Need tips on lead nurturing

Effective lead management - the exciting path from lead to customer

Good leads are valuable to any company. Everyone needs them, everyone wants them - after all, a lead is always the preliminary stage in customer acquisition.

The Lead management So it is of crucial importance - especially in inbound marketing. It would be fatal to neglect that, because a lot of effort and money is often spent to gain new leads.

To help you manage your hard-earned leads in the best possible way, there are a few things to keep in mind and some homework to do.

What exactly is lead management?

When it comes to lead generation, one hears the term lead nurturing very often in online marketing. However, this only refers to the care of the newly acquired potential buyers with the aim of developing them further in the buyer's journey and turning them into customers.

Lead nurturing is therefore only part of lead management.

Lead management, however, includes all activities that take place in the company in order to be able to work optimally with the lead.

It also includes internal processes and technical processes such as B. the evaluation of leads for relevance or the phase of the buyer's journey (lead scoring), the forwarding of leads to sales (lead routing) or the handling and maintenance of the data in CRM.

What is part of lead management?

Companies are individual, sales processes are different and lead generation is often handled differently. That is why lead management is usually different in nuances.

However, the following components are usually elementary:

Maintenance and enrichment of lead data

It goes without saying that well-maintained and as extensive as possible lead data create the best basis for acquiring new customers. A good CRM is therefore essential. The CRM serves as a hub where all of the lead's data come together. What is happening in CRM?

  • Acquisition of lead data (e.g. manual, form submissions, business card scanners, website chats ...)
  • Allocation of leads to accounts (in the B2B area), manually or automatically
  • Assignment of properties, manually or automatically (e.g. persona, lead status, lifecycle phase ...)
  • Segmentation / tagging of leads, manual or automated
  • Data enrichment

Ideally, the contact details of leads flow in directly via form submissions. It is also advantageous if the contact details (e.g. with telephone number, job title, position in a company ...) are further enriched by submitting new forms.

With an all-in-one software like HubSpot, additional marketing and sales data can even be automatically enriched, e.g. B .:

  • Lead source
  • Email interactions
  • Page visits
  • CTA clicks
  • Appointment bookings
  • Interaction with sales documents

This creates an increasingly complete picture of the lead. All activities and information can be tailored to him in the best possible way.

Lead scoring

Lead scoring is about finding out which leads suit you particularly well and are particularly interested in your offer.

Not all leads are the same. They often have different challenges and are in different phases of the buyer's journey. One lead may just have become aware of their problem, the other is about to make a purchase decision. It is important to distinguish between them.

The more leads you generate, the more important it is that you have clear criteria for evaluating and classifying leads. This is the only way to work systematically with leads, deliver relevant content and carry out the right activities at the right time - e.g. B. the contact through the sales department.

The following criteria include: important in lead scoring:

  • Which of our buyer personas corresponds to the lead?
  • How relevant / interesting is the lead or its company (account) for us?
  • Is the lead also the decision maker?
  • In which phase of the buyer's journey is the lead (attention phase, consideration phase or decision phase)?
  • What content is the lead interested in?
  • How often and when was the last time the lead visited which of our pages?
  • How does the lead interact with our emails (openings, clicks ...)

A central task of lead scoring is often to differentiate between MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) and SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads) on the basis of the criteria mentioned above. The point is to define up to which point in time a lead only receives marketing information (usually emails) and when it is ready to be contacted by a sales representative.

Lead scoring can take place largely independently in a modern software solution such as HubSpot via marketing automation. Here, positive or negative criteria can be defined, based on which a lead rises in the scoring (e.g. due to frequent page visits) or falls accordingly (e.g. e-mails not opened).

Lead nurturing

Lead nurturing refers to the actual work with the lead. It's about accompanying the lead on his buyer's journey, helping him and ultimately convincing him that he is making a purchase decision for your offer. Lead nurturing is an important tool, especially in inbound marketing.

The following questions play a role:

  • How much is the lead currently busy with our content?
  • In which phase of the buyer's journey is he currently?
  • What challenges does he currently have?
  • What hurdles are still in the way of his buyer's journey?

The lead data already mentioned are particularly helpful here to answer these questions. The more you know and understand - the more transparency you get through the data, the more effectively you can nurture your leads. Because relevant, context-related and helpful content is crucial in lead nurturing - as is the right timing!

Proven instruments of lead nurturing are:

  • Email Marketing
  • Phone marketing
  • Social Networking and Social Selling
  • Retargeting e.g. B. with Google Ads or Social Ads
  • Classic dialogue marketing via post

Marketing automation, especially email marketing, is often used to nurture leads. It is important that the lead is treated as individually as possible despite the email automation.

The better you are able to specifically address the problems of the lead, the more relevant the content you offer and the more personally you address it, the better your chances of winning a customer from the lead.

Lead routing

Lead routing means that the responsibility for the lead is defined. The routing of the lead from marketing to sales is particularly important here.

It would be typical here that an MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) becomes an SQL (Sales Qualified Lead) through interaction with your content (e.g. by entering a telephone number in a form). Then he has the necessary maturity and can be routed to a sales representative to contact him.

For you to be able to do that at all, lead nurturing and lead scoring are the basics.

So then z. For example, a lead interested in product XY is routed to marketing employee A, while a lead who has just obtained price information for product Z is forwarded to sales employee B.

Routing can be done manually. In modern software tools such as HubSpot, this is usually done automatically. Here, for example, tasks can be automatically created for the relevant employees using workflows.

You need these 3 components for effective lead management

In conclusion, it can be said that effective lead management is one of the decisive factors in ensuring that potential clients actually become buyers.

In order for this to work systematically and reliably, you need the right components.

The 3 essential factors for lead management are:

1. Content

Content is at the heart of modern marketing. You need relevant, solution-oriented content in the form of website pages, blog articles, documents such as whitepapers, guidelines and checklists or videos both for generating leads and for accompanying leads along their buyer's journey.

2. Software

Without good software, nothing works in lead management, as transparency and knowledge are essential in order to be able to control the processes automatically. With a first-class tool like HubSpot, however, all aspects - from CRM to lead generation, email marketing, lead scoring and lead routing - can be mapped efficiently and transparently.

3. Systematics

The best content and the best software are of little use to you if you don't work with them systematically. This includes the definition of buyer personas and their buyer journey as well as a clear data structure, lead nurturing processes and clearly defined interfaces between marketing and sales.

Conclusion

Lead management is essential in order to systematically win customers from new contacts. Clear, structured lead management processes are all the more important the more leads you have. Then marketing automation will also play an increasingly important role.

The "start small" approach should be in the foreground. It is an ongoing process where you will gain a tremendous amount of learning and there is always room for improvement.

As always in digital marketing: Don't overwhelm, don't get bogged down - just start and optimize step by step!

Speaking of starting: In order to manage leads, leads must of course first be generated. You can find out how to do this in our free starter guide, which you can download here: