Your ability to protect and nurture your sales leads will directly impact your success as an organization, yet shockingly many organizations do not have an effective means of working with prospects and leads to turn them into customers. In fact, only 27 percent of web-generated leads receive any contact from companies. Brands need to understand how to protect and nurture their leads so they can grow as an organization. Here is what all marketing and sales professionals should know.

Use marketing automation and CRM integration

When you bring your marketing automation platform, like Experiture, together with CRM through integration, you will have the recipe for success. Now you can track your leads with a single view. This will make it more straightforward for both marketing and sales people, who can now access all the important information in one place. Everyone will have access to the same information, which will result in less confusion between different departments.

Have a clear understanding of who a lead is

Your sales and marketing teams should be able to come together to develop common terminology about people in the sales funnel. Create solid definitions about the characteristics prospects must have and the point at which they become a lead. Define the responsibilities of everyone within the company so all departments operate with the same understanding. When marketing and sales teams are able to come together, they can generate over 200 percent more revenue from marketing efforts and increase customer retention by 36 percent.

Know where your leads are coming from and what brought them to you

To better serve your leads, both your sales and marketing personnel should know exactly how a lead arrived on the site and what they want to learn about. Know which type of promotion brought the new prospect to your site, such as organic search, SEO or paid advertising and the type of information they are reading. All of this information can be tracked in the marketing automation and CRM system. Use the data to know how to best engage with the new lead.

Research your lead and contact as quickly as possible

Before you officially call a new person interested in your business, you need to research them. Combine your insight about them as an individual with the general target persona they fit. This will help you guide the conversion, ask the right questions, provide the right information and begin the process of coaxing the new lead through the sales funnel.

Remember also that 50 percent of buyers choose the vendor that responds to their queries first. Make sure that your teams are ready to jump on leads quickly once they arrive.

Nurture your lead through the sale funnel

As you interact with your prospects and leads, keep track of how they react to what you say and how well they move through the sales funnel. Your conversions and other contact points should be carefully constructed to engage with the user and coax them to the next stage of the funnel. You can use white papers, case studies, videos, and email, for example, to provide them with the information they need to feel more confident getting closer to purchase with you. Use scoring so you can see how each prospect is progressing.

Evaluate the overall lead management process

Periodically, it is critical to properly measure your lead nurturing process to see how you are doing. Look at statistics to see how many leads you are bringing in and what percentage of them are making it to the next level in the sales funnel. Look for areas of weakness that you can improve upon while also noting your strengths. As you continually evaluate and adjust your process, you will make your team even more productive and efficient, improving your conversion rates and ROI.

Protecting your leads and bringing them closer to converting is the foundation for positive business growth and revenue. Fine tuning your process and following these steps listed above will help ensure that your business is moving in the right direction.