Alanna Jackson is a founding partner at Jackson Marketing, Inc., a marketing firm located in Dunedin, Florida. In addition to her work at Jackson Marketing, Alanna is a co-host of The B2B Mix Show podcast. You can follow Alanna on Twitter at @alanna_jax and connect with her on LinkedIn.

lead managementRecently, we won a job to set up a client in a lead management tool, which gave us the opportunity to get an inside look at how inbound marketing plays a part in the lead management process.  We took the approach of looking at it in a way that would ensure inbound marketing leads were captured as well as provide a way to measure those leads.  This opportunity provided some good insight into how sales & marketing truly go hand in hand and what it takes to get everything set up and running properly to help create a successful lead management program.  Below are some steps you should consider when integrating into a lead management tool.

Diagram the Current Sales Process

It’s important to outline the current sales process with a workflow chart.  Knowing where you’ve been will help you to know where you want to go.  Here are some reasons why it’s helpful.

  • All parties involved understand current process
  • Provides a good starting point for knowing what to include during implementation
  • Helps to identify areas of improvement

Brainstorm

Brainstorm some different ideas that may help improve your sales & marketing efforts.  There are steps that some sales teams often forget to include because they may take a little extra time and effort, but can be worth it.  Here are some items that sometimes do not get incorporated that should be part of the process.

Identify New Processes

Review the brainstorming ideas and narrow them down.  Once you’ve identified the new processes to implement it will be important to understand the purpose behind those new processes.  Understanding the purpose will help you to identify the steps that need to be added to implement it successfully.

Diagram the New Sales Process

Update your sales process diagram with the new steps.  Make sure everyone understands the new steps and how they will improve the current sales and marketing efforts.

Identify Reporting Needs

Determine the reporting needs of your sales team, marketing team, and executive team.  If you can choose a tool that has a good reporting section that will allow you to create your own reports, then that is a good way to make sure you will be able to meet your reporting needs.

Identify the Right Lead Management Tool

By this point, you should have your needs identified.  Knowing your needs will help you to determine the right lead management tool for your team.  You do not want to integrate into a tool without knowing if you will be able to have all of your needs met.

Implementation

Appoint someone to implement your sales process into the lead management tool.  It is important to choose someone that can implement the process and see it from different views.  For example, if you have a technical person setup the tool, then it may not be user friendly for the sales team and may not provide the information needed for the marketing & sales teams to use.  Change management can sometimes be difficult in an organization…so choosing the right person to implement your process is vital.

If you’re thinking about investing in a lead management tool for your sales & marketing team, then I hope this information will help you in the process as well as your inbound marketing program.  There are a lot of things to consider when moving into a lead management tool in order to be successful.  If you need help implementing your team into a lead management tool, then just let us know!

Looking for a good lead management tool?  Check out VanillaSoft!

 

Disclosure:  VanillaSoft is a client of Jackson Marketing Services.

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