It is fair to say that people have a limited span for the affection of things. If this affection is not reciprocated and maintained, you'll find that it quickly goes out the door! And so it goes in business as well, particularly those businesses who are reliant on a returning client. They need to be so in-sync with their target audience, that it becomes crucial for them to know exactly the right time to go in for the kill.
Whilst we all hope things don't have a "use by date", such is not the circle of life, and indeed, neither in business. This is why correctly managing your lead life cycle becomes critically important, especially when customer success is at the top of your priority list.
The lead lifecycle generally refers to the entire process of a lead within your organisation. From the day one of your sales executives found the company name right through till the day it comes out the other side of your sales funnel. It's the process of how it moves through the various sales stages, and what we ought to do with them at those points.
But why exactly should you even bother?
The primary reasons companies design a cycle is (1) to avoid the loss of any leads and, (2) tracking the conversion rate in every stage so as to identify areas that can be optimised in the process.
There are 9 parameters that are considered "standard". Our advice is don't restrict yourself, as no business is similar to yours, however, they may have like-minded attributes though. Don't broaden it too much either as that will invalidate it's very purpose - to better manage the process. Decide the order of importance that best suit the needs of your organisation.
- Identify different stages you want the lead to follow through. It assists with determining where the lead resides while we're converting it
- Define each stage properly and what outcomes it seeks to achieve. A "recycling stage" for example can refer to a lead that could perhaps buy in the future, but not within your stipulated period of time it should take to convert a lead
- Allocate a capable resource to oversee an effective life cycle
- Do fast-track campaigns. It helps to push leads through the different stages
- How will your system alert you by a new potential lead?
- Create lead trackers to monitor the life cycle of your leads
- Setup scoring reset campaigns to figure out how to go about dealing with lost leads to move them back into your cycle
- What is your engagement strategy with your leads?
- Determine a set time period for each stage. Leads are of no use sitting gathering dust on the shelf. You should also aim to clean out each stage regularly to keep the life cycle short, and ensure leads move on to the next stage as swiftly as possible.
By accurately knowing your lead life cycle, you can next determine your strategy for attracting your customer to your shopfront, website or social pages with the view of concluding the sale.
Something new to consider
Lead magnets have become a go-to marketing approach for best practice professionals. Consider doing it on your company website, an email campaign and even during engagement on social media. There are of course many ways this can be achieved, but by including them in your marketing strategy from the get-go, surely goes a long way towards landing that next big fish!
Lead magnets are awareness creators and traffic drivers, however, they do need a little bit of engagement from the lead so as to want to click on the link for example.
Tip for a great lead magnet
- Must be exact and specific
- Should offer high value
- It should solve a problem
- It needs to promise a quick win
- Must be instantly accessible
- Should be a clear demonstration of your unique selling proposition
You've done the hardest part and got your business up and going. The fine-tuning lies in being able to hone in on what your customers are wanting, and providing it to them with total awesomeness! This, dear friends, is what will make them come back for more.