Leads are an important part of any CRM strategy. Of course the C doesn't just stand for existing ‘customers’; it also stands for future ‘customers’. To be able to compensate for natural loss of customers and to enable growth, lead management is important. This isn't just about ‘raking in’ leads, but also to retain them: lead nurturing.
Just like a CRM strategy, lead management will require you to think about a number of issues. For example, who are you targeting? Who are the decision makers when it comes to your product or service? One method to characterize your target group is to see customer profiles in terms of personas. Personas help you to step into the shoes of the various customers that you're targeting as an organization. You really give your target group a face, and an identity.
Brainstorm about personas
You can easily determine which personas are of interest to your organization in a brainstorm together with colleagues. You don't need scientific research, just a way to see your customer as a human being with certain interests, spending habits, and information needs. You put the persona center-stage and tailor your activities to it: customer-centricity; what is it that the customer wants? Marketing automation can also help with this. For example, a persona for a CRM vendor could be Dick, aged 47, CEO at a medium-sized company that sells car parts. He's crazy about gadgets and wants to be the first to have the newest thing. He also likes to be ahead of the crowd when it comes to his company. He's concerned about the fact that more and more people are turning away from physical trade and starting to make purchases online, but it also gives him the energy to do business differently.
Lead marketing = nurturing
If you know what the customer wants, you can adjust your lead marketing accordingly. What content can you use to entice this persona to do something on your website? Within lead marketing you can deploy all possible means, provided that they're adapted to that persona. CEO Hank is crazy about novelties and also strives to be at the forefront with his company. Still, he's worried about the future. As a CRM supplier, you can support people like Hank with content that demonstrates the developments in CRM, as well as how to use CRM to future-proof your organization and how to integrate the latest of the latest in CRM systems. As an organization, you respond to questions that are on Hank's mind, without trumpeting your wares directly. Hank becomes interested, and maybe he downloads a whitepaper to learn more about what CRM can do for his business. Voilà, contact has been made.
Follow-up and evaluation
Once the persona has taken action, we must ensure the right follow-up. It's important that you keep careful track of how much effort the organization has made, within CRM and with the help of KPIs, right up to the moment the customer takes an action. Subsequently, it's good to know the point at which a contact from sales is perceived to be unpleasant: too fast, too pushy, too late, or too lax. Do, measure and adjust; that's what it comes down to when making your lead management ever more effective.