Tell me if I am wrong in stating that most of your efforts today are directly or indirectly linked to expanding the sales pipeline of your organization and maximizing conversions from it. Every day the smartest people in the company put their heads together to come up with new strategies and initiatives to drive this most critical business imperative. It takes thousands of dollars of marketing budget and many a strategic discussions to come close to the annual lead target that the company sets for itself.
Well here’s the bad news for you – There is only as much fish to catch in the pond and your competition is getting stronger by the day. Under these circumstances you wouldn’t want to squander away your hard earned leads – especially, not due to operational mismanagement or resource unavailability. And, you may think you have the system in place to tackle that already in a CRM.
What if I tell you, that simply setting up a lead management system will only get you the operational efficiency but not the desired effectiveness. An “effective” lead management mechanism is the one that can actually make an impact on the conversion rate and at the same time motivate your staff to perform at their peak. The key, as you know, is to get the leads to the right sales personnel in the fastest possible time, and manage the dynamicity involved from thereon.
Company XYZ has a bunch of smart sales people. All are focused on achieving their sales targets. The business head wants to optimize the Leads-to-Conversion process and ensure that :-
- All the leads are distributed fairly amongst the sales team
- The leads land up with the most qualified person for the job
The sophisticated CRM used by the enterprise has a very clear process-driven approach to distributing leads. It considers several attributes of a lead including its geography, industry/vertical and source of origin along with the availability of resources before assigning it to a particular sales manager. This automated process, though efficient in reducing the operational time lag and assigning accountability within the team, has several drawbacks to it.
First and foremost, it does not take into account “the context” in which a lead flows into the system. For instance, a lead may originate from an existing relationship of a sales person with a particular prospect. This may or may not be recorded in the system and hence there cannot be any rules set for the same. Such a lead must be handed over to that specific sales person through discretion, even if it involves disregarding other considerations such as her bandwidth, territory or focus areas. Similarly, strategic deals need to be dealt with by the most competent sales person.
These are the times when a traditional CRM will fail you!
What you need is a more dynamic lead management process, with contextual analytics enabled at every step of the lifecycle. Case Management as a discipline allows this kind of flexibility in the process wherein the Knowledge Worker (In this case the business head assigning leads) can take discretionary decisions. A Case Management platform designs an open-ended process where the workflow as well as the process direction can be managed through contextual information.
It also brings an inherent intelligence to the core operational framework to absorb (and learn from) the interim unstructured or structured process changes in due course of time. Resultantly, the process matures over time with more of the unstructured elements becoming structured and controllable.
Case management thus facilitates the stability of a new and dynamic Lead Management process within your enterprise, while leaving room for new innovations to take place incrementally. As the unpredictable components are tamed within the process, your Lead-Gen engine lends effectiveness to your sales efforts and also provides you with a smart framework to continually innovate.