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Use CRM to Close More Sales Leads

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What does your company do with all those sales-ready opportunities that fail to close quickly? These may be fairly long-term prospects, but without processes to nurture and retain them, they're sure to go unrealized. In order to have a leak-proof sales pipeline, your lead nurturing strategy should stretch across the entire lead life cycle, not just the front end.

Building a Leak-Proof Sales Pipeline

By Ian Michiels at CRM Buyer

In November 2008, Aberdeen published a study titled, "Lead Nurturing: The Secret to Successful Lead Generation." The survey captured the challenges and strategies from 213 organizations and found that on average, 16 percent of the total leads that are deemed "sales-ready opportunities" actually close.

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That's a fairly alarming number. The difference between a successful company and a mediocre company lies in how the remaining 84 percent of already qualified opportunities are handled. These are real opportunities that have a good chance of closing (albeit in the long-term), but without processes to nurture and retain opportunities, it's easy for unrecognized revenue to slip through the pipeline. However, it seems like everywhere we turn there are whitepapers, articles, webinars and research studies on "lead nurturing," which exclusively focuses on the front of the pipeline; but there is very little on the value of nurturing across the entire lead life cycle, which includes nurturing for existing customers.

In the July 2009 study, "Lead Lifecycle Management: Building a Pipeline that Never Leaks," Aberdeen explored the holistic lead life cycle to find out how Best-in-Class companies achieve significantly higher revenue growth, lead to sales conversion rates, and bid-to-win ratios. The study revealed that on average, 56 percent of all organizations exclusively relied on nurturing for customer acquisition, and ...click here to continue reading.

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