WHITEPAPER IMPROVE YOUR MARKETING AND SALES PERFORMANCES THROUGH OPTIMISED LEAD MANAGEMENT

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1 IMPROVE YOUR MARKETING AND SALES PERFORMANCES THROUGH OPTIMISED LEAD MANAGEMENT

2 2 ABOUT Why has lead management become so important today for business? Two trends currently reinforce the need to implement an effective lead management policy: On the one hand, marketers face increasingly tight budgets while, at the same time, the target sales do not decrease. Marketers therefore need to optimise the ROI of their campaigns. The percentage of firms that froze or reduced their marketing budget has increased from 31.7% in 2012 to 42.5% in Conversely, only 19.1% of respondents have seen their budget increase by 10% in 2013 against 33.1% in Source : CSO Insights Lead Management Optimisation Study - Key Trends Analysis. On the other hand, the behavior of potential customers facing information and decision making has radically changed. This change is mainly driven by a massive access to information via Internet. While previously a prospect contacted suppliers for information directly, they are now doing their own research, most often very early, at the beginning of a potential project. Based on these two observations, it has become necessary for companies to change their strategy to win new customers by using the right methods for an optimal exploitation of leads.

3 3 LEAD MANAGEMENT : WHAT IS IT? Lead management is commonly seen as all the processes implemented by the marketing teams to provide the sales force with qualified leads. There is often confusion between the terms «lead» and «prospect». This confusion mainly comes from the French translation of the English term «lead». There is a distinction to be made between the two terms : the lead is to be seen as a simple unqualified contact having only expressed a more or less pronounced interest for a product or service. It may only be considered as a prospect, that is to say a potential customer, after a qualification phase. More generally, the notion of lead management covers a set of methods, systems and practices to generate new potential customers. It goes most often through the implementation of marketing campaigns or programmes which enable to capturing and qualification of leads in an optimal way and their transference to the Sales team, who convert them into customers. A SIGNIFICANT ROI SOURCE Lead management is a source of income still poorly exploited in most organisations. A traditional lead is expensive: it is estimated that a B2B lead for example will cost between 200 and 400. But aside from that, it is estimated that a lead generated by inbound marketing can cost up to 60% less than leads generated by traditional marketing campaigns. Capturing and exploiting incoming leads are key in optimising ROI. Good lead management can pay big dividends: according to Gartner, good lead management can increase turnover from 5 to 10%. Aberdeen Group believes that lead management process optimisation increases the conversion rate of prospects into customers by 26% and reduces the lead cost by 25%. The process of lead generation can be improved: according to Gartner, it is estimated that up to 70% of leads may be lost because they do not arrive in time and are not given to the right person. COLLABORATION BETWEEN MARKETING AND SALES TEAMS: PRIMARY KEY FACTOR FOR SUCCESSFUL LEAD MANAGEMENT Defining roles and responsibilities of marketing and sales teams is essential in the implementation of an effective lead management strategy. Indeed, the development of tools and practices has resulted in a change in the distribution of roles between marketing and sales. Where once the lead management was fully assigned to the sales teams, marketing is now clearly a stakeholder in this process. Close collaboration between these two teams is necessary not only when defining the overal lead management strategy, but also throughout the whole process. Some examples of points of vigilance which should not be overlooked: Define interactions to implement Sharing of information is necessary for the good operation of lead management in the long-term. Indeed, a lot of information regarding the behavior and the qualification of customers and prospects are held by the sales teams. But this information is essential to the marketing teams for a good segmentation. On the other hand, marketing must regularly inform the sales teams about the implementation of marketing actions to facilitate follow-up actions. Establish specific assignment rules To ensure that no lead is lost and to allow optimal lead management, the leads must be allocated accurately within good teams.

4 4 Assignment rules can be based on a combination of criteria such as territory, but also on the type of interest, or the industry. Precisely define the tasks performed by marketing and those made by the sales team. It is generally agreed as fact that marketing is responsible for detecting and collecting leads, while at the other end of the chain, the transformation from leads into customers is clearly the responsibility of the sales team. But in between, the roles should be clearly defined: who is responsible for lead qualification? That defines the segmentation rules that support the process of nurturing. Without this clear allocation of tasks, lead management can t be effective. Process for Handling Lead Nurturing and Incubation Marketing and Sales: Blended Process 21,0% Marketing: Informal Process 24,9% Marketing: Formal Process 17,7% Handled by Sales 26,0% Source : CSO Insights Lead Management Optimization Study - Key Trends Analysis No One Responsible 10,5% THE PROCESS FROM START TO END... Lead planning In addition to an effective collaboration between marketing and sales, lead management efficiency within your organisation depends on an essential preliminary step: defining YOUR lead management strategy. And above all, a successful lead management strategy is based on a clear identification of the intended target and the associated content strategy. In his book Lead Generation for the Complex Sale Brian Carroll identifies five basic questions to ask to identify leads and the associated win strategy: What target type? Industry, company size... What is the general behavior of this target? What channels and types of content do they use to get information? Are they members of associations or professional circles? More precisely, what is its behavior regarding online marketing? Do they attend webinars, do they download videos or demos? Or do they prefer to go to shows or events? Are they active on social networks? What motivates them to search for information? What is the source of their need? How is it expressed? What is the selection process generally followed by the leads? Who is the decision maker, what type of information do they need? What is the time between the emergence of the need and the beginning of the real consultation phase? The answers to these 5 questions naturally lead to the lead management strategy to be implemented within your organisation. Once the strategy is defined, the lead management in your company will be structured around five main actions: 1. Lead generation 2. Qualification 3. Scoring 4. Lead nurturing 5. Performance measurement

5 5 Lead generation Lead generation is the first step in the process of lead management. It consists in implementing the means defined in the framework of the lead generation strategy, to create and capture the interest of individuals or companies in your organisation s products or services. The means to implement it are numerous and varied and may have a different impact depending on the nature of the lead, the maturity of its needs, or the purchase cycle. The following illustration shows an overview of the use of the means and profitability in terms of ROI: Source : Organisation Study: Key Trends Analysis

6 6 The effectiveness of each of these methods of lead generation depends on three key factors: Ability to produce tailored content depending on the target Ability to produce content adapted to the chosen media Ability to produce engaging content that stands out from competitors and therefore attracts attention and brings real added value that makes you want to share the content. Lead qualification In addition to the retrieval of information related to the individual or to a business and captured during the lead generation phase, the qualification phase essentially aims to sort through these leads by classifying them into 3 main categories: The scoring definition Scoring aims to assign a score to a lead, to reflect the degree of interest in the offer. It allows you to select targets, prioritise contacts, customise the marketing actions and define the degree of investment to associate. In general, this is an automated process, based on predefined rules of calculation. Scoring is a combination of different notes assigned after: The lead qualification The observed behaviors: opening of an campaign, downloading of a white paper or event registration, for example. The score is constantly changing, and is mainly based on the observed behaviors. Cold : the lead does not present any commercial interest at the moment. It is archived. Warm : the lead has expressed an interest, but is not yet mature enough to be immediately integrated into the sales cycle. It enters the phase called lead nurturing. Hot : the lead may be passed on to the sales team who will begin the actual sales process. Several methods of lead qualification have been developed. The two most known and more used methods are called BANT (Budget - Authority - Need - Timing) and AINT (Authority - Interest - Need - Timing). Lead Scoring model But whatever method is used, formal or informal, based on a generic method or on internally defined criteria, lead qualification is generally based on a combination of the following criteria: The allocated budget Decision making or influence power The reality of the need The level of interest shown in the offer The project schedule

7 7 Key benefits associated with the scoring implementation: Improvement of business efficiency by focusing on priority leads and filtering leads with low value Increased marketing effectiveness by exploiting the results of the scoring to constantly refine targeting criteria and associated media strategy Optimising interactions between marketing and sales through the use of a common and shared language. Lead Nurturing Lead nurturing is to maintain the leads that are not yet mature for any sales action. Leads entering this phase are generally those classified as warm during the qualification phase. This maintenance phase essentially aims to provide content that will lead to maturing their project. This content will be either pushed through the implementation of customised outbound marketing actions according to the scoring, or through the provision of Internet media content such as videos, testimonials, or white papers, for example. The exploitation of these warm leads by the nurturing actions is still largely underdeveloped. Indeed, the marketing and sales teams are often subject to short-term goals and thus focus on hot leads, neglecting a large amount of leads, due to a lack of time and resources. Points to watch for effective lead nurturing: Enough resources: financial, human, and material Create and deliver consistent content suitable for different levels of of lead maturity Define, implement and communicate widely in the organisation s internal processes related to lead nurturing strategy Performance measurement Performance measurement related to lead management actions not only helps to justify the investment in the short term, but is also used for continuous process improvement. It is indeed useful to regularly review the elements defined in the overall strategy of the company and to adjust it considering the results: Should we change or adjust the target? Should we review the content strategy? Should we adapt the media strategy? Should we adjust the interactions between marketing and sales?

8 8 Metrics Used to Track the ROI of Lead Generation Programs Amount of Revenue Ultimately Closed Number of Leads Generated 86,10% 83,90% By integrating all of these functions, Pivotal CRM provides its customers with the perfect tool for optimal management of the entire customer relationship, from the lead detection to its transformation into a loyal and high value customer. Number of Leads Converted to Initial Discussions Number of Initial Discussions Converted to Presentations 50,40% 67,90% Number of Impressions Generated Percent of Customers Retained Customer Loyalty Ratings 14,60% 29,90% 26,30% Other 1,50% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Source : CSO Insights Lead Management Optimisation Study - Key Trends Analysis IMPLEMENTATION OF LEAD MANAGEMENT: INTEGRATION WITHIN CRM As we have seen, the scope of needs associated with lead management is extensive. It is therefore necessary for companies wishing to establish an effective strategy for lead generation to be equipped with tools covering all of these functions: The Pivotal CRM suite Data quality management tools for a clean database, deduplicated leads which are automatically supplied by different sources of lead generation Segmentation and scoring tools Tools to simply define and implement internal processes (workflow tool) Marketing automation tool Tool for information sharing and content to optimise the interaction between the marketing and sales teams Integration with sales force management tools Reporting tools

9 9 Pivotal CRM : the right CRM for you Pivotal CRM is the right solution for companies which look for a CRM system able to respond fully and cost-effectively to the needs of its users. Designed from user feedback, Pivotal CRM offers great flexibility and customisation that enable companies to model their system precisely to the needs of their sales force. Pivotal CRM highlights Microsoft-style interface Personalisable dashboard Role-and-task based navigation SharePoint integration Outlook integration Office suite integration Microsoft.NET Framework Powerful querying capabilities Custom workflows and sales milestones Mobile CRM Low cost of ownership Highly flexible and usable application development platform. More than 5,000 customers around the world rely on Aptean to give them a competitive edge. By providing innovative, industry-driven enterprise application software, Aptean helps businesses to satisfy their customers, operate more efficiently, and stay at the forefront of their industry. For more information, visit: Copyright Aptean All rights reserved.

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