How to Create a Salesforce Lead Management Process

Do you know how to create an effective Salesforce lead management process? Few businesses do. Studies show that 80% of marketers consider their lead generation efforts to be only slightly effective. If you want to improve those odds, you need to create a Salesforce lead management process that results in better leads and more conversions. Read on to learn how.

Why You Need a Lead Management Process

Effectively managing leads is difficult, even when you’re using a CRM platform such as Salesforce. The more leads you generate from an increasing number of different channels, the more difficult it is to convert those leads into sales. 

Many quality leads go to waste without an effective lead management process while your reps chase unproductive opportunities. You need to be able to capture a large number of leads and ensure their quality and accuracy, prioritize them in terms of potential, nurture those leads that aren’t quite ready yet, and assign the highest-potential leads to the right sales reps. 

When you do all this, your reps will be able to convert a higher number of leads, and you’ll improve your company’s revenues and return on investment. If your lead management process isn’t up to the task, you’ll become less efficient and effective over time – and eventually, lose market share to your competition.

Creating a Salesforce Lead Management Process

An effective Salesforce lead management process consists of seven steps: capturing leads, moving through scoring and assigning leads, and ending with an ongoing evaluation of the entire process. Follow these seven steps to create your own lead management process in Salesforce.

The seven steps of the Salesforce lead management process.

1. Capture the Leads

The first step of the lead management process is capturing the raw leads. You can enter leads manually, import leads from outside lists (typically purchased), and capture leads automatically from various sources, including web forms, social media, and the like. 

However you generate your leads, you need to capture more than just names and contact information. You also need to capture information about each lead, which can help you prioritize your leads and assign them to the right sales channels and reps. You should be capturing: 

  • Demographic information, including age, gender, education level, where they work, the size of their company, and more
  • Behavioral information, including whether they go for information, what websites they visit, what social media they use, where they make their purchases, how they make their buying decisions, and their preferred means of contact 
  • Source information, detailing where you found the leads – direct traffic to your website, mentions on social media, responses to blog posts and articles, contacting customer service, and the like

Comparing cost vs. ROI for popular B2B lead-generation strategies.

2. Clean the Leads

It’s important that you clean your leads before you proceed too far in the process. This entails:

  • Checking for and removing duplicate leads
  • Ensuring the accuracy of all contact information
  • Ensuring the completeness of all contact information

Duplicates are a particular problem in that a single person may have interacted with you via multiple touchpoints. You’ll want to merge duplicate contacts so that you have a full picture of each lead and eliminate those purely duplicative records. You should also use validation software to catch leads with incorrect or incomplete data. 

3. Score the Leads

The unfortunate fact is that, for the average company, 79% of leads generated won’t convert into sales. That’s why it’s essential that you prioritize and categorize your leads so you can devote the most attention to those leads with the highest potential. 

The best way to prioritize the leads you generate is by lead scoring. You want to score leads based on which criteria are important to you, whether that be demographics, purchase intent, or company size. 

The highest-scoring leads should be sent directly to your more effective sales reps for immediate follow-up. Leads that score lower may be marked for further nurturing before being assigned to sales.

The following video shows how to set up a lead scoring model for your business.

4. Nurture the Leads 

Those leads that have less potential for immediate conversion should be nurtured. Lead nurturing campaigns help educate potential customers on your business, products, and services so that when they’re ready to make a purchase, your company comes first to mind. 

According to Adobe/Marketo, companies that nurture their leads generate 50% more sales at a third lower cost. Lead nurturing can include the following activities: 

  • Informational emails and mailings
  • Promotional emails and mailings
  • Social media communications
  • Phone calls
  • Personal visits

Note that not all leads need the same type or amount of nurturing. Create a content map to determine what leads should receive specific materials.

5. Assign the Leads

High-priority leads should be assigned to your sales team after lead scoring. Lower-scoring leads can be assigned after being nurtured appropriately and identified as ready to make a purchase. 

Instead of assigning leads on a first-come, first-served basis, utilize assignment rules to route leads to the most appropriate sales reps. This might involve assigning leads by:

  • Geographic territory
  • Business function
  • Business size
  • Opportunity size

You may also want to consider any past relationships a lead might have with individual reps, the business’ decision-makers, and other personal factors. The Salesforce CRM platform can be quite helpful in automating the lead assignment process – and getting the best leads to your best salespeople.

6. Convert the Leads

Now it’s time for your sales team to get to work. If your lead management process is effective, your reps will be able to convert a higher percentage of leads in a shorter time frame than they did before. 

7. Evaluate Effectiveness

The lead management process isn’t complete when a sale is closed. You need to follow up on each lead generated to help guide future decisions. Pay attention to the following metrics:

  • Lead sources
  • Units sold/revenue generated
  • Length of the sales process
  • Performance of individual reps
  • Performance by lead type (demographics, industry, etc.)

Salesforce’s various dashboards and custom reports let you track lead and rep performance throughout the entire sales cycle. Ultimately you want to measure the ROI of your lead investment by channel, lead type, and salesperson. You want to know what’s working and what’s not. You also want to know what’s generating the most return on your investment. This will help you focus your marketing and sales efforts going forward. 

Let Rainmaker Help You Create a More Effective Salesforce Lead Management Process

When you want to generate the most sales and ROI from the leads you generate, turn to the Salesforce experts at Rainmaker. We will help you create an effective lead management process with Salesforce and get the most out of the leads you capture. We also offer a wide variety of Salesforce Managed Services that can help you deploy, integrate, and manage Salesforce in your business.

Contact Rainmaker today to learn more about creating a Salesforce lead management process!

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