5 steps to efficient lead management for B2B

With the right B2B lead management, you close the gap between the marketing and sales departments. Starting with the identification of potential customers - i.e. leads - via their contact and supply with information up to the interaction.

Lead Management

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Successful lead nurturing for B2B companies
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What is Lead Management?

The term Lead Management summarizes those measures that are carried out by a company so that interests that are still unknown become leads that can be contacted directly.

A lead management process consists of several phases, which we will explain in more detail below. In addition, it is important to always monitor the entire sales funnel as part of lead management.

Close collaboration with other departments as well as direct communication and continuous adjustments are essential for success.

More sales with the right lead management

With well thought-out lead management, relevant leads can be identified at an early stage and actively accompanied through the customer journey. In this way, sales can only contact those leads that have actively shown interest in certain products and thus bring with them an increased likelihood of closing a deal.

In the following, we will show you how to optimize your B2B lead management in 5 steps.

Customer Journey

Source: Customer Journey according to Aioma

Step 1: Lead Generation

The first step is largely responsible for the success of all subsequent steps. First, find out who your potential buyers are. Then, step by step, develop a process to analyze which phase the lead is currently in.

The task of marketing here is to find out the different buyer personas. This makes it easier to create a picture of the right lead for the products or services offered.

Important relevant data are, for example, in which region the ideal customers are active and how big the companies are where they work.

What wants, needs or problems are they concerned with? You can also use behavior for your purposes.

Collect data on whether your target audience only uses Google to find information or also reads blogs or which social networks they use most.

You also need to consider how your leads typically approach you: Do they reach your website directly or are they drawn to it via articles or posts on social media?

Finding out this information about your leads is of the utmost importance to the success of the following step.

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Step 2: Lead Nurturing

The next step is to first convince potential buyers of the services and products offered.

Targeted lead nurturing is important to establish a personal relationship with prospects and to build trust

Many leads are still in a phase at the beginning where they are unsure what they actually want. With personalized newsletters that include valuable information and special offers, you can convince your leads that your services are just right for them.

Personalized Newsletter

Source: Personalized Newsletter from Aioma Software

The relationship should be developed to the point where the leads are ready to be handed over to sales.

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Step 3: Lead scoring

Basically, only leads should be sent to the sales department that are close to closing the sale. Lead scoring, which is developed individually in each company, can be a great help here.

Lead scoring can be used to assess the readiness of individual leads and at the same time ensure that only qualified leads end up with the sales department.

Customer Profile

Source: Customer Profile from Aioma Software

Among other things, information is collected on when and how often leads react to the communication that emanates from your company.

  • Do they download documents, view newsletters or respond to emails?

  • Do they attend online events or click on the link to your website at the prospect of special promotions?

All this information flows into the internal lead scoring.

Lead scoring values should be clearly defined so that marketers and salespeople know immediately what stage the lead is in.

Lead scoring focuses on diligence, because once handed off to sales, no further nurturing should hold up the sales process.

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Step 4: Lead conversion

As part of the lead scoring process, irrelevant and "cold" leads are screened out from the outset. What then actually ends up in sales are "hot" leads where there is a good chance of achieving a conversion.

An important prerequisite for this is that marketing provides relevant and helpful information about the leads, which has been captured during the nurturing process.

Of course, it also pays off if the sales team does research on the respective leads in order to be able to address them specifically.

The more you know about a lead, the easier it is to ultimately persuade them to make a purchase and thus achieve a conversion.
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Step 5: Marketing Automation

Contemporary marketing can only work well if companies consistently rely on automation. For you, this means a wider range of possibilities in the realization of campaigns, a cost saving and a fundamental increase in efficiency. Personalized addressing of the lead is also always an advantage.

Of course, marketing automation cannot replace human employees, but it can certainly relieve them of repetitive or identical tasks.

Employees can then use the freed-up resources elsewhere. At the same time, automation also supports you in focusing more on bringing the right marketing measures to the right customers.

Customer Journey Reporting

Source: Customer Journey Reporting from Aioma Software

Furthermore, marketing automation brings with it a significantly improved scalability of your applied measures. If the number of customers grows quickly, you can address new customers at the same level without the need for more employees - because the processes are already automated. This works not only with a few hundred, but also with thousands of B2B leads without any problems.

Conclusion

The B2B sales cycle can be very lengthy and sometimes requires a lot of patience as well as many optimizations until it leads to success. However, targeted lead management can significantly shorten this process.

The lead management process is a dynamic process that requires constant adaptation and must always be individually tailored to a company. Careful planning of all individual steps and close cooperation and communication between marketing and sales are the foundations for success.