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The lead management process is an important part of any business. It is a method that bridges the gap between marketing and sales which increases the chances of turning prospects into customers and ultimately results in more revenue for your business.
What Is Lead Management?
It is a series of steps that businesses use to manage the lead lifecycle of prospective customers. The process entails acquiring, educating, tracking and managing leads until they make the purchase. There is a lot that goes into lead management, namely capturing leads, tracking their behavior, qualifying them and handing them over to the sales team. But if done right, it will not only help your business optimize your entire sales process, it will also increase sales efficiency and your return on investment (ROI).
Why Is Lead Management Important?
Lead management involves analyzing a person’s entire interaction with your business from the moment they first visit your website or respond to an email to the point of the purchase. The information that you collect can tell you all you need to know about the person’s experience with your business and the steps it took for them to be converted from a prospect to a lead and then to a customer. You can leverage this information to optimize your marketing and sales strategy. Lead management also helps with the organization of leads to ensure that your sales reps do not waste time on bad leads with little buying potential.
Benefits of Lead Management
Efficient lead tracking
The process involves tracking the activity of a prospect from initial contact to the closing of the deal. A significant part of efficient lead tracking includes planning and coordination between marketing and sales to determine what a “good lead” looks like to your business. This gives you a clear picture of which leads deserve more focus. Lead tracking provides you with insights into understanding how well each step of your sales process works and where necessary adjustments are needed. Lead tracking, when done efficiently, helps you with the process of identifying strong leads that have a higher chance of turning into customers, helping you make the right decision at the right time.
Using technology and tools that are integrated to work together helps you ensure efficient lead tracking across all channels. There are Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, such as Wingmate’s Simple CRM that integrates seamlessly with over 4000 software which you could use to make the most out of the lead tracking process for your business.
The process involves assigning value points to a lead based on criteria determined by certain attributes that indicate when the lead is most likely to make a purchase. Implementing lead scoring in your lead management process allows you to identify the strategies which result in generating high-quality leads. Having an effective scoring system also aligns marketing and sales, as both departments will have the same set of rules to follow when dealing with leads. It will also increase revenue by ensuring that sales reps reach out to leads in a timely manner, increasing the chance of conversions.
It is a way of creating a search query that impacts the leads that you view based on a series of criteria. It helps you quickly access your contacts and identify which leads need attention. With lead filtering, you can create filters that help you find leads in your list based on a specific attribute.
Better lead insights
Through lead generation, you gain a better understanding of how your leads behave, what motivates them, and the attributes and beliefs that cause them to perform certain actions. These insights help you tailor your marketing strategy in a way that generates more leads and caters to the conversion of your high-quality leads.
Increased sales efficiency
Managing leads allows you to implement the best marketing strategies, which in turn increases your sales efficiency. With an optimized sales process, your sales team is able to convert leads at a faster rate while generating the highest return on your investment.
What Are the Steps to An Effective Lead Management Process?
Lead identification is the first step in the lead management process. It involves collecting information about potential customers and determining if they are a good fit for your business.
The goal of lead identification is to learn everything you can about the customer and then decide whether they fit into your ideal client profile. You don’t want to waste time on leads who aren’t likely to become customers, so it’s important to use this step wisely.
Lead generation is the process of attracting a prospective customer and turning them into a person who shows interest in your product or service; in other words, a lead. There are various strategies that businesses use to generate leads, and they differ according to their industries. For example, You can use cold email marketing to attract a prospect to your product or service and include a Call To Action (CTA) that prompts them to perform a specific action that would indicate an interest in your product. Other strategies include blogging, social media marketing, website landing pages, etc.
Lead generation requires you to research your target audience, which ensures that your product or service is matched with a prospect that feels that you are offering them a means to fulfill their needs or solve a problem, as opposed to targeting a person who would feel as if they are being forced to make a purchase. Besides targeting the right audience, lead generation provides valuable information about your target audience and also helps build your brand by providing prospects with information about your business.
As you now know, lead scoring is a process that helps you identify sales-ready leads through a ranking system that is determined by assigning value points to the leads based on certain attributes. How is that achieved? There is no perfect way to score leads that can be applied across all businesses. Each business has its own scoring system that aligns with its goals. However, there are a few things you can include when designing your scoring system:
- Identify what attributes a lead must have to fit your criteria for a sales-ready lead.
- Understand the behavior of a lead that indicates that they are ready to convert. This can be done by studying past behaviors that leads exhibited before they made a purchase.
- Assign value points based on the different actions that your leads perform. Each point received for an action will determine whether a lead is far or close to conversion.
- Set a score that indicates the number of points a lead will require to be considered a qualified lead.
- To help you keep track of the points of each lead, make use of lead scoring tools such as CRMs or marketing automation tools.
- Always revisit your scoring system and adjust it accordingly.
Lead handoff to sales
This is the process whereby leads are transferred from marketing to sales. Timing plays an important role in this process. You have to make sure that the handoff does not occur too early, as that will result in your sales team wasting time on low-quality leads. To ensure a successful handoff, there needs to be an alignment between sales and marketing which starts at having an agreed-upon definition of a sales-ready lead. This is a crucial step that takes place before a lead is qualified, nurtured and ultimately converted.
Lead nurturing is a process by which you can keep customers engaged with your product or service. It’s an essential part of the lead management process because it gives your business a chance to build a relationship with potential customers before they make a purchase.
A good lead nurturing campaign should be personalized and relevant to each customer’s interests. The goal is to get them to take action, whether that means signing up for an account or subscribing to your newsletter. When you nurture leads, you’re trying to create a sense of urgency around your product or service so that they’ll be ready to buy when the time comes.
Monitoring and Optimization
Monitoring the movement of your leads through various stages in the sales funnel helps you get a better understanding of how potential customers interact with your business and what strategies drive their decisions. It also informs you on when it is best to implement your follow-up strategy. This will allow you to not only gain valuable information to help you customize your sales pitch but also use the information to refine your sales process.
Lead Management Best Practices
Monitor your lead generation efforts
Developing and implementing lead generation strategies for your business is essential, but you should also monitor those efforts to see if they are working effectively. There are metrics and tools that you can use to track and improve your lead generation efforts, and this is how:
- Use website engagement metrics to assess the quality of your content
- Use your lead scoring system to monitor quality leads with a focus on their conversion and closing rates
- Analyze your marketing channels to determine which yields the best results in terms of converted leads
Foster Communication Between Sales and Marketing
Alignment between sales and marketing is necessary for better productivity, better use of resources and better customer experiences. Equipped with valuable content from marketing, sales can engage leads effectively and close more deals. Communication between sales and marketing can be improved by:
- Ensuring that both departments have common goals, visions and metrics.
- Using technology that is accessible and supports communication. The technology should be easily incorporated into both departments’ workflows.
- Both departments should make use of the same metrics. Sharing information will result in both sales and marketing making better decisions when determining Key Performance Indicators.
- Set up regular meetings to encourage the sharing of valuable information between sales and marketing. This will benefit both departments in that sales can be better prepared when communicating with leads, and marketing can stay up to date with customer trends and needs.
The lead management process is a vital part of any business, as it allows the company to communicate better with its customers. The process allows for more efficient communication between sales and marketing, which means that the company can reach its target audience more effectively.
A business that uses the lead management process will be able to better organize its leads based on its criteria, which makes it easier for sales to reach out to the right leads when they need them. They will be able to revise and improve their marketing strategy to ensure higher conversion rates. This will save time and money while still helping the business get more sales from its marketing efforts.
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