In our previous blog post on Lead Management, we talked about what to do next after capturing a qualified lead – which is to figure out where the lead is on the customer buying cycle and provide a follow-up message that is consistent to what the lead is looking for at that point in time.
In this post we are going to look more closely at how to know where your lead is on the buying cycle and identify the correct messaging to use.
This is best done by tapping into your leads, or contacts database.
Implemented correctly, a database of your contacts becomes the nerve center of all your marketing efforts (Tweet This!) – it can inform and guide how you engage with your current leads and all future prospects as well.
A contacts database provides easy access to all the information you need to understand and engage with your current leads to provide more personalized, one-to-one communication.
Sales and marketing can use the data within the contacts database to better message and sell to the prospects, turning more of your qualified leads into customers. Though lead management typically falls under a sales team’s purview, it shouldn’t belong solely to any one unit. Marketing, sales, and customer service each play a vital role in ensuring leads are properly managed. (This excellent article provides a breakdown of how optimize your lead management system.)
In order for the contacts database to provide value, however, it needs to be set up correctly. Simply tossing leads into a generic list of names and email addresses won’t help you very much.
What you want to do is segment your leads into groups that have similar characteristics so that you can target these groups with messaging that speaks directly to their needs and wants.
There are two primary points of segmentation:
1) Where the lead is on the buying cycle, or customer journey, and
2) What segment, or persona, the lead belongs to
We’ve already covered the customer buying cycle in a previous blog, and we later wrote about how to create personas, but for our purposes today we are going to cover the information you need to collect to segment your qualified leads.
- The basic information you need is pretty obvious, but you do need one piece of information you can use to identify the contact as unique. This is typically someone’s email address. So at the very least you need an email address and their first and last name.
- From here, the additional information you collect depends upon your business. Is it important to your business or marketing initiatives to have their physical address? If you want to segment your leads by geography, the answer is yes.
- What about age? Job title? Marital status? Start with your customers and create a list of attributes that you need to know about them in order to identify someone as a prospect for your product or services. These attributes become the core set of information you need to collect in order to be able to segment your leads.
- Then look at your prospects, what are the qualities and characteristics of the people you know are interested in buying from you?
- Next, pull out different qualities each of your customer segments, or personas, shares in common.
- What are the unique qualities or properties your sales team listens for in the qualification process?
- What do you already know about the data that goes into the purchase decision of your typical buyer?
- What information would help you market to your prospects more effectively?
From here you are able to layer in other types of information that will allow you to group your leads into more specific segments that will help you market more directly to their needs.
For example, you can include information about where the lead is on the customer journey – consideration phase, evaluation phase, buying phase, etc.
You can also associate a lead with a particular type of prospect that you know exists for your service.
For example, you may identify your prospects by whether they are young, middle-aged, or senior.
A centralized contact profile, and the contextual advantage of marketing to your leads with all of the information available in your contacts database, will serve to power all your marketing efforts.
To learn how to further leverage the information you have on your contacts, as well as the informatin in your customer database, click below to receive our Free, Lead Generation Blueprint: