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What's Your Lead Gen Weakness?

April 19, 2012  
How would you rate your company's all-around lead gen game? "Some companies are good at generating B2B sales leads [and] others are good at qualifying and closing those leads," writes Christopher Ryan at Great B2B Marketing, "but the top performing companies are those that leverage B2B lead management techniques and can do both." It's a lofty goal, but one you can achieve with tips like these:

Give inbound inquiries top priority. It's best to respond within 24 hours—but don't let an inquiry go unanswered for more than 48 hours. Wait three days or more and a prospect who asked for information might not even remember that she made the request.

Track every lead in a single database. You'll never achieve maximum efficiency if marketing and sales data are scattered hither and yon. "I've talked to companies who have three or more opt-in inquiry databases, making it very difficult to implement drip marketing programs," notes Ryan.

Create—and adhere to—strict scoring criteria. Use reliable metrics that ensure everyone on your team will reach the same conclusion about any given lead, no matter who does the scoring.

Set up a service level agreement (SLA). When you clearly outline responsibilities and goals for your marketing and sales teams, you optimize everyone's efforts by keeping them on the same cooperative page. And you conserve precious energy that's often wasted on duplicated efforts and finger-pointing.

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