Tracking the Lead Lifecycle

April 2, 2019
Tracking the lead lifecycle is one of the more important things a lead generation program or company can do. By tracking the lead, agencies can keep it relevant and moving towards qualification and opportunity, without having it grow stale or expire. Tracking the lifecycle also allows companies to determine which marketing methods convert and which don’t.
Now, what does it mean to follow a lead? What does it mean for a lead to be in the funnel?
The funnel, or the marketing funnel, is the process by which an inquiry goes from a name to a customer and each step of the dynamic process that changes that name into a customer.
There are roughly four major stages within the lead lifecycle that a company should follow. By utilizing and analyzing this lifecycle information a business can understand and grow their lead generation.
The first stop in the funnel is the “known”. A known could be someone who has subscribed to an email list or blog or who has been otherwise interested in what a company or program has to offer and has opted to learn more.
Once a known shows a specific interest and asks for more information to be given to them, they become a “lead”. Outside of organic, click-based interest, many companies use lead generation campaigns to acquire their leads. These campaigns can be applied to a variety of platforms such as social media, email or display and are specifically designed to capture quality prospects.
Once a lead has been identified, they become a “qualified lead”. These are potential customers who have engaged with a campaign and are interested in more information. Perhaps they answered a question on a survey or have specifically requested to be personally contacted.
It is at this point that a business should reach out and determine opportunity, and if this prospect could become a potential product user or perhaps enroll in a program that is offered by the company. An organization’s personal engagement with leads is what ultimately moves an inquiry into the final stage of the funnel: a customer.
As the lead’s life cycle is being followed, a company should also be tracking what methods are working to convert the lead. By tracking if a prospect converts for a client, they can optimize marketing methods and communication strategies, such as examining what contact forms or layouts are attracting more clicks, to increase conversions.
By following and tracking the lifecycle of a lead, a company can consistently identify where someone is within the funnel, allowing them to assess if that prospect is a right fit for the company or product. For example, perhaps a lead is interested, but the timing isn’t optimal. Maybe the lead is interested but was not available at the time of their call. Or, maybe, they just aren’t a right fit for the product or service offered. By assessing these different scenarios, a business can determine if or when a call back time is appropriate or if a lead is not quality and takes them out of the funnel.
In the end, by always knowing where a prospect is in the funnel, engaging personally with them and tracking which methods are converting, companies are better able to capture quality leads and turn them into customers without losing the engagement of a potential customer due to lack of personal contact and follow up. Understanding and having the knowledge of your lead’s lifecycle allows you to ensure that a prospect isn’t forgotten after contact and, further, allows your company to optimize and maximize lead generation by locating and eliminating potential barriers within the funnel.

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