Salesforce is a popular cloud computing Software as a Service (SaaS) company specializing in CRM (Customer Relationship Management). In other words, it is an integrated CRM platform that further provides your work departments a single, shared simple view of every customer.
Now, let’s discuss the Salesforce Lead Process.
What is a Lead?
In sales/business terms, a ‘lead’ implies a potential customer. Or, in other words, it refers to a prospective customer who is interested in buying a product or service. But, there is no guarantee that a lead is agreeing to buy that product or service or ready to invest in the company. Instead, these leads are actually comparing the same product or service with other companies and looking at the pros and cons closely.
In the case of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), there is a life cycle through which the leads flow. But even with the life cycle, different factors give a guarantee if a lead will convert into a customer or not.
Let’s learn how this life cycle works through Salesforce Lead Process and all the steps involved in the same.
For a lead to be qualified, four factors are further access by the sales and marketing team. Through these, they further ensure if the lead is a potential customer or not.
This qualification criterion is also known as BANT Qualification, which is further discussed below:
The first qualification involves Budget. This further implies if the lead or suspect has a budget that they can spend on the product or service easily.
Through this qualification, you can determine if the lead or suspect is having real authority to make the final purchase of a product or service.
With the help of this, you can determine if the lead or suspect has a requirement for that particular product or service, or not.
With the last qualification, it can be determined if the lead or suspect has a specific timeline to make the final purchase of the product or service. Also, it can be determined if they are willing to make the purchase or not, within the same timeline.
2. Sales Funnel:
Once all the 4 BANT Qualifications are met by a lead, it is then taken to the next level of the Salesforce Lead Process.
Talking about a traditional sales funnel, it refers to the best possible path that companies always hope for their leads to follow so as to become customers. It is one of the most essential concepts for the sales and marketing team to follow.
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The top of the funnel represents the goal of the company for lead generation. While the bottom-most part signifies the number of customers that got converted from the list of leads, by the end of the sales process.
A traditional model of this funnel has the following stages, which can change according to the company’s requirements:
3. Lead Life Cycle:
In the case of a sales funnel, the leads that don’t make it through the bottom of the funnel just disappear. While in the case of the lead life cycle, whenever a lead makes it through the end of the cycle and gets rejected, they are again allowed to begin from the starting point of the cycle.
The life cycle in the Salesforce Lead Process involves the following stages:
When one of the criteria of BANT Qualification is met, the lead is considered as a “Suspect” or an “Inquiry”. The marketing team works on this closely.
MQL or “Marketing Qualified Leads” represents the leads that have qualified 2 BANT qualifications. These leads are “Prospects” and can be named as potential customers.
SAL or “Sales Accepted Leads” represent the leads that are reviewed by the pre-sales team. These are then put forward to the inbound sales team to review.
SQL or Salesforce Qualified Leads represents the leads that give a positive review from the inbound team. Moreover, they determine if the lead is a potential customer, or not.
So as to be considered as a sales opportunity, the lead has to meet 3 BANT Qualifications. After that, it moves on to the last step of the cycle.
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A Customer has to fulfill all the 4 BANT Qualifications. This serves as the last step of the lead life cycle.
4. Lead Statuses:
All the main teams following up with the lead process, that is, marketing, pre-sales, and inbound teams work closely to make sure that the lead statuses are properly defined. These lead statuses are classified as follows:
This signifies the entry of a new lead that has not yet been contacted.
This signifies that the marketing team is following up with the new lead closely for further process.
This status represents the pre-sales team who is working on the prospect, and further, identify if they are fit to be a customer or not.
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This point represents the lead that would convert to an opportunity by the inbound sales team.
This status is given to the lead, whose customer profile does not fit or the company’s products cannot satisfy their requirements.
This status is given to the lead, whose information is not considered as accurate.
To sum up, the Salesforce Lead Process helps the companies while making lead management easier. The creation of leads and the conversion into opportunities look very simple, but in reality, the Salesforce Lead Process has made a complex process into a simple one.
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