What’s as important as generating leads for your business? Understanding how to manage those leads you’ve worked so hard to generate. Inbound marketing is all about focusing on internal marketing tactics such as content marketing, social media marketing, blog posts, video content, search engine optimization and more — all meant to draw in customers and promote interest in your products and services.
No matter what your business is providing to the customers, you can and will generate the best sales results with strategic inbound marketing tactics. And the effective management of leads bridges the gap between generating the leads and closing the sales. This is a customer relationship management strategy that involves identifying what the potential customer is interested in, educating them about your product or service, and maintaining an open line of communication that ideally ends in a sale.
So how can you take those leads from interested buyers to closed sales? It is essential that businesses follow an organized lead management process that can accompany and harmonize with the lead generation strategies. Performing this task — taking those essential steps in the lead management process — can improve the results that are coming from leads, and in turn will ultimately contribute toward more sales. Many businesses learn how to generate leads but do not manage those leads correctly, which then causes a loss of sale.
So, what should a business do first to correctly and effectively generate, and then manage, quality leads?
Step 1: Identify Your Target Audience
This step is the first and arguably the most crucial one. This step identifies who your ideal potential buyers are. Who do you want to sell your products and services to? To be certain of your target audience, you should sit down with your leadership team to identify these customers. Your marketing team should fully understand both who these buyers are and what personas they are presenting. This will better help you understand what a potential customer wants and needs, and how your product or service will help fulfill those needs.
The persona that is associated with each client or customer can be carved out by their demographics, behavior and motivation. Using demographics & psychographics, you can break down your target audience into subcategories. Some very basic demographic questions you should think about are:
Then you can get into very specific categories, such as:
Tackling all these questions proves to be a big advantage for generating leads that will successfully result in sales, helping in the growth rate of the business. The better you know your target audience, the better chance you have at meeting their needs with your product or service.
Customer behavior is another important aspect to consider in the process of identifying your audience. Although this one can seem extremely difficult to identify, it’s equally important as any other persona-building identifier. You’ll want to understand how your ideal customer behaves. Do they shop online or in-store? Do they like to be the first to try a new trend? Do they share their favorites with friends and family?
You also need to know how your current customers interact with your business. How did they find your business? By blogs or written articles about your services? Or by searching for your company or business on the internet? These things are important to understand for a healthy client and customer relationship.
The next important target audience identifier is the customer’s motivation. Normally, people don’t want to just buy products or services. They are looking to solve a problem. What can your business offer these customers? How can you position your company to help its clients? You need to know a customer’s why in order to correctly help solve and/or fix these problems.
Using these key identifiers to build your buyer personas is a MUST in your marketing strategy. Understanding your customers can have a huge impact on the sales you secure from the leads you’ve generated.
Once you’ve completed the very important first step, to fully create and follow an effective lead generation funnel, you’ll want to then:
As most businesses have experienced, generating quality leads is just the first part in taking your lead from potential customer to sale. Building a successful blueprint for managing, communicating and making your customer’s journey with your business a positive experience is a crucial part of your marketing strategy.
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