In my last article, I talked about the first four most important tasks to do with a sales lead: verify it, enter it, qualify it and fulfill it. Here are the last three steps.

1. Distribute it: Leads get cold fast, especially in today’s world of instant communication. It’s essential to get qualified leads to the sales team that will be doing follow-up as soon as possible. Set up a system to flag well-qualified prospects for immediate contact by your best sales representatives.

2. Source it: Use promotion codes to identify the lead source, so you can measure the results of your lead generation marketing campaigns and pinpoint which mailing list, offer or marketing tactic produced the response.

3. Nurture it: The business-buying cycle can be lengthy and complicated. It may take a long time for even a highly qualified prospect to become a client. Create a marketing communications plan to nurture leads over an extended time period by sending prospects a steady stream of high-value content, special offers, invitations to events and other outreach tailored to their interests.

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Jean M. Gianfagna is a marketing strategist and the founder and president of Gianfagna Strategic Marketing, which provides marketing strategy and creative services to business-to-business and consumer marketers. Read her blog for more marketing tips at http://www.gianfagnamarketing.com/blog.