If your sales process depends on qualifying leads, then using Lead records to manage a Lead pipeline would be strategic for ensuring a continuous pipeline. Ensuring a management process for your Lead management will ensure that your sales team is spending their time on high probability sales.
However, if your process is not contingent on a large flow of inbound marketing prospects, then you may want to structure your Salesforce.com system to capture Opportunities immediately to work. This would be the case for a situation where there is a long sales cycle, few prospects and a high dollar transaction.
Let’s take a look at the opposite situation: short sales cycles, many prospects and lower dollar transactions.
Salesforce.com Lead Management
If you sell something like software subscriptions, online training modules or a digital product, you can easily generate prospects from a trial offer or giving something of value first. Your site visitors would exchange contact information for your value offering. Ideally, you might have a marketing automation system to help further nurture and qualify the best prospects. In conjunction with this system, the tracking of prospects would be primarily around the Lead Status picklist field in Salesforce.com.
The values in the Lead Status field should be set up much like Opportunity Stages. You might have a sales qualification team that works with pre-qualified Leads. Their job is as follows:
- Follow up on Leads that have not been contacted.
- Assess their buying criteria based on specific qualification criteria:
- Their budget
- Their authority
- Their need
- Their timeframe
- Assign the Lead Status based on the qualification criteria scorecard
- Set the next step:
- A follow-up Activity date
- Lead Unqualified status
- Convert the Lead to an Opportunity for senior sales members
Your sales process depends on clear definition of the Lead qualification criteria and management by your team. A marketing automation system can set the Lead Status criteria and trigger Tasks for your pre-qualification team when the prospect is ready to be contacted as well.
As each of the Lead Status values are set, a report a filtered view of all Active Leads should be generated to monitor real-time information of the Lead pipeline. This gives you effective management control of your front end sales process.
Team selling becomes much more effective with a qualification process that is managed well in Salesforce.com. The process and strategy for driving this result pays large dividends as you segment your inbound marketing leads and focus them specifically for the ensuing sales conversation.
Having the right strategy and approach to your Salesforce system will increase your opportunities for success. Everyone’s sales process will be different and you can get help designing yours effectively with Salesforce consulting help.
How do you manage your lead qualification?