for Establishing an Effective Lead Tracking Process —
Don't Start Your Campaign Without One
Story: A VP of Sales fired a telemarketing firm he'd recently hired
to generate leads for “lack of results.” When the firm pressed for
more details, the VP finally admitted that he never had the time to review the
leads and distribute them to his sales reps!
A critical component
of any lead generation program is a process to effectively disseminate and track
leads through the sales cycle. Often, companies do not have an efficient system
in place (process, training, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application)
to route the leads and determine their status. This information is vital for two
reasons: 1) to provide feedback to telemarketing/sales development reps during
the campaign so that adjustments can be made to call guides, messages, and offers,
and 2) to measure results against program objectives and ultimately calculate
many telephone-based lead generation programs are cancelled shortly after they
begin due to anecdotal feedback from sales reps. The statement “these leads
are a waste of time” often results in the sales VP scrapping the campaign
prematurely. Starting and stopping campaigns is time-consuming and costly. It
is better to make adjustments to your program, experiment with integrated methods
(email, direct mail, webinars, etc.) and keep an ongoing lead generation engine
in place if you want to have a healthy, sustainable sales pipeline.
Before you launch
your campaign, follow these tips:
- Gain commitment
from both marketing and sales leaders to visibly support the
lead gen program.
• This includes consensus on program objectives, metrics, timeline and a
commitment to implement a closed-loop lead tracking system.
define the objectives of the campaign.
• Quantify the optimal number of qualified leads for each sales rep or region.
• Define the desired number of registrations and attendees for webinars
and other events.
and document the sales process.
• Clearly-define the lead qualification criteria. Gain Sales buyoff on the
definition of the lead: hot, warm or cold.
• Map the flow of leads through the sales cycle. How will hot leads be handled?
How will warm leads be nurtured? Where and when will the handoff to Sales occur?
• Train your callers and reps on the process. Begin early to seek their
feedback and suggestions on the process.
incentives for Sales feedback.
• Use time-based campaigns and spiffs to increase participation among the
callers and sales reps. Make the campaign fun and forge some healthy competition
to boost results.
• Incorporate lead source and lead status into the weekly forecast. Sales
reps must update their forecast and this will increase campaign visibility and
results among the executive team.
an owner to actively manage the campaign, including disseminating leads
and tracking results.
• If you are in a start-up with limited resources, don’t expect the
VP of Sales to have the bandwidth to effectively track leads. Hire an outside
resource on a consulting basis, if needed.
your CRM system to track leads and metrics.
Be sure to use a CRM system that is accessible by all sales reps.
• For channel reps without access to your CRM system, have your lead disseminator
gather feedback and enter it into the CRM system.
Once the campaign
is in motion, you’ll want to measure results against program objectives
and adjust lead qualification criteria, messages, offers, etc. as needed to improve
results. Remember, that with long sales cycles, a lead generated from your campaign
may not close for 6-9 months. It often takes multiple touches (phone calls, email,
mailings) to move the buyer through the sales process.
For more information
about setting up an effective lead tracking process and establishing an ongoing
“lead generation engine”, contact Mary Gospe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Successful lead generation is vital to helping your company achieve sustainable
About the Author:
Mary Gospe is principal and co-founder of KickStart Alliance. For more information,
contact Mary at 650.941.8970.
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