Take a moment to reflect on your company’s approach to lead management. Do any of the following statements seem true to you?
You don’t know if the opportunities in your pipeline are viable. (Your Customer Lifetime Value?)
You don’t know what opportunities to focus on. (Who are your personalities? Your clients?)
You take hours or days to track opportunities. (No clearly established monitoring process?)
You don’t know your relationship between opportunities gained and opportunities lost. (Why do your customers trust you and at what point in the buying journey do you lose opportunities?)
If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are you are missing out on potential conversions.
Fortunately, in this article you will find the 4 best practices for managing business opportunities in order to optimize your ROI.
Keep reading for a comprehensive overview of what lead management is and how this strategy can help you grow your business faster.
Let’s go !
What is lead management?
It is the process of managing sales opportunities in CRM software. It involves capturing, tracking and closing multiple opportunities for each contact (or prospect) during your prospecting. Opportunity management helps you manage multiple products and spot upsell / cross-sell opportunities to increase your CLV (Customer Lifetime Value).
To better understand, let’s first define the term “opportunity”.
What is an opportunity?
An opportunity generally refers to a business or sales opportunity . A sales opportunity is a person or entity that has a high chance of becoming a customer . In other words, she has a problem that you are able to resolve with your offer. She plans to buy and has the necessary budget. Now it’s up to the sellers to close the deal.
In more formal terms, a sales opportunity is a qualified prospect . Typically only 10-15% of B2B sales opportunities turn into business . Therefore, a business must establish clear criteria to qualify an individual as a sales opportunity. These criteria or the set of requirements set by companies create the sales pipeline .
What is a sales pipeline?
A sales pipeline or sales funnel is a set of stages that an individual goes through during the buying process . This is an intuitive way to visualize your potential buyers and understand where they are at. There are different stages in a sales pipeline, and the buyer must meet certain criteria to move from one stage to the next. These criteria can be subscribing to a newsletter, downloading a white paper or booking a demo. They show a person’s interest in the brand . So, a sales opportunity is someone who has gone through several stages and is now in the penultimate stage, just before closing the deal.
Coming back to the main question, what is lead management? It is a set of methodologies for tracking and managing your opportunities. Managing sales requires that you have a well-defined sales pipeline . That is, segment buyers into different categories, one of which is your sales opportunities. Your sales representatives will be responsible for managing these opportunities.
In terms of opportunity management, CRM software is an essential tool . Each sales rep may have a different idea of what an opportunity is. With CRM, you can define the different stages of the pipeline and establish rules for going through them. This structure adds consistency to the sales process, and each member of the sales team will have a clear idea of what to do next.
Why is lead management (opportunity management) important for my business?
Sales opportunity management is important because it helps you be more commercially effective with better ROI. Effective opportunity management allows you to better understand your customers , which then allows you to prioritize your interactions with them based on their potential.
Managing leads and opportunities in sales
When it comes to sales, opportunity management is all about converting your leads and prospects into recurring income . And to achieve this, a good sales team is not enough. Rather, salespeople need a proper system to track their opportunities as they move through the pipeline.
There are several advantages to using opportunity management for your business:
- Optimize the workflow of your opportunity pipeline : you will be able to standardize your sales process and drive your opportunities forward.
- Increase your conversion rate : by seeing what to do next at each step, you will be able to apply the right sales techniques.
- Better understand your business opportunities : it will be much easier to see which opportunities are the most important.
This is where a CRM comes in handy. Why ?
Quite simply because a CRM will help you:
- Manage your leads directly from your mailbox
- Instantly capture your prospects’ data using various lead generation forms
- Provide a comprehensive and detailed view of all of your prospects / customers
- Stay organized with constantly updated information.
Whichever CRM you choose, using a CRM is essential practice when it comes to effectively managing your sales pipeline, opportunities, and process. To find the best CRM, check out our top 5 best CRM software .
Now that you understand the basics of a solid lead management process, let’s see how you can grow your sales pipeline locally and even internationally.
How to find new business opportunities?
Let’s start by saying that identifying new sales opportunities is different from identifying leads .
A lead, for example, is someone who might want to purchase products or services from your business. However, leads don’t always lead to an immediate sales opportunity because the person might not be ready to make a purchase right away.
In the case of sales opportunities, you already know that the potential customer is interested in your product and is looking to buy.
The first step in finding new business opportunities is to do your research. You need to learn as much as possible about your current prospects.
Next, you need to qualify your prospects and determine if they match your business’s sales criteria. This is important because you don’t want to spend too much time on unqualified leads .
It is during these early stages that a CRM becomes useful for organizing your leads as they enter the sales funnel and gives you a quick way to prioritize your sales opportunities.
Classify your business opportunity in stages
Depending on your industry, your sales cycle can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. This is why it is important to separate your opportunities in stages.
Here are the sales steps to consider when it comes to managing opportunities:
Qualification : Before you put all your efforts into a prospect, you need to make sure they’re qualified . You will need to use pre-established study criteria to ensure that your prospect’s level of interest and value matches your product or service. Once you determine that your prospect is qualified, then they become associated with a sales opportunity.
Determine Pain Points : You want to determine how much value a customer might place on your product or service based on their pain points. This will allow you to promote your product or service in a way that speaks to the buyer.
Identify the “key decision makers” : you can establish a positive relationship with any contact within a company , but if it is not the person who has the decision-making power, therefore the power to buy your product / service, your efforts may be in vain. You need to build a relationship with the person who makes the buying decisions in the business to move towards closing the sale.
Establish Your Business Proposition : At this point in the sales cycle, you are about to close the deal. Be sure to create a custom quote or business proposal that addresses the hot spots for your customer and meets their specific needs.
CLOSE : Once the details are finalized, you are ready to close the deal ! Hopefully you have successfully converted the opportunity! Even if you’ve failed, it’s important to go through with the opportunity.
Our 4 recommendations for effectively managing your sales pipeline
Now that you have opportunities in your sales pipeline, you need a good way to manage them to make sure they turn into income . This is where the importance of managing business opportunities comes in .
Ready to get organized?
1. Do your research
To determine if an opportunity is worth pursuing, you need to identify some key factors about your prospect. These include their:
- Their responsiveness.
- Their budget.
- The planned purchase process
- Their authority (Decision-making power).
This information will give you a realistic idea of the likelihood of closing a deal with them, as well as some pointers on the sales techniques to use to convert them.
During the sales process, you should organize your sales pipeline by assigning a step to each opportunity, such as “ Needs Analysis ” or “ Identifying Decision Makers ”. As you learn more about your prospect and their needs, you can update the opportunity stage accordingly.
In Twilead , the sales pipeline is fully customizable and unlimited , you can create different pipelines according to your opportunities with more or less stages of progress, quite simply via a simple “drag & drop”. For each step, you can add notes, tags and schedule demo meetings for example.
2. Stay focused on the most promising sales opportunities
The number of hours in a day is limited, so you need to use them wisely.
However, this does not mean that the same amount of time should be spent on every opportunity.
To effectively manage your pipeline, use the data you’ve collected to identify the most promising business opportunities and prioritize them based on action taken. These could be the most profitable opportunities, those soon to be “closed”, the opportunities with the most engaged decision-makers, or all of these classifications.
Either way, the key to success is having a process for recognizing opportunities that require special attention.
Then, it’s up to you to identify, rank the different opportunities and assign a percentage of success or a value to each request.
3. Stay in touch with your prospects
The chances of an online prospect entering the sales process are 21 times higher if the business contacts them within 5 minutes , compared to a response after 30 minutes or more .
The same principle applies to existing sales opportunities in your pipeline. If you wait too long to follow up with your prospects , they might go and see if the grass is greener elsewhere through a simple web search.
So you need to make sure that you answer questions and that your sales team sets up appointments on time .
At every step of the sales process, every opportunity should have a clear next step or follow-up activity. It could be an email, phone call, or something more industry specific like a product presentation or demo .
Recording these marketing activities in your CRM helps keep your team in the loop so that you don’t accidentally contact the same prospect over and over.
With Twilead you can easily see which prospects have upcoming or late activities. You can also filter your list of business opportunities to see which ones don’t have a scheduled follow-up. Finally, you can plan the steps including organizing and sending an invitation to an online meeting to present your solution or even enter into a partnership, for example.
4. Evaluate your opportunity management process
To gain more business opportunities and increase sales, it is essential to review your sales opportunity management process and identify areas for improvement . These scans should take place at regular intervals, so that you can track your progress over time.
The more information you have about your process, the better equipped you will be for its development . You can view and track several key metrics for managing opportunities such as:
- The ratio of opportunities gained to opportunities lost.
- The average size of transactions per sales representative.
- The amount of revenue generated per opportunity.
You can also dive deeper into your CRM data to look at other valuable metrics, like the number of follow-ups per opportunity , the length of your sales cycle , and how satisfied your prospects are with your business approach .
What to do with leads and opportunities after making a sale?
Congratulations! You’ve successfully closed a sale and your prospect is now a customer . But your work is not yet finished. Now you need to focus on maximizing your customer retention rate .
In order for your customers to come back to your business, you must continue to nurture them to keep them buying your products and services .
The importance of a CRM in the management of business opportunities
Managing opportunities effectively takes time and effort , but it is worth the effort. If your business is struggling to manage sales opportunities with an X solution, it might be time to adopt a new one.
A CRM doesn’t just streamline your opportunity management , it also gives you instant insight into your potential customers . For example, Twilead helps you manage opportunities more effectively by:
- Creating unlimited customizable pipelines
- Automated monitoring of your prospects
- Centralizing all your opportunities on a single interface
- Allowing you to organize your opportunities simply by drag and drop
- Adding tasks, notes, tags and the ability to book appointments online
- Advanced reporting tool
With Twilea d it’s easy for you to take a data-driven approach to sales and close as many opportunities as possible.
But Twilead goes even further, in addition to helping you manage your entire purchasing process, it allows you to maintain relationships with your customers via the integration of a centralized discussion thread (email, phone, chat, social networks …). Finally, a real complete toolbox, Twilead also has marketing functions (marketing automation, creation of forms, landing pages, etc.) thus making it possible to have a real digital hub centralizing the functionalities of sales management, marketing and customer relationship .