What’s a Lead?
Step Five: Closing the Loop
Lead generation and, as an extension, lead qualification, is an iterative process that significantly benefits from consistent closed-loop feedback. Closing the loop on a regular basis allows you to constantly learn from each interaction. Closed-loop feedback is the principle of eliciting a continuous flow of pertinent information from the sales team. It tracks each qualified lead from start to end, whether to sales close or to rejection.
Here are some issues that successful, multistep marketers address to conduct closed-loop feedback meetings with their clients. It works wonders! A typical closed-loop feedback meeting will include:
- marketing program manager (internal or outsourced)
- lead generation specialists/inside sales/teleprospectors (internal or outsourced)
- sales team
- interested observers (managers and leaders)
- summary of the month’s activity
- export of leads into sales stage
- status of leads in the sales process
- feedback on each lead, if available
- leads active and moving forward
- inactive leads
- incorrectly qualified?
- further follow up?
- leads that require additional nurturing
- wins that can be celebrated
- things being done right
- things that can be improved
Companies that make closed-loop feedback work have higher lead conversion rates than those that do not. Ultimately, companies that “huddle” more frequently improve all phases of the sales and marketing continuum and their ROI.
More Is Not Better
Many marketers believe generating more sales leads is the key to hitting revenue targets. That’s not always true. In fact, most companies need to do a better job managing and qualifying the leads (or more likely the inquiries) they already have.
Effective lead qualification is key to building a reliable sales pipeline. And the phone is a requirement for gathering the type of information required to qualify leads and inquiries. If organizations can’t find effective ways to include the phone in a systematic qualification process, then any investment in lead generation activities likely will produce little or no return in the long term.