I was recently interviewed for an article on lead management by Chris Koch who works for ITSMA, the Information Technology Services Marketing Association.
In the article titled, “Building a Marketing Funnel and Other Lead Management Tips,” I give the following five tips on how you can make your B2B lead management more effective, which are:
- Create a marketing funnel.
- Create a universal definition of a lead.
- Use the phone.
- Ask about goals—don’t sell.
- Define lead nurturing—and the right people to nurture.
Here’s a short excerpt from my interview.
1. Create a marketing funnel.
Most organizations don’t have a marketing funnel; they have a sales funnel that looks more like a bucket with lots of holes in it where leads leak out. Marketing needs to create its own funnel to understand whether leads are sales-ready or not.
The purpose of the marketing funnel is to bring leads into one spot and qualify them. By qualifying them, I mean that the leads are ready to talk to someone from a sales perspective. Then there is the hand-off process between marketing and sales. I find that connecting the marketing and sales funnel together is really a big challenge. You have to understand your sales process to know at what point the sales team views a lead as an opportunity and begins actively pursuing it.
Lead generation really is about building relationships. It’s how can I help my sales team build relationships with the right people and the right companies. The marketing funnel creates sales-ready leads and nurtures the leads that aren’t sales ready.
The bigger and better you make your marketing pipeline, ultimately the bigger and better you make your sales pipeline. In the end, this isn’t about generating more leads; it’s about generating actionable leads.
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