Setting up a Lead Funnel for your Small Business.
It doesn't have to be hard to manage your lead funnel. Don't know what that is? It's simple… as you conduct your business you generated leads. These leads then need to be qualifies and priortized so you know which ones to focus on and which ones to simply set aside.
Delmarva Group is in a high growth stage. We have lots of leads… but few are making it past the qualifying rounds. Here's a take on our early process.
Essentially, our process has 4 key areas each with several steps.
- New Lead - here the lead arrives from any number of sources… the internet, a business contact or warm referral.
- Lead Qualification and Data Collection - Here the lead is qualified.
- In Process - DMVG is actively in the process of selling to this lead.
- Close - We're signing contracts!
- Delivery - We're delivering and supporting this account.
This is a lot to manage in a spreadsheet or something like that… so DMVG has opted to leverage SugarCRM Community Edition. The Community Edition is a fancy way of saying "open source" for them. But this is an excellent, inexpensive tool to use to manage your lead funnel. Here is an example of how a company will flow through our SugarCRM system:
I meet a business leader at a business function and obtain his business card. The data from this card, then flows into SugarCRM and blammo… he's now categorized as a new lead.
In Step 2, we do a lot to learn about a company. We look the contact up on LinkedIn to determine how we're connected to them. This is especially valuable with what we call "association leads" but that's another article. We also analyze their website and public computing environment to fill out our checklist to determine how good of a client they can be.
Once Step 2 is complete and we decide if they're worth pursuing, we build our sales strategy for them. This can be a simple email introduction to leveraging a common connection via LinkedIn to get a warm introduction.
At this point, SugarCRM CE is invaluable. It collects notes for us… emails, any contact we have with the prospect can be recorded for each member of DMVG to see. This can be invaluable as we move to sell and later support them.
Step 3 is key… as it's our first or second real contact with the client looking to move forward. Let me tell you, I've been on both sides of the table. When I was on the purchasing side of the table, those people who knew a lot about my business always faired better then those that started by asking, "what does your company do" …
Step 2 looks to get rid of that. In this day and age with the immediacy and availability of information, there is no reason we should not enter the followup meeting highly knowledgeable about our prospects business and even their needs.
Step 4 and 5 are also aided by centralizing all of this data into SugarCRM. But at this point, the funnel has taken place and we've gone through the "interested parties'" ended up with a couple of clients.
The best part is that by leveraging such a system, DMVG gets big company data and lead management without spending much money at all. All a small business owner needs is a place to host SugarCRM CE and the other data and lookout.
Last Updated (Friday, 21 December 2012 23:21)