Starting The Lead Management Process

During a recent webinar we conducted, 76% of the attendees surveyed said they had not developed a lead management strategy due to lack of internal resources. This is a common issue facing many organizations, but is compounded further by not knowing where to start in the process.

Building out a lead management process is not an easy task, nor will it happen overnight. Just the sheer complexity of the process as well as not knowing what part of it to address first, can cause marketing organizations to feel overwhelmed and settle for the status quo. However, small steps can be taken to drive change which will go far to build momentum and organizational buy-in.

For organizations looking to develop an internal lead management process here are a few quick things you can do to get started.

1. Involve Sales

Many organizations look at lead management as a marketing-only exercise and begin to develop various processes in a silo with no input or collaboration from their sales counterparts. This kind of “go-at-it-alone” approach is doomed to fail as sales will not buy into anything that is just delivered or told to them. Their input, for example, on what defines a “lead” is just as important as and could differ greatly from marketing’s and needs to be considered. Knowing they are a part of the process will get sales to buy into the idea of lead management and go far in creating alignment.

2. Executive Buy-In

We touched on this in our last blog post, but it bears repeating. Getting your executives bought into the development of a lead management process is important. They will not only control additional funding needed for resources or projects, but often times are the best route to removing any potential obstacles within or across organizations. In order to accomplish this, speak the language of revenue. Be prepared to show the amount of money the organization is losing and stands to gain by adopting a lead management process internally.

3. Know What You Don’t Know

We have seen many organizations begin to develop their own lead management process without first understanding what needs to be fixed. As a result the development of the new process is disjointed and disorganized, leaving many in the organization to question the approach and eventually abandon the project. To avoid this, start with a Lead Management Audit. An audit is an exercise that takes an honest and factual assessment of what is broken, identifies where the current gaps lie and what needs to be done to fix them. This is not about finger pointing or an exercise to assign blame, but instead one that is meant to reveal what is keeping you from improving your marketing and sales success. When conducting the audit, be sure to look at every area that impacts your demand generation practice including but not necessarily limited to marketing, sales, CRM and marketing automation technologies.

 

4. Prioritize Your Approach

Once the audit is complete there is a good chance you will have an extensive laundry list of gaps in your lead management process. The first step is prioritizing those gaps based on which will have the most impact on your organization. A good place to start is by addressing the biggest obstacles to revenue and then moving down to the least. Doing so will provide a plan on how to move to the next phase of process implementation and avoid the “boil the ocean” syndrome.

5. Get In The Right Frame of Mind

It needs to be noted that developing a process based lead management approach in your company is not an easy or overnight task. It is one that takes time, collaboration, change and a lot of effort. If you enter into lead management with the expectation that all involved will embrace change and will be completed in a matter of days you will most likely be very disappointed.

Understanding what lies ahead and being honest with what it will take will help you get through the work involved and keep a spirit of alignment through your organization.