"Sales Lead Management Got You Stymied?"

When it comes to sales lead management, seasoned sales professionals get that maintaining a customer is considerably less expensive than converting a new lead to a new customer. These figures are used as a general guideline: the cost of finding new customers is estimated to be three to five times the cost of customer retention. There's your reason to improve your current sales lead management practices.

Use of the internet is the reason why the customer experience is emerging as the most important differentiator but what do you do with that information? Sure your document it somewhere but then what?

Companies who are automating their sales lead management processes and meet with success think through a five point cycle with this flow:

Capture => Nurture => Score => Sell => Evaluate=> REPEAT

Let's break down the mysterious process of sales lead management down so you can measure, manage, and grow.

CAPTURE: You have the names of people who have expressed interest in your product/service. Now, the fun begins. Odds are most of your leads will be in the nurture stage. Be sure to start them down the right path.

NURTURE: Buyers/leads have expressed interest in your product/service. They want to know more. They want to be educated buyers as opposed to uneducated-foolish buyers. Your job is to identify which of your leads need nurturing. Then, give them what they are looking for, such as best practices statistics to help them put structure to their search. You know your business and what buyers forget to ask so fill in the blanks for them via email and direct mail campaigns.

SCORE: Determine what a perfect lead that is sales-ready actually looks like in terms of demographics, source of the lead, and any relevant behavioral information.

SELL: At this point the time is right for a sales professional to contact the lead. The more information you can hand-off to the seller the better. For example, what marketing activities did this lead respond? Based on that response, what product/service is most likely to be of interest? Any email templates and lists of qualifying questions will be of great value in the hands of a talented sales professional.

EVALUATE: Determine whether or not to keep them in your pipeline. If you keep them put them back into the cycle with the next step being to find out something new about this lead.

Is this easy? No. Building this kind of cycle requires thought having to do with quantifying a process that has been thought of as unquantifiable.

Is this worth it? Yes, the payoff of getting really good is hidden in an old adage, "What you can measure, you can manage. What you can manage, you can grow - exponentially."

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