Salesforce Lead Management Best Practices

Salesforce.com Lead records are generally anyone and everyone that has some contact or interest with your organization.  The rules for how to manage a Lead record through the sales or service process differ based on your company’s workflow and buyer experience. However, in general, Leads are those people who are not in an active sales pipeline or service management interaction with your company.

Many of our Salesforce.com clients have specific rules which help their teams understand how to manage a Lead record.  Here are some strategies to help you apply best practices for Lead record workflow.  Use them to clarify and drive forward motion in the relationship with your prospective customers.

1. Define The Goal Of A Lead

Ideally, Lead records do not persist inevitably.  The goal of a Lead is to be Converted to an Opportunity or managed Account. Your team needs to know what constitutes a conversion of the Lead record.  This is when the Lead record becomes an Account with an associative Contact and Opportunity record.  This association allows for managing the Account for the additional people and deals which may be involved going forward.

The Lead conversion criteria generally can be ascribed to the first step in a sales or service process.  If you are engaging and moving a person through an active process, then Convert the Lead to manage the next steps with your team in the respective Salesforce record.

2. Qualify Leads Using Lead Status

The default Salesforce field for Lead Status can be customized for various steps for your team’s contact with Leads.  This can create a filter for a large amount of records which need to have segmentation applied.

For example, a software company might status based on interest of trial users of their software.  This creates a prioritization for a senior sales team member.  Thus, your team has a division of labor and prioritizes based on qualification criteria.

3. Using Marketing Automation To Affect Lead Information

Much of what your prospective customers are doing are invisible to you.  Yet, these activities are just as valid and even more numerous than the touchpoints of your sales team.

Integrating a marketing automation system into your Salesforce.com system allows for continuous activity logging, scoring and field updating to Lead records.  Thus, automation acts as benign and non-intrusive customer engagement technology to work in tandem with the personal touch of your team.  Your sales team will be equipped with thorough information on your prospects to make effective tactical decisions and move the right prospects through the pipeline process.

4. Ensure Logical Field Mapping

When you convert your Leads, the respective fields need to be mapped to the corresponding Account, Contact and Opportunity records to preserve the recorded custom and default field information your team has recorded.  Ensure that the data is mapped logically.

Furthermore, ensure your custom reports that have been created also have a replicate for the corresponding conversion record information.

Leads Keep Your Database Ordered

If you have good process and best practices established, then your Salesforce.com system will become an orderly system which helps your team execute.  Leads keep your system focused on the prioritized records which need attention and the right engagement from your team. It takes leadership around the Salesforce process you develop to be successful or working with an effective Salesforce consultant.

Question: How do you use Salesforce Leads?

 


2 thoughts on “Salesforce Lead Management Best Practices

  1. I am going to add you to my Google circle which is called “sales process”. What I liked the most in your post was the following:

    The goal of a Lead is to be Converted to an Opportunity or managed Account. Your team needs to know what constitutes a conversion of the Lead record. This is when the Lead record becomes an Account with an associative Contact and Opportunity record.
    These are some very sage words of advice. Salesforce is a great tool for this kind of tracking as well.

    I am also passionate about sales and sales pipeline management. You can review my comment about sales pipeline management at:

    http://www.mackpowers.com/2012/01/sales-pipeline/

    I would also love to hear your comments about this post. Thanks for allowing me to post a comment.
    Mack Powers

    Like

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