We had the pleasure of speaking with Nicole Pereira, Co-founder and Chief Marketing Technologist of Campaign Creators to share their 3-phase approach to lead management that has helped their clients shorten sales cycles and win more customers.
You’ll want to turn the volume up
Organizations should understand what the touch points and channels are for converting a lead into a customer.
If you’re not converting the leads under your nose you need to take a close look at your sales process. – Calling 200 lost leads for a client Campaign Creators found out what wasn’t working at their client and reduced their sales cycle from 9 months to 1 month.
You should empower sales and marketing to micro-test new processes to move leads faster through the sales pipeline.
[0:26 - 1:34] For a long time we were an inbound marketing agency, “do everything you need us to do”. Then at some point about one year ago we decided we were going to focus on middle and bottom of the funnel marketing strategies: the things that people tend to miss out on once their leads enter the database.
[2:10 - 2:46] We like to make sure that once a lead omes in we qualify in a way that allows them to go the route they need to go. You’re going to have some people who are going to stay in that database for years and gather whatever education you have offline and online. But then you’re also going to have those who just zoom right through and if you have a pathway and process and the right people doing the job they need to, you’re going to end up with more leads at the bottom faster than you would if you expected it to naturally occur without that assistance
[3:10 - 3:19] As a marketing agency that specializes in lead qualification and lead management, what have you found to be a common pain point in organizations that struggle to get new sales leads from marketing?
[3:20 - 3:40] It’s funny, what’s really popular right now is the closed loop reporting and the lack of it. It’s one of those things that almost every marketing and sales person wants and needs, but the current technology doesn’t allow it.
[3:41 - 4:15] Companies need to spend some time integrating in the middle. That’s why there’s a whole integration market out there now, just to help data get from one place to another because it’s living in these silos.
[4:16 - 4:59] Even if you had that whole visibility, a lack of a defined process or understanding about what happens next tends to be another hurdle. Imagine if you have a fabulous sales process and really great closed loop reporting, but you don’t have a clear understanding of the handoff from marketing to sales. There should be a nice seamless transition. I have this graph that I share that has marketing slowly reducing activities while sales is increasing theirs. You can’t do this effectively without a documented process.
Nicole Pereira: “If you can close more deals with fewer leads, you have a healthy sales organization”
[5:00 - 5:17] How do you identify if a client’s current lead management process is broken, and what are some key areas of opportunity that you look?
[5:19 - 6:12] If a prospective client can’t tell me their lead management process it’s a problem. They should also be able to tell me their cost per acquisition – pulling in all the touches that it takes to close a sale – if they can’t, then I know they’ve got a problem.
[06:58 - 7:14] We’ve built some amazing marketing engines for people with leads just dripping out the bottom and I still have a client who will sit there and say, “we’re not closing these leads”. Then we sort of dive into what’s going on there and we realize it’s a sales problem, it’s not a lead generation problem.
[7:16 - 7:31] Most of these organizations we have worked with actually don’t have a lead generation problem. If you can close more deals with fewer leads, you have a healthy sales organization, but if you keep requiring more and more leads to come to close, then it’s a sales problem and so we want to get that fixed first.
[9:18 - 9:27] Can you walk me through how you have helped a client improve their lead management process?
[9:28 - 11:51] We had this client, Planet Together, and we use them as an example over and over again because they’re the most identifiable for a lot of B2B organizations. They do planning and scheduling optimization software for manufacturers.
[9:46 - 10:14] It’s beyond niche. It’s not like leads are just falling out of the sky for them. It’s not like if they just put a bunch of content online anybody would find it. We found that it was taking close to nine months for them to close a deal. They were putting engineers on the frontline to talk to leads about the technical aspects of this product, but they didn’t actually have a refined sales process.
[11:01 - 11:19] We called close to 200 of their lost leads and asked them about why they decided not to do business with them. Almost all of the lost leads were fundamentals of having a good sales process, such as, didn’t understand the next steps, didn’t have follow up, etc.
[11:28 - 11:49] By helping them automate that journey digitally and pair it with healthy touch points from sales, we were able to reduce their sales cycle from 9 months to 1 month. This is a six-figure purchase we’re talking about. We took all the things that people said they were missing in terms of education and we threw it to the marketing side. We gave the sales individuals collateral and the things they needed to answer questions.
Nicole Pereira: “We called close to 200 of their lost leads and asked them about why they decided not to do business with them”
[13:49] How does a sales organization suffer if there’s no lead management process in place?
[13:59 - 18:21] When the lead management process is not clearly defined, the biggest issues are operational. It’s not just the hard numbers, and really there’s a lot of leads that do fall through the cracks. Most leads that have a big enough pain to pursue get the solution they need, if you have a good product.
[16:00 - 16:14] Adding all these layers of touch points, sending an email, reaching out to them on Twitter, sending a gift in the mail, builds a relationship with prospects over time.
[18:30 - 18:37] What would be the best ways for me to push a lead management process forward?
[18:40 - 18:55] It’s funny, within our organization and even with our clients we’re all about kind of going rogue and doing little side tests. Even interns in my organization, if you want any kind of change to roll up to the organization it needs to be tested first. Document your current process and identify where you think the gaps are.
[19:04 - 19:45] You devise your plan to fix the gap and then you go micro-test it within your little orbit. Say you have a sales individual who’s trying to fix what they think is a break in the sales process. If you can liberate them at a certain level to have the freedom to break the process, they can go off and test it on a couple of cases. Come through, refine their process, and then come in with documented examples of how the situation provided success.
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