We all know that Salesforce is a powerful Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform that helps businesses manage their leads, contacts, and customer data. Salesforce is also an invaluable tool for businesses looking to optimize their lead management workflow, improving their velocity from generating a lead to winning as many sales opportunities as possible.
While there are numerous stages a potential customer has to go through on their journey, we can optimize them by improving the workflow and Salesforce utilization in every team. This improvement includes lead gen experts, marketing managers, sales specialists, and key decision makers. With all this in mind, let’s take a look at five ways you can improve your Salesforce lead management process to maximize your results in 2023.
1. Match the Lead with an Account in Salesforce
One of the first steps in optimizing your lead management workflow is to ensure that your leads are correctly matched with the right account in Salesforce. This step helps you avoid duplicates and ensures that all your lead information is organized and up-to-date.
You will first generate a lead when a potential customer completes an action, such as signing up for your newsletter, downloading a free resource (like an eBook), or any other action where they leave some contact info. When this info reaches your system, you need to match it to any existing account in your Salesforce CRM (or any Salesforce alternative you might be using) to provide context, match existing data, and find out if the lead already has an assigned sales rep.
Needless to say, you could stand to lose an existing lead if you start pushing top-of-funnel messaging and nurturing when, in fact, they are already past that stage. Make sure that your teams are in sync!
You can match leads with accounts in Salesforce simply by using the Lead Conversion feature, or by creating a custom process.
2. Avoid Dirty CRM Data and Clean Up the Database
Dirty data is a common problem in any CRM system, and Salesforce is no exception in many cases, depending on how it’s used. Simply put, inconsistent or incorrect Salesforce data can lead to inaccurate reporting and ineffective lead management. This error not only wastes resources across teams, but also increases the risk of human error, and skews your data to the point where you’re unable to optimize your sales cycles.
To avoid dirty data, it is important to regularly scan and clean your Salesforce database by updating outdated information, removing duplicates, and ensuring that all data is entered in a consistent format. This process goes for your CRM and also for other applications you use for Salesforce data integration, from which you feed the CRM with important information, like your website, accounting, and inventory.
Remember, standardizing the format for data entry into your CRM is the key to consistency and efficiency across teams.
3. Focus on Lead Scoring to Improve Sales Potential
Lead scoring is a method of assigning a score to leads based on their level of engagement and sales potential. The criteria for scoring leads will vary between companies and industries, and you might have your own set of lead-scoring parameters.
Generally, common lead-scoring parameters include:
- Email subscriptions and open rates
- Website visits, interactions, session durations
- Engagement on your website and social media, downloads, and sign-ups
- Customer service engagement and questions asked via email or chat
- Form submissions
- Registrations to various online events, like webinars or workshops
For example, you can consider people who have signed up for a customer journey mapping workshop as high-value leads – you can give them a high score because they are not only interested and engaged, but open to exploring your products or services. On the other hand, people who have subscribed to your newsletter but rarely open your emails are automatically assigned a low score – demanding you optimize your email strategy to change that.
If this sounds like too much work, know that you can use Salesforce lead scoring feature to create a scoring model that takes into account the factors that matter to you.
4. Proper Lead Nurturing for Colder Leads
Lead nurturing is the process of building a relationship with a lead over time to move them closer to a purchase. In Salesforce, you can use lead nurturing workflows to automate the sales process and keep your leads engaged with your brand.
However, while lead scoring helps you identify those sizzling hot leads, it can make you realize that many of your other leads are so cold they’re floating on an ice patch with the penguins! But that doesn’t mean that you should just let them drift away.
For those colder leads that are still researching your brand, you want to:
- Focus on delivering quality content through email
- Automate your marketing to consistently deliver valuable data
- Push social media content for top-of-funnel leads
- Promote events and webinars
- Educate with top-quality blog posts
5. Match the Lead to the Right Sales Rep
Finally, it is important to match your leads with the right sales rep in the Salesforce CRM to ensure that they receive the best possible follow-up and customer service. You can easily build Salesforce adoption through gamification in your company – to ensure all sales experts, in-house or remote, have the necessary know-how to manage leads effectively in your CRM.
You can use Salesforce Lead Assignment Rules to automatically assign leads to the right sales rep based on factors such as location, product interest, or lead source. That said, be sure to manually analyze these assignments as well ensure that the sales rep is the best fit for the individual.
You will need to use more than geographical data and interests – delve deeper into the customer persona, behavior, hobbies and habits, purchasing behavior, browsing trends, and more to ensure the perfect fit. What’s more, you will need to monitor how the lead is responding to their sales rep to quickly figure out if you should assign someone else before they’re lost for good.
Salesforce is a great tool, but it can be the best tool for your business, if you use it right. With these tips in mind, make better use of your Salesforce CRM so that all teams are able to collaborate seamlessly and work together to maximize the potential of every new lead, while shortening your sales cycle.