Lead Management Within Marketing Cloud: Making SFMC B2B-ready

Nov 16, 2022 -

Lead management is a key part of any successful B2B lead generation strategy. Lead management helps your organization manage & prioritize leads while quickly identifying potential buyers. Without proper lead management, teams can become highly misaligned, leads can be improperly qualified and/or disqualified, or leads can be neglected causing them to fall out of your journey.

The Steps of Lead Management in Marketing Cloud

Lead management can range from between 6 and 12 steps, but we’re going to condense that down to three core sections: lead generation & capturing, profiling & grading, and distribution & nurturing. 

Lead Generation & Capturing

Generating leads through the right mix of omnichannel marketing activities and effective sales outreach is the first step in the lead management process. From great content to paid ads, generating leads comes in many shapes and sizes. Just be sure to make your work easier by targeting your ideal customer profile. 

But the real work in lead management begins once the leads are acquired. How do you differentiate lead activity? How do you gain visibility into their needs and wants, as well as their buying readiness? These are the questions that need to be answered for successful lead generation. 

Now that you have prospects on your site—the real work begins. Before you can begin profiling, scoring, and grading a lead, you need to resolve a lead's identity on your website and collect their behavioural data. This is a great, rich complement to the first-party data you’re collecting via form questions.

This can be accomplished at the moment of a form submission on your website, newsletter sign-up, gated downloads, etc. With a tool for website behaviour tracking like SalesWings, you are able to “unlock” contextual insights on a lead that was collected anonymously prior to capturing their identity. This allows even your first touch with a lead to be personalized instead of sending them a generic first-touch email. 

Lead Profiling & Grading

Lead profiling & grading is at the core of lead management. Good lead data makes for an easy time profiling leads, grading & scoring them, and then distributing them properly. With this lead data, we can start the profiling process. Profiling can have a variety of factors such as location, interests, position, and more. Website tracking can be beneficial with the profiling process by giving you deeper insights into a lead’s product or service interests, needs, pain points or topics of interest - allowing for more accurate profiling.

An integral part of lead profiling is lead qualification from a sales-readiness perspective. Lead grading/scoring is the process of numerically “grading” a lead against your ideal customer profile. This score can include their behaviour on your website, the number of social touches they received, or any other trackable interaction. With lead scores, you can ensure that your efforts are focused on the leads that are most interested in your product/services. 

Distribution & Nurturing 

Depending on your process, lead distribution can be a manual process, assigning leads to relevant journeys and/or sales reps, or with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, this entire process can be automated. With Marketing Cloud, lead routing (or distribution) can be achieved by using decision splits in journey builder or with completion actions that automatically assign leads. Generally, it is recommended to do lead routing inside your CRM, being an important element of sales lead management that tends to occur in parallel to the marketing’s goal to put them on the right nurturing track.

Lead routing is made easy with decision splits within Marketing Cloud Journeys.

The last leg of the lead management process is the nurturing and conversion phase. Once your leads have been distributed to the right places, you can begin nurturing and converting them. A lead too cold? “Warm” them up in a nurturing campaign. A lead fits your ICP and is hot? Get in contact with them ASAP.    

B2B Lead management best practices for Salesforce Marketing Cloud

While having the aforementioned lead management process in place is a step in the right direction, it isn’t the recipe for seamless lead management. The following are the best practices for your lead management process to ensure that it is seamless and successful as possible.


Understand & profile your customers by collecting the right data

Capturing good data is the first step to proper lead management. Gathering relevant and necessary data allows you to quickly qualify and disqualify leads. But it’s not recommended to ask too many questions on inbound forms, so how can you gather lead data without it impeding your form conversion rates?

The automated collection of behavioural first party-data is the answer. With behavioural first-party data such as what sections or the website are most visited by a lead, the content they consume and campaigns they have clicked on (and the necessary tools to interpret this data) you can practically see through the eyes of your leads. 

With this first-party data, you can easily profile your leads based on specific interests and behaviours. With first-party data, you unlock a level of granularity that gives you the ability to hyper-personalize your communications. With SalesWings, the data collected is available in real-time within Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s data extensions allowing you to create timely and relevant journeys for your leads.

SalesWings’ interest tags can be used to automate hyper-personalized emails within Marketing Cloud.

Align on a hand-off process

Using the data collected and with profiling, you can develop a proper hand-off process to ensure that leads are handed off to sales reps at the right moment. Without a proper process, lead management can cause friction between your teams. That’s why having your departments align on their hand-off process will support your MQL-to-SQL conversion rates and help your sales & marketing alignment. 

Your sales and marketing alignment will also be aided by this improved hand-off process. This alignment has several advantages, including better marketing budget utilization, fewer unqualified leads, and more time-efficient sales representatives.

How to enhance lead management within SFMC

For most organizations, properly managing leads and creating hyper-personalized customer experiences, based on proper measures and signals is a challenge—there is a solution. The answer is a no-code, lead management, and tracking solution like SalesWings. 

SalesWings not only supercharges your marketing and lead management efforts within Salesforce Marketing Cloud, but it also delivers rich sales insights to your sales representatives allowing them to swiftly and easily close deals. Learn more about SalesWings here»

Lead management is crucial for any successful B2B lead generation strategy. Properly managed leads make for a simpler and more successful marketing and sales process. While it can be cumbersome to create an automated lead management process within Marketing Cloud, tools like SalesWings can make the process simple and easy.

Main photo by Valentin Antonucci: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-compass-691637/

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