Salesforce is arguably the best CRM application you can use to align your sales operations with current sales practices. It helps you manage your leads, opportunities and clients efficiently. You can look forward to continuity in your operations, even when you lose employees or bring new people in. It helps you stay on top of your sales pipeline, observe faults and gaps in your process, and tweak where necessary; you have historical and real-time data to help in decision-making.
Of course, this is all potential. Apart from maximizing your use of its features, you also need to employ tried-and-tested best practices when you integrate Salesforce into your sales process. Lead conversion is an aspect here that you should pay attention to.
Salesforce Lead Conversion Best Practices 1: Set up an Efficient Lead Capturing and Management System
Lead management is a primary function of Salesforce. It is feature-packed and there’s a lot of room to customize default settings.
Before settling into using the lead management feature, you first need to map out your sales process. You want to have a good idea of your buyer’s journey. How do you primarily get your leads? What behaviors do they exhibit to convey interest in your product? What are your effective lead nurturing strategies? How long does it usually take to convert a lead into a customer?
Once you know the path that your customers follow, you can set out to capture and manage leads more effectively. Foremost here is to make the most of Salesforce’s lead capture options.
Be it manually, automatically or via lead import, the data that you get is key. Always use the lead source field. This would later give you insight on sources and strategies that reap qualified leads. Likewise, always keep your lead status up-to-date. Not only is this a way to organize your efforts. You also get to see aging leads. Entries that stay as leads longer than the rest are likely unqualified.
Salesforce Lead Conversion Best Practices 2: Keep Your Lead List Clean
While it seems unimportant at the start, there’s no better time to implement lead data clean-up than at the beginning – while the size of your lead list is manageable. After which, it should be done regularly and diligently.
As you use your Salesforce, you will typically include unconsolidated data into your lead database. A phone lead may have also filled out a web form. Someone you met in a seminar may have also responded to your email blast. Some of your manually inputted leads might lack requisite data, such as email address and contact persons.
Make it a habit to clean up. There are tools to help you remove duplicate leads. Likewise, you can create input rules that limit the conversion of leads with incomplete data. When you do this regularly, you clear away junk data and make focusing on quality leads easier.
As sales guru and author of “21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling,” Jeffrey Gitomer said: “Record all interactions and all outcomes. Keep your Salesforce account up to the minute. It could be worth a customer.”
Salesforce Lead Conversion Best Practices 3: Keep Your Leads Moving
Leads shouldn’t stay leads for a long period of time. They should be converted into an opportunity or prospect, or disqualified.
To do this, you need to decide on your conversion point, or that point where you move the lead to the next stage of your sales process or remove them from your lead list. The common options here are: immediately, once specified criteria are met, and once the required lead score is reached.
Of these, immediate conversion is the least recommended. You want quality leads so you need to qualify them first.
Perhaps the best option is to assess the lead score prior to conversion. Lead score considers a number of criteria, including the lead’s behavior and interest shown.
Salesforce Lead Conversion Best Practices 4: Monitor, Monitor, Monitor
Effective lead conversion management always comes with diligent monitoring. After all, you need to know what works if you want to get qualified leads and move them along your pipeline.
Do you know which of your marketing campaigns get the most qualified leads? Is your AdWords campaign working? Are your offline marketing outreach, such as seminars and trade shows, working?
A requisite here is that you’ve required the lead sources field on all lead entries, as earlier suggested. You can then mine this for data on the leading sources and industries, their typical revenue and size, and other relevant information. For more incisive metrics, try using Salesforce’s Campaigns dashboard to track your multiple lead generation efforts.
Use this to determine your key performance indicators (KPIs) for your campaigns and marketing outreach. Anything that falls below the minimum can be discontinued. You can also use your KPIs to assess your team’s performance.
Salesforce Lead Conversion Best Practices 5: Stay Focused On Customer Experience
At the end of the day, it all goes back to the customer. Salesforce or no Salesforce, your lead conversion will fall short if you forget the actual people that make up your lead database. Really know your buyer’s journey. Be present in this journey by drafting a lead nurturing workflow. Highlight the steps you take to keep in touch and provide leads with the information they need to move to the next stage.
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