October 16

Taking my five-step lead management ‘playbook’ on the road

Lead Management


Why do so many companies struggle with the lead generation process?  Simple. Even the very best lead generation program cannot compensate for poor teamwork and collaboration. You can actually achieve major ROI gains by optimizing a just few key aspects of your lead management process.

I just finished up the MarketingSherpa Demand Generation Summit in Boston where I was given the opportunity to present my ‘Playbook for Effective Lead Management.’

If you attended MarketingExperiments’ recent Web Clinic on September 24th you’ve already got a glimpse of my five-step ‘playbook.’  By applying the ‘playbook’ as a tool to identify, evaluate, and address the underlying issues, we show how a company benefited from a 325% growth in sales-ready leads and a 200% growth in lead-to-sale pipeline rate.

What you need to understand is that this client did not spend any more budget to achieve these results. Rather, a greater focus was put on developing and executing an optimized lead management process.

Watch the presentation on demand including slides and audio.

If you don’t have time to watch here are summaries written by others:

Here’s a quick look at the process we took the company through:

  1. Refine the universal lead definition of “sales ready.” It’s imperative that both marketing and sales agree on the definition of a lead. Each time you hire new staff, use that as an opportunity to visit the definition again.
  2. Qualify leads based on the universal lead definition. When you qualify leads against a universal lead definition you’ll get higher lead-to-opportunity conversion rate and start to overcome some friction.
  3. Nurture early leads until “sales ready.” This is where marketers can apply a measurable process to create relevant, consistent dialog with viable potential customers. Position yourself as a reliable resource for folks and when they are ready to buy, they will come to you.
  4. Define the hand-off process from Marketing to Sales. Make sure leads are sales-ready, confirm that leads are ready to speak with a sales representative and provide qualification information for each lead. Agree on turnaround time to get feedback from sales. Study the documentation process chart included in the Webinar. It shows the steps a lead should go through from marketing to sales.
  5. Close the loop via Sales and Marketing “huddle.” Huddling once a quarter is not enough. Examine often what’s working and what’s not working. Know the status of every single lead at all times.

I’ve already fielded questions from the presentation but would love to hear from you as well.

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.

  1. Brian,

    This is very interesting and in keeping with my observations in the market. Lead development clearly trumps early stage lead gen in terms of results. But getting the new leads seems to trump lead cultivation when it comes to marketing investment. Why is that I wonder? Is it starting to shift? Anyway, I’ll put that question to you in person when I see you in San Francisco at the Sherpa Summit.


    Illuminating the Future

  2. What a great resource Brian! Thanks!

    You’re making it awfully easy… 1,2,3…

    Britton – I think you’ll always see things skewed as you described. Knowing the difference between a lead and a sales ready lead is something only those of us who have the benefit of Brian’s wisdom can discern 😉

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