Few would argue that many accounts and prospects that need to be nurtured can often be overlooked. In the stream of advice and information discussing the inside sales process, I feel that lead nurturing is neglected. These nurtured accounts could very well be your future customers.
What I’ve found as a common theme is that without a proper process Marketing and Sales either lose track of these contacts or inundate them with too much marketing material. I also find that often when these nurtured accounts fall into a “black hole” it’s due to employee turnover, or a change of territories and accounts. And when they are over-marketed to, I find it’s mostly due to the fact that these contacts land into a general “marketing queue” so in turn they will receive all marketing correspondence. A strong inside sales nurturing process would overcome these challenges.
From my experience working within Salesforce.com, we found an efficient way to capture useful information from our nurtured accounts and put it to use for our Inside Sales Reps. Essentially, we’re identifying 4 key pieces of information from these types of prospects:
- What technology/service are they using now?
- When will they be reevaluating?
- Who is the decision maker to reconnect with?
- What is the title of that person?
Capturing this information allows us to pull insightful reports for analysis, segment strategic lists for follow up or create customized email campaigns around this bucket of contacts.
On top of creating a personal follow up task within the CRM for the inside sales rep, we mark the completed date for when we gathered this critical account information so we’ll have an understanding for when follow up needs to take place.
In the event that the account changes ownership, these critical account intelligence fields will not be lost and will carry over to any new record owners. What it comes down to is developing a process that includes effectively using your CRM to work for your organization. I’ve seen many salespeople not log critical information regarding their accounts and in the long run it will be detrimental to sales numbers because either that person could leave, and their knowledge on the account leaves with them, or it changes hands and the new owner starts from square one trying to gather the same information that had already been attained months before. Measures have to be put in place to ensure your sales team consistently logs the required data.
For an inside sales person one of the biggest challenges is that they are starting at square one at the beginning of each month with a fresh goal to hit. Having an effective lead nurturing process helps ensure you don’t miss out on a opportunities that have been appropriately nurtured and are now ready to move to the next step. What key elements of an inside sales lead nurturing process do you have in place that have been effective for you?
Mike Ricciardelli, a Director of Client Operations for AG Salesworks, has been working here since 2009. He is responsible for managing client relationships, daily reporting and project analytics, strategic marketing campaigns and ongoing training for Business Development Reps. Read his articles here. For more information on Mike Ricciardelli, see here.