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When it comes to the marketing-sales funnel, generating new leads and closing them are two obvious main priorities on a company's list. Many companies, however, find themselves lost when it comes to the meat of the process, the minute details that happen in between a lead entering the system and making a sale.

Too many leads are lost to marketing teams who simply don't know what to do with them, or sales teams who don't collect all of the necessary information from marketing when they receive a lead.

This is why Campaign Creators emphasizes the importance of a well-developed lead management process. We go further down the funnel than some marketing agencies to do the nitty-gritty work of bridging the gap between marketing and sales.

As an example of what a lead management process is like, here's a look into the one we use for managing our own leads, broken down into 3 main phases.


Phase 1: The Marketing Process

This is where is all begins; a lead is generated and enters our system. Essentially, they are put on our radar, and with as much documentation as possible.

  1. A lead views our message on social media, a paid advertisement, through networking, or finds us organically— to put it simply, through a ToFu asset.

  2. They are attracted by a lead magnet or an offer to subscribe to our blog.

  3. The lead fills out a form on a landing page to receive one of our offers, becoming an MQL (marketing-qualified lead). (Feeling confused by marketing lingo like 'ToFu' and 'BoFu'? Check out a handy glossary of terms here.)

  4. A new name is added into our database! From here, it is first researched and vetted to determine whether the lead is a good fit for us and our company for them-- the relationship should be mutually beneficial. Once this has been determined, we “enrich” the record with additional data.

  5. Based on the entry and/or recorded data, the lead is segmented and entered into one of our workflows to begin the nurturing process.

  6. Lead scores are automatically updated and trigger (via workflow) a team member to warmly reach out to deliver custom content and other opportunities for the lead tailored to what we know about them.


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Phase 2: The Sales Process

We emphasize closed loop reporting, so a smooth transition from marketing into sales is all about good feedback. The goals of this stage of lead management are to document all communication while approaching a deal, moving down into the bottom of the funnel.

  1. Leads reaching out directly from contact forms, or those asking for a BoFu consultation immediately, undergo the qualification phase. In other words, they are qualified by the marketing team to become a sales-qualified lead.

  2. Our BoFu forms always include an offer for a consultation session and act as a qualifying period.

  3. The marketing team then hands qualified leads to the Client Services Head for a consultation in what is considered the discovery phase.

  4. Prior to the consultation, we give a preparatory questionnaire to the qualified lead to help their strategic session run more smoothly.

  5. An assessment is conducted based on the answers to the questionnaire, and additional, real-time information is collected from the lead.

  6. Qualified leads that have passed this fit discussion with the Client Services Head are then scheduled for a capabilities and recommendations meeting. This is where we make our pitch!

  7. Our products and services are presented with standard protocol. A customized strategic review is conducted, in which we match our company’s offerings to the lead’s goals.

  8. General agreements are made and the lead moves on to the proposal phase. A simple proposal outlining our agreed upon products and/or services is delivered.

  9. If the lead counters the offer in any way, they have entered the negotiations phase.

  10. Once we reach a set of terms satisfactory to both parties, the lead signs the proposal, which serves as an official agreement. The lead is now closed and ready to start working with us!



Phase 3: Re-Marketing

This can be summarized pretty succinctly. Existing customers continue to be nurtured alongside new marketing-qualified leads. The cycle of education and reselling continues as they exit through the bottom of the sales funnel and (hopefully!) re-enter.

And there you have it, a look into the components of a real-life lead management process. Your company's approach will undoubdtedly differ from ours, but we hope you find this at least a useful reference for the framework of your process. For more general guidelines, check out HubSpot's article on the topic.

And it all starts at the top with lead generation. If you want more help generating quality leads to fill your funnel get your free Introduction to Lead Generation guide.

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This blog is part of Your Definitive Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization blog series.


Originally published September 2, 2017, updated November 8, 2018
Tags: lead generation lead nurturing b2b lead generation lead generation companies sales leads