After you have your lead generation strategy nailed and can cost-effectively generate leads, the next step is to nurture those leads until they become sales-ready. After all your efforts, the last thing you want is for the authorities to drop off and cease communication with your brand.
To avoid such an outcome and increase the chances of further nurturing your leads, developing a lead generation strategy is essential. If you have read our previous posts, you’ll know that we believe there isn’t just one correct way to implement lead management and lead nurturing techniques in your business.
Every organization has its own unique set of needs, resources, and goals. However, universal best practices still exist when developing a successful lead generation strategy and maintaining an organized process for keeping track of the many leads you will acquire over time. And it will benefit your business when you start email marketing.
Why a Lead Generation Guideline Is Necessary?
A lead generation guideline is a document that outlines all the steps your sales team will take to qualify, manage, and close leads. The most important thing to remember is that a lead generation guideline is not a set of hard and fast rules that are set in stone.
As your business grows and changes, so should your lead generation strategy. What’s important is that you have a document that communicates your lead generation strategy to your sales team members, support staff, and anyone involved in the lead nurturing process.
With a guideline in place, you can ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to managing leads. The guidelines should include a description of how leads are generated, the criteria that leads need to meet before being passed to sales, and the best ways for sales reps to respond to leads.
You should also include details about each stage of the sales process, from lead generation to closing sales. This will help ensure that no leads are lost and that each is dealt with efficiently and effectively.
Objectives of A Lead Generation Guideline
Track leads from initial contact to sale
To ensure a straightforward process for managing leads, you’ll want to include details about each stage of the sales process, from lead generation to closing sales.
Make sales teams accountable
With a clear guideline that outlines how each team member should respond to leads, no member will be able-minded enough to shrug off their responsibilities to pass the buck to someone else.
In a B2B environment, consistency is key. There are hundreds of different lead generation strategies that work in different industries. A standardized guideline can help ensure that your team follows the most effective lead generation strategy.
Create a culture of lead nurturing
It’s important to note that a guideline outlining the process behind passing leads to sales is not enough to ensure that those leads receive proper attention. It’s equally important for you to instill a culture of lead nurturing within your organization.
Define Responses to Leads
Sometimes, leads may call your company directly and speak with a customer service representative. Depending on the nature of the call, the rep may be able to solve the caller’s issues on the spot, or the rep may transfer the call to a sales representative. Sometimes, the rep may have to refer the caller to a different department for assistance.
In either scenario, the rep needs to be able to properly categorize the call. If a lead is referred to another department, it’s important to track that information. If a lead is referred to a different department and there’s no way to track the referral, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to nurture that lead and move it towards becoming a closed sale.
Define What Constitutes A Qualified Lead
A qualified lead isn’t a lead who has expressed interest in your products or services. It’s a lead who has demonstrated the necessary pain points and buying signals that indicate they are ready to move towards a purchase. It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how often companies treat leads who are merely interested in their products as if they’re ready to move immediately.
When defining what constitutes a qualified lead, it’s important to identify which buying signals you’ll use to indicate that a lead is ready for sales to contact. For example, suppose your sales team is contacting leads via phone. In that case, it might be beneficial to identify the number of attempts that are allowed before a lead is considered non-responsive and is passed to a different department.
If your lead volume is low enough, you can set a strict time limit for each attempt, but if you’re experiencing a higher volume of leads, you’ll want to consider allowing a bit more time between attempts.
Define When Someone Is Ready To Buy
Whether you’re operating a B2C or B2B business, you want to ensure that you’re only contacting leads who are ready to buy. If a lead has expressed interest in your product or services but isn’t ready to move forward with a purchase, you will only frustrate them by pestering them with sales calls.
For many B2B companies, it can be difficult to determine when a lead is ready to buy. However, few key indicators can help you make this decision. The most important indicator, of course, is the lead’s budget.
If a lead asks specific questions about pricing, they’re likely to have a budget in mind, indicating that they’re ready to make a purchase. Other important indicators include the lead’s timeline and the amount of research they’ve done.
Define How Many Leads You Can Nurture At One Time
The more leads you have in your nurturing process, the longer it will take for them to reach the buying stage. There will come the point when you’re able to move some of the leads in your nurturing process to the sales stage.
As your sales team closes more deals, you’ll have more leads to add to your nurturing process. At this point, you’ll have to decide how many leads you can handle at one time. You’ll also have to consider how long it takes for leads to reach the purchasing stage.
If you’re waiting for leads to finish researching or comparing your product or service with competitors, it may take weeks or even months for the leads to reach the purchasing stage. If you have a large number of leads in the nurturing process, it can be difficult to keep track of each individual lead. In these cases, breaking down your lead nurturing process into stages may be helpful.
Lead generation is a tricky business. You never know how many leads you’ll acquire each month, and they can come from various sources. With so many moving parts, it can be difficult to maintain a consistent lead generation strategy. A clear lead generation guideline will help you stay organized and ensure that no leads fall through the cracks.
Although e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Shoplazza give you options to get more leads, lead generation is still an ongoing process. It’s important to stay consistent with your strategy and to reassess your efforts regularly. If you notice that your efforts have slowed or if you’re noticing that the types of leads you’re acquiring have changed, it’s a good idea to take a look at your strategy and make any necessary adjustments.
(Contributed by Aloukik Rathore & Hermes Fang)