Best Practice Toolkits
As a comprehensive B2B marketing strategy for generating revenue, sales lead management falls between broader B2B marketing initiatives such as branding and advertising, and direct one-on-one efforts such as direct or channel sales. Sales lead management begins when interest is first identified, whether through awareness efforts (social media, PR), discoverability efforts (search optimization, search marketing, in-person or online tradeshows) or direct connection efforts (outbound calling, list acquisition).
From the start sales lead management programs focus on building buyer interest through education and lead nurturing efforts. Educational efforts such as webinars, breakfast events, whitepapers, and eBooks are promoted through a variety of marketing means, including through the use of marketing automation to remain engaged with potential buyers.
Over time, as prospective buyers remain engaged and begin to educate themselves on a market space, they may begin to display signs of buying interest. As they do so, lead scoring allows marketers to identify interested buyers and get them engaged with the sales team. This aspect of sales lead management involves building an objective definition of what makes a qualified sales lead that is agreed to by both marketing and sales. Then, based upon this definition, a process for handing the qualified leads to sales and a service level agreement with sales can be built.
Sales, in its role in managing qualified sales leads, can then follow up with the lead and either begin to work on it as a sales opportunity, or hand it back to marketing for further lead nurturing after an initial conversation discovers that the lead’s level of qualification is not as high as originally determined.
Lead management, as a discipline, requires a marketing mindset whereby the way in which buyers become aware of a solution category, educate themselves, and validate which lead management solution is correct for them, is understood and facilitated by marketing. With a publisher’s mindset, marketers can identify what content is needed by each type of buyer in each stage of their buying process, and ensure it is available and discoverable.
By facilitating buyers, rather than pushing outbound messages, marketers focused on B2B lead management are able to generate more qualified sales leads, and more revenue for their businesses. Lead management software is used to aid in this process by allowing for campaign automation and tracking.
Learn how B2B lead management automation can improve your company's annual revenue with this downloadable Aberdeen Group white paper from Eloqua.
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