For stage three in our blog series, we’re going to take a deeper dive into stage 3 of the lead management process: optimizing and automating your prospect process flow. (Missed a previous post? View all the lead management process stages here.)
This is an important stage in the lead management process because, while it’s certainly possible to do everything manually, it’s much easier and more efficient to work using an automated system that integrates all of your technologies together. (You’re also far less likely to lose leads through the cracks, and your prospects are far more likely to have a positive experience.)
Marketing Automation Is Key
Using automation to optimize your prospect process creates a defined flow for what happens to a lead upon acquisition. Marketing automation ensures that no lead is left behind, and it helps make sure the prospect/customer has a positive experience.
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Marketing automation helps you acquire inbound leads via top of the funnel marketing such as website personalization, SEO, landing pages and forms. It then helps you engage your customers and provide the right person an experience that matches how interested they are in your product, service, or company.
The graphic below illustrates where marketing automation fits into the life of a lead.
You can see from this graphic that the marketing automation platform plays a central role in the integration of your technology and the life of your lead. Once a new lead is created in the marketing automation platform (MAP), it is dynamically passed between Marketing and Sales as it is nurtured, potentially recycled, and either won, lost, or rejected.
Wait, what’s a MAP?
Maybe you’re at the very beginning of your lead management journey, and you’re not sure what a MAP is. It’s an automated marketing platform that helps you manage your leads and campaigns. Marketo, Pardot, and Eloqua are well-known MAPs (though there are others).
MAPs also help you engage your leads. Instead of waiting for you to contact them, new, hot leads can be immediately presented with relevant cross channel content via email, mobile, web and social channels.
Once a lead is in the MAP system, it is scored and either nurtured by Marketing or dynamically passed to Sales. The MAP system dynamically empowers sales reps with synced data, dashboards and activity, making it easy for them to strike up meaningful conversations with prospects and close deals.
Finally, Marketing can use a MAP to optimize their campaigns. Using the powerful analytics in a MAP like Marketo, Marketing can identify campaigns with positive returns and become known as a cost center.
Now that you understand the importance of having a marketing automation platform, it’s time to look at how best to use it. Next, we’ll take a look at automated lead processing and routing, stage 4 of lead process management.
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