Business customers are different than individual ones. They require different things and expect a different approach when it comes to sales and the customer-vendor relationship. For example, there are several people involved in making a purchase decision, which means you have to do sales differently as well.
For startups and companies targeting business customers, sales lead management becomes very important. It is necessary to fine-tune the way every lead is handled in order to provide the best customer experience and maximize sales.
Before you can get there, there are a number of things you have to understand about lead management in a B2B environment.
Not All Leads Are Created Equal
Similar to targeting the retail market, you have to understand that not all leads are worth pursuing. Some have more potential than others. You can’t tell which is which unless you have a good lead management system gathering the right information for the sales team.
OppSource’s lead tracking app, for example, lets each sales executives get insights into potential clients based on various factors, including where the lead came from. The app continues to track every sales call and interaction with the potential customer. The gathered information will allow you to make adjustments to the sales tactics depending on the needs and expectations of the customer.
There will also be times when you come across leads that aren’t worth pursuing. In a competitive market, prioritizing which leads to develop can turn into a huge competitive advantage. You have the ability to direct your sales resources towards potential customers and maximize revenue this way.
Lead Generation Is Important
Many businesses targeting business customers make the mistake of downplaying the importance of marketing, advertising, and PR. In reality, however, marketing is how you generate leads to develop in the first place. Marketing is even more important in today’s internet age.
It is important to invest enough resources towards generating leads. Issuing blog posts, connecting with industry experts, conducting internet marketing campaigns, and even releasing white papers can all generate leads. They are as effective as taking part in trade shows and industry-specific events.
The Customer Inquiry
The most important part of lead management, however, is managing customer inquiry. It is the first point of contact and a source of potential leads; when the customer is already curious about your products and services, you have more than enough to turn the inquiry into sales.
Of course, customer inquiries need to be filtered and graded according to the validity of the inquiry and the likelihood of turning the potential customer into a corporate buyer. It is also worth noting that some of the most successful companies on the market now distribute sales leads among executives instead of letting them compete with each other on the market.
It is up to the sales executive to nurture sales leads into genuine sales. I use the word “nurture” because approaching leads in a B2B environment is more about building a strong relationship than hard-selling products and services. After all, that’s how you win corporate customers and retain them in the long run.