Effectively wrangling leads in the Salesforce ecosystem is not always straightforward, especially if you are a newcomer to the platform and you are aiming to make the most of its features.
Thankfully with the help of the best practices outlined below, you should stand a better chance of maximizing the impact of this particular CRM.
Deal with Duplicates
When you are dealing with a vast, ever-growing database of contact information, duplication is an almost inevitable side effect, especially in the context of lead generation.
This is where it pays to make use of Salesforce deduplication tools. While you could manually seek out duplicate records, modern solutions are capable of automating this process and purging customer info where relevant, with both speed and precision.
Establish a Standard Approach
If you are running a large sales team, then it is best to ensure that every member is up to speed with how leads should be managed, creating the consistency and repeatability that will deliver benefits to the organization as a whole in the long run.
Creating a roadmap to follow will avoid confusion, prevent conflicting tactics from resulting in disruption, and also make it easier when it comes to reporting and analysis.
You can, of course, work out your own preferred standards in this case; just make sure that you share these with everyone, explain your thinking, and listen to any feedback so tweaks can be made if necessary.
Score Leads to Simplify Next Steps
Applying a score to the leads in your charge is an efficient and effective way of providing an instantaneous overview of the value that a given lead might be able to bring to your business.
For example, higher scoring leads that have a demonstrably higher likelihood of being amenable to the products and services that you have to offer them, and are immediately identifiable as such by the score assigned to them, should be given more attention than those that are lower rated.
All this will allow you to make better use of your sales resources, and avoid wasting your time on prospects that have a smaller chance of actually converting into paying customers.
Consider the Channel Which Generated the Lead
Taking a one-size-fits-all stance on following up with the leads you generate is not helpful, especially in an age when there can be so many different prospective platforms for marketing engagement, with distinct audiences requiring their own unique approach from your team.
For example, as the influence of social media grows, being responsive to the needs of leads generated by social campaigns, as opposed to those from other sources, should be part and parcel of your management strategy. Thankfully, Salesforce is more than capable of presenting you with this information in combination with the records in question; it is simply a case of leveraging the tools that it puts at your disposal, rather than overlooking them.
Strike While the Iron Is Hot
It should be your aim to pounce on potentially valuable leads sooner rather than later, and being able to do this comes down to making sure that leads are routed to the team members that are not only available to follow up on them, but also equipped with the skills and experience to do so successfully.
Leads scoring can again be used in this scenario, but whatever you do, aim to avoid letting leads linger untouched in your systems for any longer than is necessary, as it does not take long for trails to go cold in the world of sales.
Embrace Automation Where Possible
Salesforce is equipped with a number of features which let you automate common aspects of lead generation, management, and general marketing, and there are also a growing number of third party tools which can feed into this same infrastructure, providing you with the benefits of improved efficiency and less tedium for team members.
For example, integrations between HubsSpot and Salesforce is a straightforward way of gleaning insights across two otherwise parallel databases which can also automate and catalyze common sales and marketing processes.
Pinpoint Weak Spots and Act to Address Them
Finally, it is important to make use of the data generated by your Salesforce lead management activities to weed out any vulnerabilities and inconsistencies with the way you handle leads, and use this to determine which steps are needed to alter practices in the future.
For example, if conversion rates are a little low, drilling down into the available data and seeing where in the sales funnel the majority of failed conversions are originating is sensible.
Ultimately, it is up to you to harness the lead management tools provided by Salesforce, and to adopt best practices that will put you ahead of the competition.