One would be hard-pressed to think of a more business-critical activity than lead management. The process of turning a prospect into a paying customer is ultimately what keeps businesses alive. To thrive, businesses have to work out how to do this over and over again in an optimized and cost-efficient way.
So let’s talk about how Salesforce helps you achieve exactly that objective. In this post, we'll dive into Salesforce lead management best practices, starting with a definition of lead management in Salesforce, and then we'll explore some of the most effective tips to optimize your sales process.
What is lead management in Salesforce?
In Salesforce, lead management is a comprehensive system of processes that enable you to organize, track, and nurture prospects throughout the sales process. It includes the following components:
The Lead Owner is the person in charge of managing a particular lead within Salesforce. This is usually a sales representative who is in charge of nurturing the prospect and guiding them toward conversion.
The Lead Status shows you where a prospect is in the sales process. It helps sales teams quickly identify which ones require immediate attention and which require additional nurturing. The most common states are New, Contacted, Qualified, and Converted.
For example, “New” shows the team that no action has been taken yet, meaning the lead needs to be reviewed and qualified by a team member, who might subsequently change the status to "Working" to show they are engaging them — doing things like making calls, sending emails, and setting up appointments.
This just shows you where a lead came from. A source could be a website form, social media, referrals, events, and more. Lead sources are valuable intelligence for sales teams as they provide the information needed to identify which channels are generating the most leads. This data is crucial for the optimization of their marketing efforts.
Benefits of Salesforce lead management for businesses
- It enables you to recognize high-quality leads and adjust your sales efforts accordingly, resulting in a higher percentage of conversions.
- By streamlining and standardizing the lead management process, sales teams can concentrate on the most promising prospects and waste less time on low-quality ones.
- It improves the alignment of sales and marketing activities. Sales can provide marketing with feedback on the quality of leads generated, allowing marketing to fine-tune its strategies and increase quality. And conversely, marketing can also use Sales data to determine what works and optimize campaigns.
- The process helps you better understand customer needs as they track and nurture them through the sales process. They can then tailor your sales and marketing efforts to meet customer standards and provide a more satisfying customer experience.
- Lead management monitors behavior, preferences, and interactions. The data that process produces will support informed decision-making and facilitate more effective sales and marketing strategies, and improve performance across the board.
- Effective lead management results in better conversion rates and more efficient sales processes, something that is positive for the company's bottom line and growth.
Lead management best practices & tips
Create accurate records
Ensure that all records are complete, accurate, and up-to-date. For example, if your staff is capturing details from a tradeshow, make sure they record everything that is relevant — the name, company, job title, email address, and phone number. Additionally, keep track of any relevant notes or interactions during the event to make things much simpler when it comes time to prioritize leads and develop follow-up strategies.
Add more leads
You always need new leads in your Salesforce database to keep your pipeline flowing. Be sure to maintain your efforts on different channels — content marketing, social media, email campaigns, webinars, events, and so on — so that you always have new leads for your sales team to engage with and convert.
Standardize your lead management process
Establish a standardized process that your sales and marketing teams will follow. The process could set out and standardize things like statuses, the criteria for qualifying and scoring them, and establishing at which point a lead is passed on between marketing and sales.
Automate more processes
Salesforce has automation tools you can take advantage of. Use tools such as Process Builder and Workflow Rules to automate assignments, status updates, and follow-up reminders. You can also use tools to send targeted email campaigns, track engagement, and score leads based on their behavior.
Keep the lead database clean
Regularly review and maintain your database to ensure accuracy and uphold data quality standards. Regularly remove duplicates, outdated information, and unqualified leads so that your sales team can focus on high-quality leads and reduce the risk of inaccurate reporting.
For instance, you can schedule periodic reviews to merge duplicate records, update outdated information, and remove unresponsive or uninterested leads.
Follow lead qualification standards
Implement a standardized process for qualifying leads to ensure that only high-quality leads are passed on to the sales team. Include factors such as the source, lead score, and engagement levels, and ask your sales team to follow your requirements during initial interactions with leads to ascertain whether or not they meet the qualification criteria.
Assign leads to the relevant sales reps
Distribute workloads efficiently by implementing assignment rules based on factors like territory, industry, or product expertise. For example, a lead from the healthcare industry should go to a sales rep with experience and knowledge in the healthcare sector.
Implement nurturing strategies, such as email campaigns and personalized follow-ups, to engage leads and guide them through the sales process. Regular engagement helps keep leads interested and increases the likelihood of conversion.
Promote lead conversion
Use Salesforce tools, such as Opportunities and Campaigns, to track and manage the conversion process. Ensure that sales representatives follow a defined conversion process and update lead statuses accordingly.
Log all relevant interactions in Salesforce, including calls, emails, and meetings. This provides a comprehensive history of each lead's engagement, helping sales representatives better understand the lead’s needs and preferences.
Assess lead management results
Regularly review performance using Salesforce reports and dashboards. Analyze key metrics, such as conversion rates, sources, and sales representative performance, to identify areas for improvement and optimize the lead management process.
Get support from Salesforce experts
Working with a Salesforce-managed services provider like OMI can help you optimize your lead management process and get the most out of your Salesforce investment.
OMI is a certified Salesforce Partner with over twenty years of experience, delivering a spectrum of result-driven solutions, from consultation to Salesforce integration and customer support.
The OMI team can help you customize your Salesforce environment to fit your business needs, ensuring that best practices are adhered to throughout the process and provide ongoing support to ensure the success of your efforts.
Salesforce lead management is crucial for businesses looking to improve their sales process and maximize lead conversion. By following the tips and best practices we’ve outlined here — accuracy, consistent lead generation, standardized processes, automation, and more — you can dramatically improve the efficiency of your process, and ensure that your sales teams are working efficiently and focusing on the highest-quality leads.
By bringing in the expertise of a Salesforce managed services provider like OMI, you get streamlined processes, customized solutions, expert guidance, increased efficiency, and improved business performance, enabling you to achieve even greater success in your efforts.