This is the third post in a series called “Lifecycle Management – what’s in it for me?” , which shows how to audit and transform your process at every stage of the sales cycle. You can read the first post here, and the second post here.
Today, we will cover the Lead stage.
Once the BDRs have captured qualification data for each contact, the Prospect transitions into a Lead.
- The BDR does have verified contact information and a general idea about the person’s pain points or needs.
- The BDR doesn’t necessarily have a timeline for when a deal may close, but they know they need to maintain communications with this person.
And so starts the nurturing phase: the calls and emails your BDR team initiates to try to determine key pieces of information to qualify that Lead for the next stage. Questions your BDRs should ask:
- What, specifically, is the company looking for?
- Who is the decision maker?
- Can you obtain a budget estimate, or an idea of spend?
- When might the company be ready to buy?
- Do you have a product, service, or solution that will work for them?
Eventually, the goal is to have the person confirm they want a deeper conversation about your product and company. This can be time- and resource-intense, so we recommend automating parts of the process in order to give your team time back. One such automation is lead nurturing.
Opportunity Number 2 for Automation: Lead Nurturing – Remove the Need for Business Development to Nurture Leads
Your BDR team should provide input to critical stages of the sales process. One of those stages is determining whether or not a newly created Lead is ready to buy now. Standard practice after a conference or exhibition is to follow-up with the potential customers the BDRs have met with and to determine if an Opportunity exists.
Quickly flipping through business cards they collected and setting aside the half-dozen or so they remember having interesting conversations with can now be done within the CRM. Instead of some business cards being dropped into a drawer to be forgotten, the BDRs simply update a status in a CRM field: one status for the Leads they want to follow-up with and another for Leads who are not ready to buy just yet. Those Leads are automatically assigned to be nurtured by the marketing team.
So what does automated lead nurturing look like?
During initial conversations with Leads, your BDRs will record what products or services that person is interested in. Based on these selections, an automated nurture campaign can send personalized communications with content and links relevant to that person’s interests. The aforementioned content experience platforms and AI-dynamic content tools can make this much easier to deploy at scale.
Done well, automated lead nurturing takes responsibility for otherwise time-consuming activities that bog down your BDRs. In fact, according to a study by Marketo, marketing automation can lead to a 451% increase in Marketing Qualified Leads. The automated lead nurturing process alone returns a significant amount of time back to BDRs,allowing them to focus on consultative selling, where there’s a greater chance of winning additional revenue.
By connecting your automated lead nurturing campaigns into your lead scoring programs, each interaction, such as an email reply, website visit, or collateral download, influences the lead score.. All that’s required is alignment on what criteria makes a lead worthy of your BDRs’ time. If implemented properly, the CRM records all nurture interactions with the Lead so the BDR can get up-to-speed and engage with the Lead as if they’d been running point all along.
Once a lead hits the target score, the system automatically sends a notification to the original Lead Owner so they can re-engage with the now Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). To simplify this process, include a link to the Lead’s CRM record in the notification.
Now re-engaged, the BDR communicates with the Lead to learn if they are ready to discuss next steps. If so, the Lead becomes a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) and the BDR continues the conversation until they have the necessary information to convert the Lead to an Opportunity. Should the Lead cool off, the BDR can re-enroll them into an automated lead nurturing process with a simple field update.
In addition to automated lead nurturing and scoring, here are some other examples of tools that are a good fit for records at the lead stage:
- Automated routing software that assigns the lead and makes the connection to other entities in your CRM.
- Sales cadence software that allows the sales team to quickly implement and optimize an efficient and effective prospect cadence across both email and calling.
- Sales engagement platforms that enable reps to coordinate outreach to the multiple stakeholders involved in the purchase decision.
- Sales enablement platforms that deliver criteria-based (lead stage; company size; company industry; prospect pain points, etc.) content to the sales rep for use in their outreach.
- Personalized video creation apps your reps can use to create one-off video introductions to send with their outreach.
- Digital reward services where reps can offer token incentives to their best leads to encourage them to respond and thank them for spending their time bringing the rep up to speed on their challenges.
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Let Measured Results Marketing transform your end-to-end sales pipeline process and return 15 hours per BDR back to your team so they can focus on revenue-generating activities instead of administration. Click here to learn more about MRM’s Revenue Operations Ecosystem™ and see if it is a good fit for your goals. You can also call us at 571-606-3106 or leave a comment on LinkedIn.