There's a lot that goes into effective lead management. It involves tracking, understanding and reacting to a wide range of factors. Luckily, for those using marketing automation or CRM software this can be programmed to act on the basis of specific lead behaviours.
What does that look like, exactly? Examples can range from a generated email when a business lead is at a certain stage of the sales cycle to updating a consumer’s profile as soon as new information becomes available.
If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to turn to workflow software to automate processes and streamline your company’s lead management strategies.
According to the Annuitas Group, companies that use marketing automation to nurture leads see a 451% increase in qualified leads. Automated workflows can help you nurture prospects into qualified leads by tracking behaviours, sending out emails, and keeping them engaged – even when you don’t have the time to do it yourself.
Tailoring campaigns to segmented buyer groups and using automated workflows to carry them out with ideal timing makes the entire sales process more effective and increases conversion rates.
In fact, a 2015 study shows that 77% of companies reported that using automation software has increased their conversion rates, and this number has likely increased with ongoing technological advancements.
In his article for Entrepreneur, Ehsan Jahandarpour points out that there are a variety of ways to save time and money with marketing automation, such as automated scheduling, lead scoring and segmentation, and timely follow up emails.
78% of marketers saw an increase in revenue and 75% of brands saw an ROI within 12 months. Using workflows to automate time-consuming tasks, reduce human error, gather and analyse data, and react in real time is a sure-fire way to cut back on costs and increase efficiency.
If you want to make the most out of your sales cycle, you need to ensure that your lead workflows are as effective as possible. That means you need to understand your target customers and their needs, as well as your own campaign goals and how to achieve them. Below is a list of steps to keep in mind when developing your lead workflows:
The first step is to determine your campaign’s specific goals, which will then guide you in shaping your workflow. As a Salesforce email marketing and campaigns specialist puts it: “All of the other factors that go into building your nurture, such as content, your audience, and time duration, will be affected by the goal that you set.” Try to be more specific than only stating how to get good sales leads; goals can range from increasing brand awareness to moving leads from one stage of the sales cycle to the next.
Salesforce’s State of Marketing report found that top B2B marketers are 2.9x more likely to extensively use data targeting and segmentation. This is likely because targeting and segmentation allow you to cater content to your leads’ preferences and needs. Developing each workflow around specific segments will create much more of a lasting impression than sending out generic information and messages.
According to another Salesforce survey, 50% of customers say they’re likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t anticipate their needs. Anticipating consumer needs also involves understanding that different types of content will be useful to them at different stages of the sales cycle.
Typically, prospects seek out more generalised information at first, requiring more specific content as they continue along the customer journey. Plan out the workflow steps, determining which triggers will prompt which actions. This will help you decide on different types of interactions, email campaigns, and content.
In line with the last tip, it’s important to consider the effect timing has on how well your content is received. For example, it’s more effective to engage leads as soon as they show interest than it is to wait, which may allow that interest to fade. The better you understand your leads, the easier it will be to determine how aggressively you should contact them and when.
The State of Marketing report also shows that email marketing has seen 83% growth in the past two years, and points out that combining it with other channels can lead to “improved awareness, higher rates of customer engagement, and improved customer acquisition.”
There are various approaches to optimizing your email campaign:
Effective workflows can have a huge impact on your company’s success. Here are a few examples of how other companies have leveraged it.
Shortly after they launched, Package Concierge realised a knock-on effect of their rapid growth was that a number of internal processes were becoming messy and time consuming. The automated package locker company decided to implement a CRM solution and used it to create workflows. According to Co-founder and President Barry Hume, setting up triggers to automatically notify them when it was time to follow up with customers and prospects was particularly helpful.
On top of that, the company benefited from immense time savings: proposals were written in half the time and tracked, and follow-up emails were created using existing templates and sent out automatically.
Specialising in health and beauty products, Lifes2Good is an international company that operates through multiple channels. CTO Olivia Ford explained to Salesforce that their particular challenge involves making sure that messaging is consistent and personalised throughout a range of channels and across time zones.
Dealing with consumers, retailers and professionals on a global scale means that Lifes2Good has a lot to more to juggle than just communication when it comes to creating a consistent customer experience. One major solution was to set up automated workflows to manage key tasks, such as credit applications, filling orders, and purchase order approval.
The company realised major efficiency gains through innovative approaches, such as a tablet counter developed in Salesforce, which automates the re-order process in line with the customer’s needs.
As you can see here, using workflows to automate and optimise lead management, as well as a range of internal processes, is crucial to achieving a highly productive sales cycle. Still, your workflows are only as effective as you make them, and it’s important to understand your target segments, set well-defined goals, and consider what steps are required to achieve them.