List management isn’t fun. It’s rarely something that people look forward to, but it’s absolutely necessary. In order to properly follow up with your clients and leads, your lists need to be organized, easy to manage, and up-to-date.
Client and lead lists are solid gold.
These lists contain people or businesses who have already interacted with and shown interest in your product or service. Treat these lists with respect, and they’ll produce more business for you in return.
Here’s how you can easily organize, manage, and update your client and lead lists using any program.
Step 1: Segment by Stage
Add a column, field, or other way to indicate the stage that your client or lead is in. Segmenting your lists by the buying stage will allow you to customize your marketing messages to the mindset of your contact at any given time. For example, if your contact recently made a purchase, you can send them a follow up email or phone call a few days later to make sure they’re satisfied. Someone in this stage will probably not want to hear about a promotion that you’re offering since they just finished their pre-promotion purchase.
Story Time: I worked in the marketing department for a national mortgage lender. We were diligent about paying attention to the closing date of customers’ loans. If someone had closed on a loan less than six months prior, we removed them from any marketing campaigns that focused on refinancing, as they would not have been eligible to refinance at that time.
When you’re preparing a marketing or sales campaign, it will be easy for you to know which clients and leads should be added to the campaign based on their stage.
Step 2: Segment by Persona
If you haven’t already established your buyer personas, start working on them today! Personas are the backbone of your marketing. Your efforts will be much more effective once you have personas in place. You can read this blog for more information on the importance of personas.
Every contact on your list should be assigned a persona. While no two people are the same, their general needs and wants can be grouped together. Your marketing messages should focus on the pain points of a particular persona, and offer solutions to them. For example, if your lead list includes a persona who is actively looking to purchase a home, your marketing can include a list of homes, top rated neighborhoods, etc. For a persona that is interested in refinancing, a better marketing message for them would focus on current mortgage rates, loan programs, etc.
“Bait the hook to suit the fish”. This is one of my favorite quotes from Dale Carnegie. He talks about influencing people to your way of thinking by providing them with information that they want. This is the basic goal of personas. Get to know what your customers want, and “bait” them with information that they will find valuable.
Step 3: Use Automation
Nearly all programs that you can use for client and lead lists will have some sort of automation built in. Following up with your contacts is essential! And having the right list segmentation in place makes following up a breeze. However, you can make it even easier by incorporating automation into your process.
A process called lead nurturing uses personas and automation to share valuable information with your clients and leads, at the right time. Lead nurturing doesn’t take long to setup, and is extremely easy to manage since a majority of the activity will be automated. You can read this detailed blog for more information about setting up lead nurturing.
Step 4: Connect Sales and Marketing
We have a rule: if an activity doesn’t get logged in a contact record, then the activity never happened. Sales will need to update the client and lead lists just as often, if not more, than marketing. Since sales is the department most likely to communicate directly with the contact, they have an opportunity to update missing contact information, correct the buying stage, and much more.
Sales and marketing need to work together to create a way to manage lists that they’re both comfortable with. Sales Enablement will help give both departments the tools that they need to work together on managing lists, and ultimately close more deals.
Sounds Simple Enough, Right?
Managing client and lead lists is easy once you get started. However, finding the best program to use can be a bit more challenging. We highly recommend HubSpot, since their program includes tools specifically for both the sales and marketing departments. You can read about some of these tools by downloading our free checklist below.