5 Ways Lead Management Automation Reduces Your Sales Cycle

5 Ways Lead Management Automation Reduces Your Sales CycleB2B sales teams look for ways to reduce the sales cycle with the goal of faster revenue generation (which, in turn, leads to higher annual payout). The challenge for many salespeople is to manage tasks in an efficient way so more time can be devoted to selling which should be expected to reduce time-to-close. Lead management automation provides the mechanism to shorten the sales cycle.

According to Gartner Research, B2B companies see a 10% or greater increase in revenue within 6-9 months of implementation of a lead management automation platform. Part of that increase is due to efficiencies that allow your salespeople to close deals faster.

Score Leads for Quality and Relevance

When sales agents are occupied with the most-suitable-and-potentially-interested prospects, the chances for conversion are greater. Through LMA, leads are automatically scored according characteristics that indicate suitability for your solutions and digital behavior that reveals how a buyer does research and how well-informed he is about your solutions.

A lead’s score will automatically update when new qualifying information is received or when a new online engagement has occurred. By automating lead management, your sales team can prioritize its focus on leads with the potential to close the earliest.

Distribute Leads Effectively

Do you want your fastest closer working on leads of the same quality as a new hire? Do you want your tech industry specialist getting leads from the manufacturing industry? NO! With LMA, leads can be distributed according to parameters you set. This way, once leads are properly qualified, they can be assigned ownership according to which agent can best convert the lead efficiently thus reducing the sales cycle.

Faster Response

Using an automated lead management platform, customized response and/or follow-up messaging is delivered according to a schedule that can be set once (theoretically). While a sales agent is busy with other tasks, an email can be sent immediately following a request from a lead. By eliminating delays associated with a busy sales team, the cycle can be reduced.

Better (and Faster) Intelligence Collection

An LMA collects, organizes, and segments digital lead activity faster and to a greater degree than your salespeople can do manually. As the article in the link above suggests, salespeople spend only 35% of their time actually selling. Often the non-selling time is consumed with business intelligence collection. With LMA, when a lead fills out a form or clicks on a certain link, your salesperson is provided with actionable intelligence immediately. Agents can use the intelligence to engage with prospects in a way that supports the digital path the prospect has taken when researching for a B2B solution.

More Efficient Lead Nurturing Across Media

LMA provides several channels of communication that can allow a lead to become familiar with your company and its solutions more quickly. As a lead moves through the marketing funnel, customized information flows that target specific needs can accelerate the lead advancement to a sales-ready status. Once the lead has become suitably educated and informed about your solutions, you sales agents can get involved and convert more quickly.

Increase Sales Productivity with Lead Management Automation

Increase Sales Productivity With Lead Management AutomationWe’ve been frequently asked by our prospects: how does marketing automation/lead management actually increase sales productivity? Here are a few ways your sales team can become more productive through the implementation of an automated lead management platform.

  1. Sales agents are more efficient because the best leads are being distributed to the most appropriate salespeople. Lead distribution can be managed so the best closers are given the highest revenue accounts or agents with the most experience in a specific industry receive leads within that industry.
  2. Lead scoring provides measurement of lead qualification, interest level, and. Sales agents can prioritize their focus on the most relevant and well-informed leads first.
  3. Automated lead management puts business intelligence in your sales team’s hands without the need to routinely pore through industry sources, websites, and other resources. When leads respond through an inquiry, request, click-through, or web form submission, the information provided is stored and can be organized, sorted, and segmented to optimize lead assignment to sales agents.
  4. Leads and agents can be aligned according to specific parameters. For instance, leads can be segmented by industry so that salespeople who are industry specialists can work on leads within their area of expertise.
  5. Your sales team can send emails, social posts, surveys, and other digital assets without continual interaction. Customized forms, emails, and other assets connect automatically with leads as they proceed through their buying cycles. By using effective content delivered through an automated lead management system, your leads can get educated about your solutions without sales engagement.
  6. With our link tracking function, sales can understand what pathways leads have taken to your digital assets. This makes the team more effective at not only engaging prospects through the right channel but how informed leads are.
  7. Lead management automatically delivers content that can be customized according to criteria such as job title, industry, or location. Leads are then nurtured through behavior-based triggers which indicate specific interests and help determine what content should be delivered as leads move through the marketing pipeline. This strengthens the lead qualification process and prioritizes lead distribution.
  8. Sales agents can engage with a lead earlier in the buying process while the lead is still researching solutions. (Early engagement with today’s buyers should be minimal, such as an introduction with contact information.) When salespeople contact leads, instead of spending time uncovering needs and qualifying prospects, leads will reveal what they’re interested in, whether they are suitable for sales engagement, and, in some cases, when they are ready to buy.

The strength of a lead management automation system like ours lies in its agility. Marketers can adapt campaigns to minimize irrelevant messaging and deliver content that prepares leads to be sold more efficiently and effectively.

8 Ways to Improve Sales Productivity With Lead Management Automation

8 Ways to Improve Sales Productivity With Lead Management AutomationIs your B-to-B enterprise challenged to uncover ways to improve sales because of stiff competition? If so, here are 8 ways to improve sales productivity with lead management automation. Often, the solution is how well leads are managed from the point of acquisition to the point they are handed to your sales team. The way to improve sales productivity is also the answer to increased marketing and sales efficiency – lead management automation.

Within most traditional lead management programs, there are multiple factors that impact sales outcomes, such as outreach or lead qualification. The problem is that most of these factors take time to develop, implement, and evaluate. Even with all the automated functions available to B-to-B companies, there are still countless small, mid-size, and (yes) large enterprises that continue to acquire and manage leads manually. This leads to lost time, discarded leads, and inefficient sales practices.

Lead management automation provides several key functions that, when implemented properly,  can reduce sales cycles, increase close rates, and generate greater revenue. Here are 8 cornerstones of a strong lead management platform:

Sales Prospecting

Sales agents can search a database of over 200 million companies to find industry, company, and contact details. System users can target prospects by company, job title, or state. Additionally, agents can search your existing database for social and behavior profiles of your prospects.

Lead Generation

Identifying leads can be a difficult and time-consuming activity. Through an automated lead generation function, your sales team has an additional member – your website. Lead management automation supports your sales agents’ prospecting by tracking website visitors and delivering only interested prospects to your sales team.

Lead Nurturing

Most experienced sales professionals will tell you that 80% of leads are not ready to buy when they are first contacted. Companies can improve sales productivity through an automated process of consistent outreach and escalating messaging as leads advance through the sales pipeline.

Lead Qualification

It’s tough to close sales without reaching the right person with adequate buying signals. Leads can be easily qualified through a lead management automation solution that identifies whether a prospect is viable and appears ready to buy.

Sales Pipeline Management

One of the more effective ways to improve sales is to recognize where a lead is in the sales pipeline. Contacts that are approached too soon or too late result in failed sales attempts. Lead management automation provides a lead scoring matrix for sales to identify when a lead has become marketing-qualified and is ready for a sales call.

CRM Integration

Today’s sales force uses customer relationship management software to manage sales activities. To optimize your sales team’s ability to understand its prospects from first contact through sales support, a lead management automation platform integrates with existing CRM software.

Buy Signal Detection

When a prospect is ready to buy, there are often digital buy signals that indicate sales-readiness. Salespeople can be alerted when a signal is transmitted, such as opening a time-sensitive email message or submitting a web form.

Email Campaigns

With lead management automation, the return on email campaigns can be markedly improved. Users can create multiple email messages at one time then schedule delivery throughout a specified time period. Sales agents can focus follow up activities with only those that performed specific activities like opening the message or clicking through a link.

Despite the term “marketing automation” being often used to describe products that provide a digital lead management process, lead management automation is just as effective at improving sales productivity as it is at improving marketing practices.

Five Ways Marketing Automation is Good for Your Company

Five Ways Marketing Automation is Good for Your CompanyMarketing automation is good for your company. In the world of marketing, automation makes sense. Why? For two reasons: 1) automation provides better tracking and lead management for digital marketing campaigns; and 2) automation provides marketing and sales alignment, which allows both functional silos to operate more efficiently and effectively.

Lean B2B companies with smaller sales and marketing departments can automate functions that, in the past, have required hours of work. Mid-size companies can be more agile with messaging that reacts to market sentiment. Large companies can maintain a competitive edge through targeted, sustained campaigns that strengthen brand loyalty and grow top line revenues.

Marketing automation (MA) is used to streamline workflow and provide measurement for marketing activities in order to increase operational efficiency and accelerate revenue growth. How does MA help small to large companies improve their marketing effectiveness? There are five benefits that marketing automation provides:

Nurture Relationships

Marketing  industry analysts claim that 20% of leads that connect with your brand are not sales-ready at the point of first contact. Therefore, a relationship must be built to move a suspect lead to a customer. In fact, when done properly, lead nurturing can yield nearly 50% more sales-qualified leads from marketing campaigns. Marketing automation allows marketers to develop, execute, and monitor extended campaigns that move leads through buying stages.

Retain/Strengthen Existing Relationships

Marketing automation provides a way to encourage brand loyalty through scheduled messaging to customers. Companies that incorporate MA have significantly improved their customer retention rate versus those that don’t, according to industry leaders. Data collected through digital engagements can be analyzed and leveraged towards stronger relationships. In addition, MA provides a structured approach to up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.

Segment Market Participants

Companies are able to segment leads by various criteria through the use of marketing automation. For instance, groups can be easily organized by geography, demographics, online behavior, and other attributes. Marketers can increase messaging effectiveness by tailoring campaigns that capitalize on stored data.

Sales and Marketing Alignment

Marketing automation is the best way to blend marketing and sales activities for greater efficiency and effectiveness. MA helps each silo through coordinated messaging, lead scoring, and pipeline management functions. Companies can more readily identify hot leads through a combination of lead nurturing and lead scoring. And systems that integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) platforms provide a seamless transition for leads that have moved from marketing-qualified to sales-qualified status.

Measure ROI

Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of marketing automation is the ability for management to measure return on investment in both sales and marketing functions. Executives can analyze response rates,  social media impacts, and other metrics with a few clicks. For example, our Lead Management Automation™ platform provides details about lead sources, campaign types, and most active lead territories, to name a few.

The bottom line is that marketing automation solutions like those developed by Lead Liaison provide companies a streamlined approach to marketing activities and builds alignment between sales and marketing. Business executives can save time and money, measure and optimize marketing investments, and drive revenue growth faster through a robust marketing automation platform.

Please share how your company reaps the benefits of marketing automation. To find out how Lead Liaison can strengthen and improve your marketing process, contact us today!