Improve Revenue with Better Visibility to Lead Stages

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Build a Business Case for CRMAs the buying process adapts to meet changing technology, consumers today are spending more and more time interacting with marketing. This places a heavy burden on your marketing team as they are the face and voice of your organization who bring in leads for sales. This is why it is critical for your sales and marketing teams to be in a close relationship with mutually agreed upon rules and definitions for managing customer relationships. Implementing CRM (customer relationship management) software sets up the platform necessary to track the progression of a lead though the many stages and analyze each stage as a conversion.

Take some time to read though the lead stages that are set in place as your leads come in, get qualified, nurtured, and deals are closed within CRM. They are set up as a guide to help your sales and marketing teams create a valuable, consistent customer experience.

  1. Marketing Database: Systemizing Processes in CRM

Getting a solid foundation where all of your marketing and sales information is going to be stored and used is the starting point. Within CRM, you can keep detailed and updated customer information to help you manage those relationships. With this system in place, you can track closed deals back to their origins and improve upon your marketing and sales processes. Having reliable, secure data ensures that risks are eliminated and you can confidently begin your journey to a higher ROI and bottom line.

  1. Unknown Visitor to Marketing-Engaged Contact

Your first response deals with the conversion of a contact into a prospect. Although this does not mean that they are ready to make any sale, their interest has been piqued and they have completed some sort of action to show this. This unknown consumer has now become a marketing-engaged contact. This step often triggers a nurture campaign for the contact to be placed in within CRM depending on the action taken by the prospect.

  1. Marketing-Engaged Contact to Marketing-Qualified Lead

Producing qualified leads is a major part of marketing. It is important to start a conversation between sales and marketing to determine what is expected from a qualified lead and come up with an agreed upon definition. This definition should incorporate the correct demographic and basic contact information, and the level of engagement with marketing that can all be stored and analyzed within their customer profile in CRM. Develop a Lead Scoring system that gives a score to each contact depending on their level of interaction. The score should demonstrate their sales-readiness and be used to determine priority of a lead and help you decide if they are ready to go to the next level or not.

  1. Marketing-Qualified Lead to Sales-Actioned Leads

So you generate a lot of leads, but what is the quality of those leads? Here is where you start to measure the quality of qualified leads that are generated by marketing. This step determines whether or not the lead is strong enough for sales to take action. Once again, a sales-actioned lead should have an agreed upon definition by both sales and marketing teams. It is also important to decide on what to do with leads that do not make the cut but are still considered strong enough to be placed in a nurture campaign.

  1. Sales-Actioned Leads to Sales Opportunity

When your team creates an opportunity, there is an associated cost amount that comes with it. This commitment is serious and requires an established definition that includes conformation of budget, authority, need, and timing (BANT). This criteria should be met by all opportunities that are created.

  1. Sales Opportunity to Closed Deal

The last stop on the sales journey is a major decision point. A closed deal can signify success for both sales and marketing. Like all other stops along the way, there should be a definition for what is considered a “closed” deal. This signifies the buyer’s choice to do business with you and possibly take on a long-term journey with your organization. Tracking processes in CRM should be set in place for every step along the process.

By Socius, a CRM Systems Partner in Ohio and Kansas

Source: Marketing & Sales Performance: The Roadmap to Revenue & Its Tollgates, Aberdeen Group, April 2014

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