Lead Management: Generate customers
One of the tasks of marketing is to find new prospects and to establish new contacts, which are then passed on to sales after a certain level of marketing maturity. The way in which customers are addressed has changed a lot in recent years, not least due to the widespread use of the (mobile) internet, social networks and the resulting opportunities.
Mass communication faded more and more into the background, while individual communication gained in importance. The focus of communication and the provision of information is the potential customer with his interests, his lifestyle and his individual way of media consumption. In this article, we explain how you can turn this potential customer into a buying customer using lead management.
Interested parties inform themselves independently about products or services. It is therefore important for companies to accompany the interested party on their decision-making path and to bring them closer to themselves. To do this, marketers need to know their prospects very well in order to provide the right information (keyword content marketing) at the right place at the right time. The aim is to convert simple contacts (leads) into qualified contacts. And already we are in the middle of lead management.
What is Lead management?
Lead management is understood to mean different stages, processes and methods in order to win a customer interested in buying from a neutral contact. Marketing campaigns become transparent and measurable. Using defined criteria, statements can be made as to when the probability of the potential customer's intention to buy is greatest. Lead management comprises four stages:
1. Lead generation
Translated quite simply, this means nothing more than “creating a contact” between the potential customer and you as a company. A practical example of this is the acquisition of a new newsletter subscriber or the acquisition of a prospect for a whitepaper. They enter at least their email address in an input mask, with a little luck their name and gender. This generates the lead, i.e. the contact to one another. Further possible contacts are, for example, social media platforms, landing pages, websites, events, white papers, blogs, trade fairs, webinars ... - all the ways in which a prospect can get in touch with you. The contact is established, but you still know very little about him.
2. Lead nurturing
In the second step, the contacts must be enriched, fed and further developed. To do this, you have to observe your contacts symbolically - but legally and without binoculars. The basis for this are marketing campaigns that are based on defined behavior of your subscribers (keyword: marketing automation). A concrete example could look like this: The lead you won downloads a whitepaper from your website. This is a good sign of interest in a particular topic (further qualification of his profile, you know an interest). Now use the contact you have made and offer more detailed information based on your interest. Send detailed information on the selected topic, specialist knowledge or specific offers. Follow the behavior of the interested party and recognize the level of interest from this. In this way you get a chain of information to accompany your potential customer in the decision-making process. Possible forms of accompanying this decision-making process can be white papers, videos, webinars, test accounts, trial subscriptions, discount campaigns, events, testimonials, surveys, invitations to events or the like. Each of these offers helps you to get to know your contact more and more. Many answers can be read from his behavior or from completed forms:
In which industry is the interested party active?
What position does the interested party hold in the company?
What are the interests of the interested party?
Which product suits him / her best?
So swap your information for information from your contact.
3. Lead Scoring
You now have a lot of knowledge about your prospect, the amount of data is increasing. It is important to read relevant facts from this data. Lead scoring helps you evaluate your lead. You use defined criteria to bring together various customer data from their profile and behavior. This results in an overall evaluation of the contact. This is how you segment target groups and find out which contacts have the most potential. Let's assume you work in IT and sell software for medium-sized companies, more precisely for service companies. The optimal prospect would then be z. B. a contact that could have the following characteristics:
Position: Managing Director
Activities: Download whitepaper for your software, newsletter subscriber
So you would know that this is a contact who (a) has decision-making authority and (b) an interest in your software. This contact would receive a higher scoring value from you than, for example, a trainee who has subscribed to your newsletter. You know best what your ideal prospect looks like.
4. Lead routing
You have now found out a lot about your contact, have leaked all the important information to them, have stoked interest - you have qualified your contact. You also rated it (scoring). A cold contact has now become a hot contact. This can now be passed on to sales with the appropriate scoring value for targeted customer acquisition.
Summary: The advantages of lead management and marketing automation
Those who deliver content and qualify leads step by step work in increasingly complex processes and data volumes and a high degree of individualization. Marketing Automation offers the solution here to simplify processes and dialogues while still designing them individually. Even if automation sounds very technical and impersonal, in a practical sense it definitely isn't. Rather, it includes the strategic networking of contacts with precisely coordinated communication. The aim is to get involved in the customer lifecycle and to support the customer with suitable content and offers over the long term. Existing customer data is continuously expanded and you become more and more familiar with the customer. The data available to you grow and the tailored approach to the customer can become even more precise. The lead management process helps to structure the “getting to know each other” and to design it in a targeted manner.