Leads are the lifeline of your business; without them, it would die.
Getting leads is usually not the problem, as there are many lead sources (We will share some with you below!). Nurturing those leads and effectively converting them is a different story.
It starts with automating your lead sourcing and having sturdy lead management tools like MS Dynamics CRM to organize them. In this article, we’ll start with the basics of lead management and finish off with the automation of your lead management.
The process doesn’t have to be complicated. Simplify your life and grow your business with the tools below.
What Is Lead Management?
Lead management, also known as lead nurturing, is a marketing method that focuses on identifying potential customers who may be interested in using your product or service. Lead management aims to attract leads (prospects) and convert them into customers by following up with them consistently over time.
You can think of the process like this: A company wants to attract people interested in its products or services, so it creates a campaign that entices potential customers to give out their contact information (like an email address). The company tracks all the information about these prospects and follows up with them regularly until they become loyal customers.
Where To Source Your Leads
There are several places where you can source your leads. Depending on your business, one source can slightly or vastly differ from another.
Existing Lead Lists
If your business has been running for a while, existing lead lists may be an untapped source of new customers. Often, companies reach out to a prospect once, and if they don’t show any interest, they move on.
But people change their minds all the time, and it pays to reach back to leads that never converted from time to time. Creating a campaign that will target leads that didn’t convert at one point or another and deploying it a couple of times a year will likely convert old leads.
Referrals From Existing Customers or Partners
Referral programs are a great source of leads because nothing speaks better of your business than a real-life recommendation. Incentivize your current customers to talk about your business to their friends, colleagues and coworkers, and you’ll be sure to create a high-quality pipeline from referrals.
Trade Shows, Conferences and Other Events Where You Make Sales Pitches to New People
Despite the rise of Work from Home and online events, face-to-face is not dead. Some people prefer to do business in real life. Show up at industry events to create partnerships, meet potential customers and spread the word about how you can help. Real-life interactions give your business a real face and increase your prospects’ trust.
Direct Mail Campaigns That Target Specific Industries, Jobs and Skillsets
Some people might find this a bit intrusive, but if you know your ideal customer profile (ICP), you should try direct mail campaigns. These campaigns work best when you help your prospects right off the gate. Give them valuable resources they can use without further instruction, and once they have good results, they will reach out to you in droves. If you focus on offering solutions to their problems, you’ll be sure to source high-quality leads with this strategy.
Social Media Platforms
These are the ultimate source of leads. Large social media platforms have a lot of information about their users’ purchasing trends and buying habits. They know very well what their users like and when they want it, and you can use that data to source the right leads for your business. Start by defining your ideal customer profile, and you’ll be ready to leverage these platforms to source your leads.
What Is a Sales Pipeline?
The sales pipeline is a visual representation of your sales process. The pipeline shows your customers’ progress through the various stages of their journey with you, from initial contact and first interaction to closing. Each stage has its actions that need to be completed before moving on to the next stage (e.g., identify needs, qualify leads).
The number of leads at each stage decreases as you disqualify the wrong leads. A promising sales pipeline can help you track how many prospects are in each stage, how many deals you’ve closed and how many opportunities remain in progress. With a good sales pipeline, you’ll be able to identify optimizations to make your sales efforts more effective.
Want to Capture Email Leads to Microsoft Dynamics?
When a lead is created, you will want to ensure that essential information about your customer is captured. Therefore, the first step in qualifying leads is making a record for each contact. This can be done by adding the new contact as an account or contact and then updating their other records with key details such as job title and location.
Once all the necessary information has been captured, go through each record individually and categorize them based on their interest level (or lack thereof) to start the qualification process. When a lead comes in, the first step is to qualify it according to the following criteria:
- Are they qualified?
- Are they ready to buy now?
- Are they engaged with us?
Once you answer these questions, you’ll be able to determine where in your sales pipeline they are and which are the following touchpoints the leads need to turn into a customer.
Depending on their stage in your sales pipeline, your leads will go through a lead nurturing campaign to learn more about how your company can help them address their pain point. These campaigns include email marketing and customer interactions with your sales development or customer service teams. You can also take advantage of specific tools like Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and Dynamics 365 Sales.
Over time, your team can measure their engagement with the nurturing campaign and qualify or disqualify each lead. You can also use nurturing campaigns to analyze trends across your teams’ interactions with qualified contacts and identify areas where they might need more support or training to make their efforts more effective.
Why Is It Important to Research Leads?
Researching your leads is essential because it helps you understand their needs, pain points and buying process. Researching your leads will also help you know how to convert them into customers.
First, you must establish your ideal customer profile, so your marketing and sales team knows what they’re looking for when researching a lead. They can use social media platforms, like LinkedIn, to find out more about a particular group you’re targeting or specific individuals or companies. This information can be used to personalize your messaging and make it more effective. Your customers want to ensure that you know what they need and that you can meet those needs.
How To Properly Research Your Leads
When researching leads, it’s essential to understand where they came from. A lead could have come from a website, email campaign, or social media. There are many paths a lead might have taken to get to your company!
Start by doing a Google search of the company or individual you are researching to see what pops up. This will give you an overview of the person or company you’re looking for. Remember to have your ICP handy to see if this company matches it.
When researching a company on social media:
Use the ‘Advanced Search’ feature on LinkedIn and Facebook to search for posts that include the company name or website URL. You can also use hashtags (#) like #CompanyName or #CompanyMotto, so you also know how users are interacting with that particular content. Researching a company on social media will help you understand their audience and language so you can use it in your interactions with them.
When researching an individual:
The advanced feature will work, and you can run a similar search as explained above. However, for researching individuals, it’s better to use advanced tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator or LinkedIn Recruiter. These tools will offer you more specific features to narrow your search.
How to Extract Email to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM?
Now, automating your lead capture process is the next level. If you receive many leads via email, you can automatically import them into Dynamics 365 with Parserr. The process is pretty simple:
We know it would be great to have an automated capture process for these leads, importing them into Dynamics 365 without manual intervention. With Parserr we (hope) we’ve made the process pretty simple:
1) Sign-up for a free account on Parserr
2) Auto-forward or CC your Parserr inbox with your lead emails
3) Parserr processes (parses) your e-mails and extracts all relevant data fields
4) Leads are automatically created in Dynamics CRM
Each rule can remove/replace the content you don’t need from the email so that you can narrow down on the content you need. Here is a small example below of how easy that is to do. By using the “Get row containing text” rule and “Get all text after,” we can hone in on exactly the content you need.
Step 1: Parse Email Data to Microsoft Flow
Using the method described above, we can create a set of email parsing rules to use in Microsoft Flow. In the above example, we created rules named “First Name” and “Last Name”. These are rules that extracted the required first and last names of the incoming lead.
Once you open Microsoft Flow up, and setup your flow, you’ll see that those very same rules are available to be used in Flow:
Step 2: Send Email Data from Microsoft Flow to Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Microsoft Flow makes it easy to use your parsed data in any other 3rd party app, and especially easy in Microsoft Dynamics CRM as you can see above.
For a step-by-step guide, check out our support article on setting up Parser with Microsoft Dynamics CRM or contact us today for further help or information!
Growing businesses are constantly getting leads, and sometimes it can be hard to keep up with each of them. Automation software that extracts leads directly into your Dynamics 365 CRM will make your process more effective and your business more profitable.
Don’t wait until your leads are overflowing your inbox; contact us now and get ready to have an optimized lead management process.