The end of the year is an ideal time to revisit your lead lifecycle definitions or build a company-specific model that brings together management, marketing and sales with the hopes of more revenue for everyone in the new year.
The lead lifecycle model is a valuable tool which is enhanced using a Marketing Automation platform to better understand how a person goes from a lead to paying customer. Each lead’s process through the lead lifecycle reveals valuable knowledge for both the sales and marketing teams, as well as management. Sales can see how many leads are in each stage and marketing can see where lead scoring and email campaigns are positively affecting a lead’s movement through the lead lifecycle. Management is able to more easily identify bottlenecks in the process that require additional resources. Let’s discover what building a basic lead lifecycle can teach.
THE BEGINNING OF THE LEAD LIFECYCLE TELL US WHO LEADS ARE
Before a lead enters a company’s Marketing Automation platform, the lead usually arrives with the minimum of data – a name, a company and (hopefully) a valid email address. To learn more about who they are, marketing starts a group of basic leads in the lifecycle by adding the leads to an outreach campaign. Marketing teams spend time focused on what channels and tactics get leads to engage and connect with sales teams. Tactics can include lead scoring and nurture campaigns which help determine more data points on who this lead is, how the lead engages with the company and how close the lead is to becoming a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL).
LEAD LIFECYCLE MODELING SHOWS WHAT WORKS
Effective marketing messaging is efficient at moving leads throughout the entire lifecycle. Marketing can use targeted messaging to help eliminate bottlenecks in the lifecycle funnel or help leads in a sales stage to get engaged and moving again. As leads move through the marketing funnel the movement from one stage to another can be tracked to show what combination of marketing messaging works best at converting customers. For example, offering case studies of companies in similar industries to leads who haven’t yet engaged or to those that are stuck in the sales process and a reference would help move them forward.
LEAD CYCLE MODELING DETERMINES WHEN A LEAD MOVES TO SALES
Building a lead lifecycle requires that marketing and sales teams more tightly align to determine when a lead is qualified to move from a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) to Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). This conversation to define all stages of the lead lifecycle process helps marketing and sales see how they are connected and how those teams can work together to get better results and more revenue from closing deals and keeping customers satisfied.
HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN LEAD LIFECYCLE MODEL
A quick search will show that there are many different stages to include when creating a lead lifecycle model that works for your company. Leadous recommends that a lead lifecycle is envisioned as two connected parts – Marketing and Sales. Best practices for the marketing lead lifecycle includes stages like ‘Added to Campaign’, ‘Engagement’, ‘Connection’ and ‘MQL’. For the sales process, lifecycle stages are often defined in the following terms – ‘SQL’, ‘Qualified’, ‘Has Proposal’, ‘In Negotiation’ & ‘Closed Won/Lost’. By bringing marketing, sales and management together in Q4 a highly specialized lead lifecycle model can be created before the new year.
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Our Marketo Certified Experts can help Marketo users leverage Marketo Engage features such as the Lead Lifecycle or the Revenue Cycle Modeler.