Traditionally, leads would be collected through several marketing channels, such as contact forms, email signups, or other opt-ins. Leads would be reviewed and passed on to someone on the sales team to follow up with little or no regard to any characteristics of the lead.
Lead automation has completely changed this handoff from marketing to sales.
Simply put, lead automation embodies several criteria that help companies better determine the value and importance of every lead they receive so they can respond appropriately.
Sales and marketing lead generation follows a fairly standard process: marketing creates emails, blog posts, landing pages, and other content to attract prospects they can pass on to sales. The sales team takes those leads and nurtures them through the sales funnel until they either drop out or convert.
Lead Capture Lead capture automation tools collect specific information from each lead across all channels. As more companies move toward an omnichannel approach, it will become a top priority to provide seamless lead capture to keep customer data and the buyer journey in a single place.
Lead Qualification Lead qualification looks at specific lead characteristics and pre-determines their quality before they end up in a salesperson’s hands. For example, someone who only filled out a few fields in your contact form would score lower than someone who filled in every field.
This helps salespeople focus more on quality leads that have a better chance of closing.
Lead Scoring Similar to lead qualification, lead scoring looks at additional criteria to triage leads based on importance. For example, someone who signals they’re ready to buy would score higher than someone who signed up for an email newsletter.
Scoring helps salespeople recognize their best opportunities so they can strike while the iron is hot. Leads that are left to cool for too long may end up dropping out of your funnel before converting.
Lead Distribution Not all leads are created equal, and neither are your sales team. If you have salespeople assigned to specific roles within your department, it’s important you hand them only the leads they have the best chance of closing.
Lead distribution takes this guesswork out of the process by sending leads to the right salesperson. This can be configured based on your criteria, including specific products or geographic territories.
Lead Nurturing Once leads drop into your funnel, you’ll need to nurture them at every step of the buyer journey. This helps you build connections with your contacts, lead them through the stages in your funnel, build top of mind awareness, and guide them to an informed buying decision.
Lead automation can remove much of the manual labor associated with email nurturing, follow up, and other tasks. This allows the salesperson to has less hands-on responsibility and can focus more time on selling.
3 Ways Lead Automation Improves Your Sales Funnel When combined, these five lead automation components create a powerful lead management system that improves your current sales funnel. Here’s how:
lead automation - methods