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How to Manage Your Leads and Sales Development Process With Connect 365 

While we are still waiting on flying taxis and sentient robot maids promised to us by The Jetsons, the truth is if you plan on maximizing the value of the marketing automation technology available today, it pays off to spend some time planning and overseeing the process.

In today’s blog post, we wanted to break down a typical workflow of a sales process and share some ideas and insights into the best actions to automate along the way.

First, let’s start off with boiling down a sales funnel to its most critical stages.

Prospect > Lead > Client

Now you might see these stages given different names by different bloggers or sales gurus. Or as is more often the case, you’ll see them complicate this simple workflow into a variety of subcategories.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Funnels can become as complex as you want to make them.

But at its core, we’ve found these three broad categories best describe the most common stages of an outbound sales funnel.

Prospect (n):

A person (or people) that fit the demographic criteria of a potential client. A prospect requires you to have the ability to get in touch with them (contact details).

They should match the profile of a potential buyer. But at this stage they may have yet to signal interest or communicate their specific problem or need. 

They should be in the right position and right type of company that you are looking to sell to.

Lead (n):

A prospect who has shown interest or engaged to take the next step. Most often this is defined by them booking an appointment. But it could also be defined as a registrant for your upcoming webinar, or filling out a contact form for more information.

Leads are sales opportunities. A lead means you have the ability to build a stronger relationship and if there’s a mutual fit introduce your offer.

Leads can either turn into clients (yay!) or not. That may be due to your product or service not being the right fit for them OR a case where you decide the lead isn’t the right fit for you.

But all leads will eventually be either a client, not a fit, or someone who needs more time.

Leads don’t always convert to clients from one initial call. Based on your sales cycle and sales cadence you may utilize the initial conversation to qualify the lead and set up a more formal demonstration as a next step.

Client (n): New customer. Enough said. 😉

Now specifically when it comes to email outreach campaigns to your prospects or leads, there are a few ways to go about managing the workflow for these individuals.

Most often users want to either Add Tags to segment their audience (ie ‘If your prospect books a call’ > ‘Apply a Tag to Mark Them as a Lead’) or to Remove them from Follow-up (ie ‘Prospect becomes a lead’ > ‘Remove Campaign Tag’). 

Since we are dealing with email, you would want to base your automations or (‘Advanced Actions’) on engagements that your recipients are making with specific emails within your campaigns (or with your other software.

Let’s dive into different ways you can use Connect 365 for Lead Management

Removing Contacts from Campaigns Based on Email Engagement

The internal system in Connect 365 to automate actions based on interactions your recipients make with your emails are called ‘Advanced Actions.’

This allows you to automate actions (‘Add a tag’, ‘Remove a tag’, ‘Mark as Do Not Message’) based on triggers (‘When an email is sent’, ‘When an email is opened’, ‘When an email is replied to’, ‘When a link is clicked’)

Since Tags control which campaigns your contacts are a part of - to add or remove contacts from a campaign would require the removal or addition of specific campaign tags. 

Removing Contacts From Campaigns Who Reply 

Let’s say your campaign has a series of 6 messages.

And starting with the 3rd message in that sequence, you ask the prospect if they’d like to book an appointment.

It stands to reason that whether they reply to say yes (or to say no), that you’d want to remove them from the immediate follow-up in that 6-message campaign.

To do this, you would open the specific campaign and navigate to the 'Advanced Actions' tab within that campaign.

Choose the Trigger 'When a reply is received.'

Then choose the message within that campaign you want the action applied for.

And finally choose the Action - 'Remove Tag(s)' and choose the campaign tag that controls who should receive the campaign messages.

Our system will only remove the tags based on a direct reply (out of office/autoreplies ignored) to the message within that thread.

NOTE: If you are sending out emails via an Alias, our system will not be able to automatically detect replies. Due to the limitations of how Alias accounts work (autoforwarded replies will change the email headers), you will need to manually remove your campaign tags from contacts when you receive a reply if you would like to remove them from your campaign(s).

When using an alias you will still have the Advanced Action options for Triggers based on Opens, Sent Messages, and Link Clicks.

Remove Contacts By Link Click

Or maybe the trigger you want to use to remove a contact from a campaign is based on them clicking a link within a campaign.

First, you'll need to 'Enable Link Tracking' on the link in question within your emails.

Then Navigate to the 'Advanced Actions' tab within that campaign.

Choose the Trigger 'When an email is clicked through.'

Then choose the message within that campaign you want the action applied for. And the tracked Messaging Link within that Message you want to set the action for.

And finally choose the Action - 'Remove Tag(s)' and choose the campaign tag that controls who should receive the campaign messages.

Adding New Contacts from Campaigns Based on Email Engagement

By Sent Email

Based on a contact being sent a specific email message, you might want to tag them separately to add them into a different follow-up. This often happens when users want to add a contact to a long-term sales follow-up messaging campaign after they've been through a shorter term sequence or campaign.

To add a tag to a contact who received a specific email: 

  1. Navigate to the 'Advanced Actions' tab within that campaign.
  2. Choose the Trigger, 'When an email is sent.'
  3. Select the message within that campaign you want the action applied for.
  4. And finally choose the Action - 'Apply Tag(s)' and choose the Tag you'd like to apply.

By Open (or Reply)

You might find you have a use case to add a contact to a separate campaign you’ve created based on them opening or replying to a specific campaign email.

While these aren’t the most common use cases (automatic message to any reply feels impersonal as it’s not referencing their specific reply AND a campaign that references ‘I noticed you’ve been checking out our emails’ feels like Big Brother is watching), you might have a use case to add contacts into separate campaigns based on their engagement with your messages.

If so, simply set the trigger for each individual message to be based on ‘When a reply is received’ or ‘When an email is opened’ and Apply the Tag(s) associated with the corresponding alternate campaign.

Note: You will additionally want to create an Advanced Action to remove the Tag for the initial campaign so that you don’t have these individuals in two simultaneous campaigns.

How Else Can You Use Advanced Actions to Manage Your Leads In Connect 365?

As we mentioned above most often our users aren’t adding contacts who open or reply into separate campaigns initially, but they may want to more easily segment their contacts who have been engaged from those who haven’t.

Advanced Actions are again a way to apply tags to engaged individuals to more easily segment these audiences in the future without having these tags being linked to a current campaign.

While Tags functionally work to control which contacts you add into your campaigns, they can also be utilized simply to segment your audience without requiring it being associated to a campaign.

Perhaps you want to easily find in the future which contacts have Replied to Call Request emails (but are not yet clients).

Or maybe you just want to see which individuals opened an upcoming email. (while you can always view this within a Campaigns Analytics page (we’ll show how to view that below), maybe you want the option in the future to easily add those people into custom campaigns.

Adding Tags to Contacts Who Open Campaign Emails

Based on a contact opening a specific email message, you might want to tag them separately to add them into a different follow-up OR you might want to simply Apply a Tag that categorizes that contact as having opened that message without having that tag being associated with a campaign. I.e. 'Opened 4-17 Email About Upcoming Event'

To add a tag to a contact who opened a specific email, Navigate to the 'Advanced Actions' tab within that campaign.

Choose the Trigger 'When an email is opened'

Then choose the message within that campaign you want the action applied for.

And finally choose the Action - 'Apply Tag(s)' and choose the Tag you'd like to apply.

Adding Tags to Contacts Who Reply to Campaign Emails

Based on a contact replying to a specific email message, you might want to tag them separately to add them into a different follow-up OR you might want to simply Apply a Tag that categorizes that contact as having replied to that message without having that tag being associated with adding them to a different campaign.

To add a tag to a contact who replied to a specific email you need to:

  1. Navigate to the 'Advanced Actions' tab within that campaign.
  2. Select the message within that campaign you want the action applied for.
  3. And finally choose the Action - 'Apply Tag(s)' and choose the Tag you'd like to apply.

What if the Action Takes Place Outside of Email?

Let’s say you provide an appointment booking link in your message. And that booking calendar is managed through a 3rd-party tool.

How can you ensure your prospect gets removed from the appropriate sequence?

Or let’s say instead you want to add specific contacts into a follow-up campaign.

Maybe you have a landing page for your ebook on your site.

Whenever someone opts in, you want to add them into a specific campaign in your Connect 365 account automatically.

The way to integrate your Connect 365 campaigns with your other marketing software is through our Zapier integration.

Using Connect 365 With Zapier To Manage Leads.

Zapier is an easy-to-use tool that lets your different marketing softwares communicate with each other.

Let’s take a look at some common use cases for this..

Let’s say you want to remove a Lead who booked a call on your Calendly calendar from your email outreach campaign within Connect 365.

Zapier works similar to Advanced Actions meaning you have a Trigger and a corresponding Action.

In this case the ‘Trigger’ would be an appointment being booked in Calendly (or ‘Invitee Created’).

The Action would be to tell Connect 365 to remove any relevant or existing tags on that contact record within Connect 365.

When a tag that is associated with a specific campaign is removed from that contact, it would take them out of the remaining messaging they were scheduled for.

Now let’s say instead you want to Add contacts who take an action into your Connect 365 automatically and input them into a follow-up sequence.

Maybe in your case you are using a tool like Seamless.AI to find prospects in the first place.

In this situation your Trigger might be ‘New Contact’ Found.

And the resulting Action within Connect 365 would be to ‘Add a Contact’.

If you’d like to add them into a Connect 365 campaign that you’ve previously created, the best route is to use the Add a Tag field within your Zap from above.

You can then type in the Tag Name associated with the specific sequence you’d like to add them to.

Want a better system for getting leads and clients? 

Then you need to attend our upcoming workshop that goes step by step through our lead generation process that has been so successful in our clients’ businesses -- the L.E.A.D. Blueprint.  Sign up here now!

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