I love all the lead process maps salesforce.com releases – they are visually appealing splashes of eye candy that give newbies a good idea of how data could flow through the system. If you haven’t seen these before you can find them here, here and here.
The main problem with these lead process flow maps is really within the first step of “create a new lead” because, in practice, this isn’t how it usually works. Duplicate records cripple the sales organization’s ability to see the true history of an individual and cloud their ability to accurately track and measure outcomes, which is why they dedupe before creating a new lead. However, once companies start to dedupe, many of them lose sight of their contact database and are not able to communicate to sales when a follow up needs to occur or track the outcome.
Up to this point, many of the processes and metrics marketers have employed have been almost entirely lead-centric. The good news is, you can easily track engagement with your contact database and it’s not as hard as it may seem.
Here is my take on what a best practice lead management process in SFDC should look like for an organization that dedupes:
To learn more about this check out Best Practices for Designing a Lead Lifecycle in Salesforce.com.