Business-to-business marketers often use direct marketing, e-mail, advertising, trade shows, the Web and other marketing tactics to generate sales leads. But a smart lead generation marketing strategy goes well beyond the creation of the marketing campaign. Here are the first four of seven steps you should take with a marketing-generated sales lead to achieve success:

1. Verify it: Check the accuracy and completeness of the data the prospect provided to be sure you have the information for an ongoing sales dialogue. If the lead is from a Web form, all contact information (name, title, company, address, phone and e-mail address) should be required fields.

2. Enter it: Get the lead data into your prospect database. Your data entry process should have well-established quality control standards to ensure data accuracy.

3. Qualify it: Not all leads are of equal value. Ideally, your response device should include a few qualifying questions to gauge the prospect’s needs, interests, timeframe and authority to buy. If not, or you need to know more, call the prospect to find out. Use this information to route the lead into the right sales queue for the next steps in the conversion process.

4. Fulfill it: If your marketing campaign made an offer to the prospect – such as a free report, gift, premium or product sample – deliver what you promised and use the fulfillment step to demonstrate your interest in a relationship by responding quickly and personalizing the fulfillment messaging.

Look tomorrow for the last three things an advisor needs to do with a new lead.

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Jean M. Gianfagna is a marketing strategy expert and the founder and president of Gianfagna Strategic Marketing, which provides marketing strategy and creative services to business-to-business and consumer marketers. Gianfagna has been creating and implementing marketing communications plans and programs for more than 30 years. Read her blog for more marketing tips at http://www.gianfagnamarketing.com/blog.