When today’s customers want something, they want it now. No matter what a business’s lead management plan is, marketing teams need to keep this fact in mind, in order to generate high-quality leads. This is especially true for B2C business models, and even more relevant for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs). Attracting the right customers and funneling them into your CRM or marketing automation system is the whole premise of a lead management plan after all.
However, retaining existing customers also adds to the challenges faced by lead management, especially in the wake of an aggressively competitive business environment. Your CRM pipeline may be flooded with leads, but are they truly relevant? On top of that, is your lead management plan equipped to address bounce and/or abandonment rates that your products may be experiencing? These are valid questions to ask when it comes to lead management, especially for businesses that depend on sourcing their customers from digital media.
In this age of instant gratification, even the smallest glitch is enough to discourage customers from completing the purchase journey, and instead look elsewhere for better options. Even a minor increase in cost, time and energy savings is sufficient to make most (if not all) customers jump ship - and make your lead management plan and overall CX strategy veer significantly off course.
As customers grow more and more impatient, how can their needs be satisfied with a lead management plan that has been designed based on knowing the typical buyer’s story?
When a Conventional Lead Management Plan Isn’t Enough
When customers want something in the here and now, tailoring your lead management plan to reflect immediate outcomes can make a positive difference towards attracting business from the right customers. However, simply offering a quick download in place of a physical delivery or express service isn’t going to cut it; ‘immediate outcomes’ refer to a combination of factors in your lead management plan that need to harmoniously collaborate, in order to provide a unique customer experience.
Sure, offering a limited-time promotion or freebie may entice customers to shop, but will it bolster your lead management database with high quality leads? Boosting an ad or two over social media to announce a promotion may boost lead management efforts and attract clicks, but they may not be the caliber of users who eventually become long-standing customers of your business. Immediate outcomes need to go much deeper, in order to generate revenue through lead management, and build customer loyalty for the long term.
A change in your customer’s typical purchase journey will definitely experience an overhaul, but changes to your business model may also have to be incorporated in order to produce an offering that customers simply cannot refuse. This doesn’t mean that you’ll need to change your product all together; it implies changes only to specific yet strategic areas, so your lead management plan reaps lucrative benefits that also help handle customers better.
For example, inviting users to try a product or service free of charge through your lead management plan can be a great magnet for potential customers who want something right here and now, but with minimal commitment.
With consistent lead nurturing being part of your lead management plan, these potentials can be converted into paying customers with gradual yet relevant email marketing, loyalty programs or even by simply providing excellent customer service.
Making Product Development Part of Your Lead Management Process
Product development and lead management may seem unrelated, but they can be more connected than you think, especially in today’s organization culture where seamless integration between departments is a necessity. Just like knowing when to do brand management, knowing when to incorporate product development activities in your lead management plan can make all the difference between an average outcome, and an excellent one.
Planning your customer’s typical purchase journey while the preliminary version of your product is being developed can help your teams determine whether ultimate business objectives can be met. In the meantime, a lead management plan can be strategized to reach the same business objectives, and be infused into the customer journey with sales force automation. This way, sales teams can monitor leads that are entering the funnel on a real-time basis, and which ones are worth their time.
By beginning the development of your lead management plan from as early as the product development stage (and with impatient customers in mind), your lead management strategy will be oriented towards attracting and converting users that are looking for solutions in record time.
As for teams, knowing which resources they need in order to facilitate lead management can also be identified at this early stage. Whether it’s an AI-powered contact center or fully fledged enterprise Unified Communications, managers will have plenty of advance notice to purchase the right software tools for executing a customized lead management plan for your business.
Don’t Forget Offline Media in Your Lead Management Plan
Just because customers want instant gratification via a speedy online sign up or purchase, doesn’t always mean that they are unwilling to engage offline.
Adding to the concept of minimal commitment highlighted earlier on in this article, your lead management plan will have a stronger positioning if prospects are invited to check a product or service out physically, with no pressure to buy. As a result, your lead management plan will enable your sales teams to interact with prospective customers in person to help build strong rapport, as well as to help measure ROI on your CRM.
Encouraging offline visits via your lead management plan can also empower sales teams to address any concerns pertaining to products/services, in a manner that is more personalized and therefore reassuring. This is especially valuable for customers who may be grappling with constraints such as budget and time. Wherever offline channels and B2B markets are involved, incorporating classic B2B lead generation strategies can significantly benefit overall lead management, since most B2B markets depend on gradual lead nurturing before a conversion can be expected.