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Kevin Dean
by Kevin Dean
on December 11, 2013

Your inbound marketing efforts are a lead generating machine. Examine the quality of your leads, and you’ll find that about 25% are sales ready, and 25% are disqualified. The remaining 50% need to be managed effectively in order to convert them into sales.

Lead management best practices allow you to capture leads when they’re searching and nurture the leads that aren’t quite ready. By using techniques like scoring and evaluating lead quality you can increase your conversion rate and close more sales.

Lead management can help to educate your prospects while allowing you to better understand their needs. Here are five best practice lead management tips to help drive sales and increase revenues.

1. Nurture leads before they enter the sales funnel.

Many prospects are still gathering information on the path to a buying decision. By using nurturing techniques like e-mail, phone contact, and social media engagement you can build a trust relationship with prospects that are not yet sales ready. Provide high-value information to help frame their research.

2. Work with sales to determine “sales-readiness”.

Develop criteria with sales to establish a lead scoring system. Determine the steps that prospects need to take before they are qualified and ready to receive a sales call. Use demographic, lead source and behavioral information when developing criteria.

3. Use implicit behavioral data.

Today, the prospect leads the buying process. Web 2.0 allows you to track behavior like email clicks, downloads, and page visits. Use this information to score leads and pass them to sales when appropriate.

4. Use closed-loop reporting to move prospects forward.

Before handing a lead to sales, analyze their activity. Let sales know what marketing outreach the prospect has responded to and which product is the most likely sale. Create materials like email templates, qualifying questionnaires and call scripts to assist your sales team.

5. Progressively analyze and understand your prospects needs.

Learn more about your prospect’s needs then build a relationship based on fulfilling them. Every page visit, click and piece of information they share adds to this relationship. Design forms to gather progressive information about their needs.

Web 2.0 gives us the ability to learn about our prospects during every stage of engagement. Lead management helps you guide that prospect through the sales process while building a strong relationship. Put in place lead management systems to drive your results, and watch those leads turn into sales!