on the customer.

Read 4 Ways you can humanize marketing to get better results now.

2. People are not falling into the funnel; they are falling out

Everyone thinks with a funnel, people are going in and narrowing down, and that’s not really the case. The inverted funnel shows the pipeline is more of a climb, with micro-conversions throughout the process.


We are optimizing customer thinking. 

This means getting into the customer’s psychology and understanding those thought sequences to achieve the desired conversion – whether it’s a click, a filled-out form, or even a sale.

How to Put the Customer First in Lead Generation

3. To optimize thinking, we must enter into a conversation with value

This means the perceived value of the marketing goal must be higher than the perceived cost. An example would be a Web form.

The cost is giving up information. The value is what that person receives in return for providing that information.

The entire process of lead management is based on the concept of the inverted funnel.

The buyer’s journey is a series of micro-decisions before getting to that ultimate yes in the form of the final conversion-to-sale.

There are all the little micro-yesses that you’re having. A marketer may not be able to look at all the micro-yesses in their funnel on day one. They need to break down each micro-yesses and begin to look at the perceived value and perceived cost at each stage. In sum,  the marketer is putting themselves in the mindset of the customer, not the company.

4. Focus on your ideal customer profile

In the lead qualification section of the workshop, understanding the perfect customer is an important concept.


This is a place where marketers are not focused enough.

Have you defined your ideal customer profile?

Your data should inform the ideal customer profile. If you have contacts or companies on your list that don’t meet that ideal customer profile, then they shouldn’t be on your list. Or, it would be best if you weren’t marketing to them.

To provide a set of guidelines for database form fields you might find valuable, here are two lists from the workshop.

Building your Ideal Customer Profile 

Basic data:

  1. Company Information: Industry type, annual revenue, number of employees, URL, general contact info, etc.
  2. Champion Information: Number of contacts, roles, titles, level of authority/influence, contact information, etc.
  3. Relationship History: Number of touchpoints, type of touchpoints, records of correspondence (what was said), etc.
  4. Current Lead Status: Place in the funnel, lead scores, last actions, next steps, etc.

Advanced customer data:

  1. Engagement Metrics: Email opens, webpage visits, clickthrough, types of articles downloaded, etc.
  2. Business Intelligence: Competitive data, industry trends, organizational changes, press releases, articles, quarterly reports, etc.
  3. Life-Cycle KPIs: Average sales cycle, longest/shortest cycle, touchpoint clusters, lead source, touchpoint contribution reporting, etc.
  4. Trend and ROI Reports: Lead flow, dials to disqualification, dials to leads, email success rates, revenue per customer, lead costs at various funnel stages, etc.
  5. All Communication Records: Track, report, and archive all email messages, calls, and voicemails from contacts associated with accounts or companies.

Keep in mind that these are all guidelines, and your business needs will determine the form fields that are most valuable to your marketing needs. You need to consider both the primary and advanced data field lists to provide a starting point to begin creating your ideal customer profile.

Related Resources:

How to Do Lead Management That Improves Conversion

Lead Gen: A proposed replacement for BANT

Lead Generation Checklist – Part 5: Treat your marketing database as a valued asset

Gartner Research: Boost Your Growth From Existing Customers

3 Tips to Reengage Stalled Marketing Qualified Leads Fast


About the author 

Brian Carroll

Brian Carroll is the CEO and founder of markempa, helping companies to convert more customers with empathy-based marketing.

He is the author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and founded B2B Lead Roundtable LinkedIn Group with 20,301+ members.

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