What Is Lead Flow & Why Does It Matter?

Lead flow is the path of a potential customer from acquisition to qualification to purchase. It tells you where your highest ROI is coming from.

December 20, 2022

How did Yoda get his first lead? He used the Sales Force.

Unfortunately, harnessing a mysterious energy field won’t be your main source of business. If gaining and retaining leads poses challenges, your lead flow may have some answers. 

Lead flow is the path of a potential customer from acquisition, to qualification, to the decision to purchase.

Lead flow is incredibly important, bridging the gap between sales and marketing and helping marketers and salespeople determine what channels generate the highest return on investment. It also can help determine if there’s an obstacle causing leads to go cold, such as where you are losing potential clients to your competitors. 

Phases of the Lead Flow

These leads are on a journey. The hope is that no matter where they begin, they end up happy, satisfied, and loyal customers. A typical lead flow looks like this:

If you’re using Google Ads, should you focus on Responsive Display Ads or Uploaded Display Ads?

How Lead Flow Connects Marketing & Sales

Let’s say a marketing agency runs a Google Search ad campaign for a service-based B2B client. After 3 months, the marketing agency sees excellent lead acquisition numbers with several phone calls and form submissions. Through call-tracking software and form submission analysis, they have determined these are qualified leads. 

However, the sales team doesn’t see it that way. Their follow-up attempts haven’t led to any meetings, and so they see the campaign as unsuccessful so far. The marketing agency and the sales team set a meeting to analyze the lead flow. Here are some of the questions they ask:

Lead Acquisition: Is the CTA clear in what it’s asking the lead to do? 

If not, then when the lead receives a follow-up call, they may be confused by the offer and not actually be a qualified lead.

Lead Nurturing: Has the lead been informed enough to decide to take the next step and schedule a meeting with a salesperson? Have we answered all of their initial questions?

If not, messaging might need to be improved upon on landing pages, in email automations, and in other marketing material these leads receive. 

Questions such as, “how much will this cost me,” may need to be determined after further conversation. But questions like, “what services do you offer” or “what makes your company unique” need to be evident and consistent throughout your messaging. 

Learn more about how calls to action create leads. 

Marketing Lead Qualification: Do the sales team and the marketing team agree on what qualifies a lead?

If not, this is the opportunity to discover the disconnect, come to an agreement, and adjust the target audience and how we target the audience, accordingly.

This is one of several essential ways to get your sales and marketing teams on the same page. 

Sales Transfer: Are your CRMs speaking to each other? 

If your marketing CRM isn’t sending leads to your sales CRM in a way that communicates effectively to the sales team, it could lead to confusion or even missing the lead altogether. Ensure that the sales team is clear on what a lead looks like so they’re set up for success.

Sales Qualification: Is the salesperson reaching out in a timely manner? 

The faster a salesperson responds, the more likely the lead will become a sale. How fast does your sales team respond to a lead? 

According to Harvard Business Review, a lead is 7x more likely to become a sale if the salesperson responds within the first 30 minutes, and that lead is 100x more likely to become a sale if you respond within the first 5 minutes!

Leveraging Lead Flow for Your Business

By analyzing your lead flow and answering these questions, you can discover the disconnects in your marketing and sales funnel, fix them, and watch the sales come in and your business grow!

If you are looking to increase your leads and conversions, we know a thing or two about marketing that attracts! 

Writer: Michael Kline
Editor: SK Vaughn

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