Many problems arise when trying to analyze and channel inbound lead flow. It starts with the quality of your CRM data, which should be the first issue you solve. The amount of data in your CRM is likely massive, especially for large companies, and this presents other problems. For example, a normal database could have thousands of Contacts and/or Leads not currently associated with a particular Account. Meaning you could be generating many new Leads, but the Account Owner is unaware!
Organizing your database, and ensuring the quality of that data is essential to properly linking Leads-to-Accounts. Nevertheless, there are certain issues that are common but difficult to identify or address:
1 Lead Routing to Incorrect Number
There are many ways to route inbound leads: by territory, marketing source, time zone, etc. Each method has its specific drawbacks. Routing Leads by territory may seem sufficient, but there are drawbacks. Leads from companies with local P.O. boxes, but major city headquarters, will be routed to the local sales representative. These Leads should be routed to the sales representative located near the company headquarters.
Improperly routing Leads will cause organizational chaos that negatively affects the customer experience: repeated sales calls or inappropriate offers, or calls from multiple reps to the same company. These problems are exacerbated in a round-robin system for distributing incoming Leads.
2 Lead Not Scored or Nurtured Properly
Marketing is tasked with generating leads, and qualifying those leads for the sales team. Leads are qualified by appending relevant information and guiding the customer, with specific and targeted content, through the initial stages of the sales cycle. Sales reps should be receiving only MQLs.
Part of the qualification process is actually disqualifying leads. Sales wants to communicate with as many Leads as possible, but this is an impractical waste of time. Increase conversions by focusing on the Leads most likely to convert. In qualifying a Lead, marketing departments should answer basic questions:
- Is this a customer or a prospect?
- How large is the company? How many employees? What industry?
- Is the person still associated with the displayed parent company?
3Sales Productivity Decreases
Information about the prospect should be appended automatically when the Lead comes in. However, in practice, this type of information is often not accurate or available (it usually requires a form fill, which customers ignore or falsify for expediency).
One way of ensuring Lead information is accurate is through data quality tools like Capture. RingLead’s Capture tool eliminates wasted time daily on prospecting and research, by automating the process. Capture is a chrome extension that syncs directly with your CRM, and automatically appends accurate information to any individual; eliminating the need for manual data entry, while standardizing the data! Most salespeople struggle to answer basic questions about a Lead:
- Is this a duplicate? Should this Lead be part of an existing Account? Is this Lead a current customer?
Avoid the cost to your sales team on researching individual Leads and Prospects by using data quality tools on the outset. Never doubt if your data is a duplicate, and use Data Cleanse instead. The result is increased productivity and an improved experience for the customer.
4Activity & Engagement Cannot Be Measured
When Leads are not properly connected to the right Account, there is no way to assess their activity in bulk. This problem is damaging because it doesn’t allow marketers and salespeople to assess the overall account-level engagement (the basis for the grading or scoring any inbound Lead).
The ability to measure which marketing campaigns did the best job reaching and influencing particular Leads and Accounts is essential. You cannot assign revenue credit to specific campaigns that affect those Leads. As a result, companies waste time manually correcting reports at the Account or Lead level.
I’ve identified some of the basic problems from improperly linking Leads to Accounts, and how those problems affect business practices and efficiency. The solution is simple: a reliable Lead-to-Account matching system.
How do you do this? Look for the next post on the how to link Leads-to-Accounts!!!