Lead Management & Marketing Automation. Whitepaper

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1 Lead Management & Marketing Automation Whitepaper

2 Lead Management How to Win, Evaluate, and Qualify Prospects 2

3 Regardless of whether you re responsible for marketing in an agency, an average business, or a large corporation - the goals remain the same: Lead generation. With your mix of Inbound and Outbound marketing methods and a sophisticated Content Strategy, you ensure that potential customers land on your website. But what happens next? Are your leads contacted immediately from your sales team as soon as they sign up for a newsletter? 73% of the leads aren t ready for a sales conversation. (Meclabs, B2B Benchmark Report 2012) It sometimes takes months for such decisions to be made and sales closed, especially if you are offering a product that requires some explanation. This is where Lead Management comes in and helps you to assess whether a lead is qualified to be forwarded to sales or whether they need to be further developed with additional information. Understanding and Specifically Targeting Leads Lead Management encompasses all actions and processes for generating and qualifying prospects - from initial contact to sale. The focal questions are: How do I reach and gain leads with Outbound and Inbound Marketing methods? (Lead Generation) How do I identify the interests and qualifications of my leads for my company or product? (Lead Scoring) How do I qualify prospects for sales and develop their willingness to buy? (Lead Nurturing) These measures lead hand in hand to success. These are therefore not linear but dynamic processes that can be influenced by various factors. It really makes a difference whether it is a company intern clicking through your website as part of a research project, or an employee with budgetary responsibilities in a leading position. You can only reach your leads if you understand and directly target them. Potential customers, on the other hand, need to understand your company or product and be convinced of the right purchase decision. 3

4 Recognizing Qualified Leads Qualified leads vary from prospects or website visitors in that: They have an immediate need for your product. They understand your product. They are nearing the purchase decision and have budget responsibility. At trade shows, you can consult and inform potential customers fairly accurately, and in doing so achieve a high level of qualification in just a short time. But how do you know who is looking through your website and how can you individually respond to various leads, their interests, and qualification status? The good news: Lead Management can be automated to a certain degree. With a software program for marketing automation, you can measure and evaluate your leads click behavior. Evaluate leads and their willingness to buy (Scoring), Adjust content on the website as well as follow-up actions and campaigns with individual content, or trigger personalized mailings (Nurturing), Initiate contact with the sales team at the opportune moment. Marketing Automation bridges the gap between marketing and sales. With automated and strategic Lead Management you re separating the wheat from the chaff and ensuring that qualified leads are transferred to sales. If a prospect is still undecided, he can be passed back and contacted from sales again at a later time. Lead Management ultimately means that marketing and sales will work more closely and efficiently together in the future, and continually exchange and coordinate information. Even the IT department will be happy. When properly implemented, all parties involved benefit, and through the automation of time-consuming and cost-intensive tasks, focus on their respective strengths. 4

5 Lead Generation How to Reach and Gain Prospects 5

6 Reaching Leads at the Opportune Moment 81% of the B2B sales are decided online or influenced online. (DemanGen Report 2012) 47% of the prospects go directly to the websites of relevant providers. (Base One, The Buyersphere Report 2013) That means that the Internet is the first choice when researching for providers and comparing products. It is mainly a matter of being found by potential customers in this phase, reach them, and to pick them up. Being found is just one side of the coin. As soon as leads become genuinely interested in your company, they will also leave their contact information so that you may send your information offer per download or mail. But that does not mean they are ready to buy, they only want to keep in touch. With Inbound Marketing, you can provide content for each of the various phases in the buying process that reaches your leads at the opportune moment. Interest A prospect has a need for your service or product. Retention A prospect is informed and compares potential solutions. Sale A prospect makes a sales decision. But how do you know whether a potential customer is researching, comparing, or close to a sale? With a system that automatically evaluates prospects. During the course of Lead Management, you can capture interests and qualifications of your leads with Lead Scoring and use this information to draw conclusions about their willingness to buy. Unqualified leads can be developed and qualified through target groups from relevant Nurturing Campaigns. 6

7 Lead Scoring How to Evaluate Prospects and Determine Their Willingness to Buy 7

8 Figure out who you are dealing with Companies that properly implement Lead Scoring raise the qualification rate by an average of 192% in comparison who those who do not evaluate their leads. Lead Scoring, as a means of Lead Management, will help you in connection with your Outbound and Inbound Marketing measures to assess the qualification, interests, and willingness to buy of potential customers. Leads are generally classified as cold, wwithin the framework of Lead arm, or hot. However, only a few are hot or ripe enough for a talk with the sales department. The rest still need time to ripen, like green bananas, and be qualified and further developed Nurturing. With Lead Scoring, you can evaluate your leads according to different characteristics and criteria. The click patterns on a website and the selection of certain information, for example, reveals a great deal about the interests or the willingness to buy. With the help of data that you obtain through forms or surveys, you can learn who you are dealing with and what status this person has in the company. Criteria for Evaluation Leads can be evaluated based on implicit and explicit criteria. Implicit Criteria are information on your leads interests and can be derived from interactions with your company s website, e.g. visited webpages click behavior number of page views recurrent vs. new visitor opened s, clicked links response to a trade fair invitation Explicit criteria are information that your leads share with you or can be derived from submitted data, e.g. target group position within the company company number of employees industry contact options registration for a demo With this data you can pretty accurately determine in which buying process phase the lead is currently. What criteria you use and how you evaluate individual interactions depends entirely on your company and your product. 8

9 Evaluating with a Point System The Lead Score results from the qualification plus the interests. Therefore, the next step is to assign points to each of the criteria, e.g. Newsletter subscription (+ 15 Points) Unsubscribe newsletter (- 25 Points) Opening an (+ 5 Points) Position in the company = marketing manager (+20 Points) It is also important to make arrangements with your sales department in this step. They know best when a lead qualifies for a sales pitch and based on a scale from points, when a lead is 100% sales ready. What happens in the meantime? Within the framework of the Lead Management, the Lead Nurturing phase starts for the leads that aren t sales ready and undecided. With the nurturing phase, you provide your leads with information that is tailored to their Lead Score, meaning their qualifications and interests. If you want to effectively introduce and use Lead Management in your company, you will need a tool that automates the complex processes in connection with Lead Scoring and Nurturing. A tool that permanently collects data and updates the databases and profiles in real-time for every interaction with a lead. With the right tool and Lead Management tailored to your company, you can not only save your sales team a lot of time and money, but you can also gain more qualified leads faster. 9

10 Lead Nurturing How to Inform and Qualify Prospects 10

11 Cultivate New Prospective Customers Lead Nurturing is often equated to customer retention or customer care. However, during the lead generation process, there isn t a customer yet. The latter must of course be retained but maintained differently since they already know your product. Nurturing as a means of Lead Management presupposes that leads generated from campaigns, content, or trade shows are evaluated and identified based on qualification and interests. With a sophisticated Lead Scoring system, you can find out fairly quickly whether a lead can be directly transferred to sales, or whether they require more time, information, and care. If unqualified leads are contacted too early by the sales team, it only wastes unnecessary time, because 73% are not ready for a sales pitch. As part of the acquisition of new customers, nurturing means raising prospective new customers like tiny plants according to their qualifications and watering and caring for them with information. With nurturing you are developing and promoting their willingness to buy. Nurturing includes the following processes: Analysis and monitoring of the buying stage Providing relevant and informative content to maintain and reinforce interest and attention. Passing qualified leads to the sales team Once your leads give their , register, and in doing so go from anonymous visitor to a lead, you can then determine during the further course whether they are cold or hot leads and when they are sales ready. All that you have to do is evaluate their online behavior and combine it with all of the data that you have obtained via forms or surveys at trade fairs. Finally, automatic marketing measures and follow-up processes, e.g. a personalized campaign with informative content, can be triggered according to the lead s status. Depending on the interests and qualifications, you can also provide or send various content types (e.g. Whitepapers, e-boks, blog entries, case studies, or product information). 11

12 All-in-one Software for Marketing Automation DirectSmile offers this solution in a software program that enables the automation of Lead Management on your website. With DirectSmile you design, personalize, and automate campaigns that connect the web, , social, mobile, and print media. You do not require any programmer or HTML knowledge and simply use your CRM data. Not only can the measures toward lead generation be more effective, but you can also automate personalized follow-up processes of Lead Scoring and Nurturing. DirectSmile GmbH Alt-Moabit 60 D Berlin Tel.: + 49 (30) Data from Various Studies: Companies that successfully practice lead nurturing generate 50% more qualified sales-ready leads with 33% less costs. (Forrester Research) Leads that were qualified through nurturing invest 47% more of their budget than those who did not have any nurturing. (The Annuitas Group) Companies that automate their lead management report an increase in revenue of at least 10% within the first 6-9 months. (Gartner Research) Relevant s provide 18 times more revenue than mass mailings. (Jupiter Research) Personalized s increase the click rate (CTR) by 14% and the conversion rate by 10%. (Aberdeen Group) s within the framework of Lead Nurturing have a 4-10 times higher response rate than mass mailings. (SilverPop/DemandGen Report) s during the Lead Nurturing phase have an average CTR of 8%, whereas other s only have 3% % of deals go to the providers who responded first (leadresponsemanagement.org) If sales-ready, qualified leads are contacted within 5-30 minutes the opportunity for a conversation are increased a hundredfold and the chances of conversation by 21 times. (leadresponsemanagement.org) 12

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