4 Ways Technology Can Help You Manage Leads More Effectively

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A good lead management strategy should allow your revenue operations teams to meet prospects where they are, while providing the tools and resources needed to convert them into a purchase. However, the landscape of buying and selling has changed dramatically in recent years. Marketing and sales teams have shifted from being guides to being concierges of sorts as the customer journey becomes increasingly self-driven. To manage leads in this new role, teams must be able to anticipate buyer needs and curate personalized interactions. The right technology solutions can help:

Qualify better with lead scoring

Timing is a crucial part of lead management. The right message needs to be delivered at exactly the right time to be effective. But in today’s non-linear buying journey, both timing and messaging have become moving targets as potential buyers go from research to engagement and back again. Tools like lead scoring can take the guesswork out of lead qualification.

Lead scoring software allows Revenue Operations to assign scores to buyer behavior. Top-funnel activity has the lowest scores and bottom-funnel activity has the highest. The higher a lead’s score, the closer they are to making a purchase. The ratings can be categorized into different stages of the buying journey, which then correlate to specific outreach activities. In today’s non-linear buyer journey, companies must use a lead scoring program that both subtracts and adds points to ensure accuracy.

In addition to tracking lead positions within the sales pipeline, implementing lead scoring can also improve collaboration between marketing and sales teams. Both departments need to discuss the sales funnel at length to agree on terms and clearly define the behaviors and phases of the buyer journey. These discussions can lead to a better understanding of each other’s perspectives.

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See also: Tips and tools to better manage lead flow and convert sales

Continue engagement and prevent missed opportunities with automation

Most shoppers have extended their purchase deadline since the pandemic, so companies have extended their grooming campaigns in response. Marketing and sales automation software is great for retaining leads while reducing missed opportunities and optimizing marketing workloads.

Software allows employees to set up custom campaigns that automatically trigger actions when certain conditions are met. Marketers can create complex sequences that include various triggers like attending events or submitting forms, and assign corresponding actions like email, text message, or a direct contact notification. You can even integrate personalization efforts into sequences using decision nodes that take different actions when a lead meets specific criteria.

Automation can be an extremely helpful tool for recycling leads that aren’t ready to sell. For example, let’s say that sales has a prospect interested in buying but won’t be able to buy until later in the year. Instead of sales later flagging the lead for follow-up and being out of touch for months, an automation sequence can be set up that sends flagged leads back into a nurturing cycle until it’s time for sales to get back in touch. During this time, the lead will receive relevant content and information to keep tabs on your brand until they can make a purchase.

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Related: Why Implementing Automation Is Key to Accelerating Sales Today

Personalize marketing efforts by enriching data

McKinsey’s latest Next in Personalization report shows how important personalization is to consumers and how it can benefit businesses. But there’s only so much you can do with a name, a company, and an email address. You need more detail, and you can get it with data enrichment.

A data enrichment service takes customer data and adds it by running it through a collection of third-party sources, filling in details like job title, company size, and more. Depending on the data service, you can even specify what types of data you are interested in. With enriched data, you can further define your customer segments and better target your marketing and sales efforts. For example, you could create landing pages tailored to businesses of a certain size, or design email campaigns that address the top concerns of a specific job title. Additionally, your sales and marketing teams can use enriched data to improve personalization efforts in their one-to-one interactions.

See also: Five actionable steps to using personalization to increase sales

Improve collaboration and the customer experience with a holistic view of data

The buying journey has only gotten more complex in the digital age. There are more and more touchpoints and channels to manage, and now there are multiple handoffs between marketing and sales. But it also means businesses have access to more customer data than ever before—if they can see it.

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Imagine you have two pieces of a puzzle that you never put together to complete the picture. That’s what it’s like to have data silos. Traditionally, companies have kept customer data separate by department, but this practice prevents them from seeing the entirety of the buyer journey. This segmented view increases the likelihood of sending irrelevant or repetitive information to prospects and losing them.

Businesses need to invest in technology that can centralize data in a single, accessible place. This allows businesses to empower revenue flows like never before with a comprehensive list of customer interactions, including email campaigns, sales pitches, form submissions and more. When teams have more information about a lead, they can better predict what they need next and improve conversion results.

Now that buying and selling are firmly rooted in the digital world, they are subject to digital expectations. In a world of search engines, advanced prediction algorithms and 24/7 availability, this is a tall order. Luckily, companies can also use the digital world to their own advantage by arming their sales and marketing teams with the technologies to effectively manage leads to purchase.

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