You do a lot of hard work to get a high-quality lead and turn them into qualified prospects. And it is even harder to convert them into high-paying clients. When it comes to the marketing funnel of the B2B business model, lead tracking becomes more important. The road between leads and deals is long in B2B compared to B2C. This post will talk about sales leads and the best practices you can follow to keep track of your leads in the B2B business model.
Lead generation and tracking is a powerful tactic to increase sales and revenue in your B2B business. Meaning, B2B businesses need to track, manage and nurture leads to convert them into prospects and later customers, of course.
What is a Sales Lead?
If you are not from the sales and marketing domain, you might wonder what exactly a lead is? In marketing and sales, a lead is any person or organization interested in your products and services. It can be instances like when they have clicked your Facebook ad or dropped a comment below your social media post, inquiring more about the product or service. Regardless of the initial point of contact, a lead is an opportunity to convert them into paying clients.
Sometimes, a team might focus on leads from social media posts, while others might only consider a lead when someone or a company has asked for a quote. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the definition of a lead to make lead selection and qualification easier and enable salespeople to prioritize leads that enter the marketing funnel. Apart from this, it is essential to know the difference between good leads and bad leads to ensure that leads spend less time in the sales pipeline.
What is Lead Tracking?
Lead tracking is the process of identifying and organizing lead sources to help sales teams prioritize and manage sales activities. It is the process where a lead source is specified, monitored in the sales funnel, and action is taken to close the deal. There are several methods to track and organize leads, and organizations can opt for one that suits their needs and goals. For example, you can use lead tracking software or a spreadsheet (in the small-sized organization)
But What’s the Need for Tracking Leads?
Do you think leads are only helpful to increase the revenue of a company? If yes, then think again. Leads are the backbone of any company, and they can also help you get insight on what works in your sales process and what doesn’t, apart from increasing revenue, of course!
Let me tell you that paying customers are not the only ones you should focus on, and they are not the superior leads that matter.
Effectively tracking leads helps you know where your website is doing well and where it needs improvement. The data helps you know your target market and where you are turning OFF your customers.
1. Track Your Lead Sources
First, you need to know where your leads are coming from and understand the actual value of the campaign. If you know the origin of your leads, you can make the most out of your marketing budget and save money on the sources from where you are getting minimum or NO leads. Gathering the data of your lead source helps you create tracking reports and better prospecting opportunities.
With spreadsheets, marketing source codes make organizing sales leads by source easier. However, there’s still the challenge of manual data entry and tracking interactions. CRM software or email campaign tools make tracking lead sources easier with automation. For instance, many CRMs have web-to-lead forms that bring leads from your website into your CRM.
2. Plan an Email Sequence
Ensure you have the plan of the entire email sequence ready and the content you are sending in email throughout weeks or months. Manually sending one email and simply sending a follow-up email will not help you understand your campaign’s effectiveness. Here come email marketing tools to your rescue.
A reliable email marketing tool allows you to see open rates of email, click-throughs, replies, and bounce rates, and other crucial metrics to help you know the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts. A well-planned email sequence can give you controlled variables and record individual lead responses. It further helps you drop those who do not seem interested in your product or services.
3. Prevent leads from slipping through cracks
Whenever a lead enters the sales funnel, they don’t need to be ready to buy. They might need some extra attention from your side to become a prospect. When you neglect to nurture and talk to your leads, you are wasting the money you have sent on acquiring them in the first place.
Yes, you can remember to follow up with 5-10 clients, but it becomes difficult to go up to the 100s. Therefore, you need to use automated software to track your leads in the funnel, which leads to needing quotes and reading what content. The automated follow-ups help you strengthen your customer relationship and prevent them from slipping through the cracks.
4. Follow a Lead Cycle That Makes Sense
No one wants to engage with uninterested people over and over again. Therefore, it is essential to impose a lead lifecycle. Lead cycle defines the time a lead enters your system to eventually become a customer. It’s helpful to nurture long-term leads, but it is equally important to stick to a lead lifecycle that makes sense and increases your profit. For example- If you have a B2B business, your lead lifecycle can last between 4 months to a whole year.
5. Track the Pipeline
Consider integrating the pipeline into your process to know what’s on your plate at this very minute. Tracking leads through the pipeline, it becomes easier to remain aware of each lead’s needs. Each stage in the sales pipeline represents an action that you have to take. You need to track the lead as per their placement along the pipeline. In this way, you can simplify your lead nurturing process, and your team can perform mass actions to save time and shorten the lead lifecycle. It helps you build relationships with your leads as a group and reduce your efforts without letting go of personalization.
6. Nurture Your Leads
When it comes to B2B lead nurturing, no one size fits all. Lead nurturing is vital for business-to-business (B2B) sales and to retain loyal customers. Nurturing leads is a process or activity that turns cold prospects into loyal customers. To nurture your leads, you can send personalized emails, content and use the multi-channel lead nurturing technique. You have to follow up on time with the leads and align the sales and marketing to improve the retention rates.
7. Practice Lead Scoring
Lead scoring ranks the highest priority down to leads of minor importance. The ranking is done based upon the website browsing history, interaction on social media, and more. Rather than treating all leads as the same, you focus and follow up on the leads more likely to become customers. Just like trees start giving fruits after they become mature, you need to nurture your leads more who are most likely to be converted at that time—practicing lead scoring increases the probability of bagging that deal and onboarding a high-paying client.
8. Use a Lead Tracking CRMs
B2B CRMs have helpful lead tracking for managing deals through the sales pipeline. They help sales reps handle the lead lifecycle efficiently and keep track of large amounts of lead-specific data. A B2B CRM generates reports for your sales process to identify strong and weak points in your B2B sales operation. A CRM helps businesses maintain a reliable database and streamline activities in one place, from generating leads to tracking the buyer’s journey.
Tracking and organizing your leads is crucial to maintain a lead lifestyle and increase profit. Although lead tracking and management can be done using spreadsheets, it is vital to invest in marketing automation software to gain insights into lead source ROI, lead prioritization, and nurturing schedules. We hope these lead tracking best practices will help you track your leads and convert them into customers.