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So you’ve spent money and time on marketing in order to generate leads for your business, but where do you go from here? How do you ensure that the hand-off between your marketing team and your sales reps doesn’t cause the potential lead to fizzle out? How do you justify the money spent on lead generation when, according to LeadLiaison, 80% of marketing-generated leads get lost or ignored? Well, this is where your Lead Management System comes in.

Without leads, you essentially have no business. That’s how important they are to keeping you afloat. But generating, nurturing, capturing, and closing leads can sometimes feel like pulling teeth. With a proper Lead Management System in place, generated leads can be funneled seamlessly through your pipeline. There will be no backsliding with potential leads when they’re funneled from marketing to sales because your marketing team is qualifying leads that aren’t at the buying point in their process yet. Your Lead Management System will ensure that all leads sent down the pipeline are at the proper stage in their buying journey before they hit your sales team.

But before we jump into how to integrate a Lead Management System into your business, let’s first take a look at what Lead Management is.

What Is Lead Management?

Lead Management is the practice of capturing or generating new leads, qualifying and nurturing them, and then handing them off to a sales team. While this may sound like an easy thing to do, where it becomes difficult is the hand-off process. Without a proper Lead Management System in place, your business runs the risk of losing a vast majority of your leads because they haven’t been nurtured enough prior to being funneled down the sales pipeline. 

When a lead is sent off from marketing to sales before they’re ready to purchase, they may simply give up and go elsewhere. This can be due to the prospect feeling rushed, or not understanding how your product or service can help them properly, or a host of other reasons. 

This is why it’s extremely important to have a proper Lead Management System in place for your business. It can help you qualify more of those potential leads that would have otherwise just given up for lack of nurturing.

Lead Management gives your company a proper plan of action. It allows you a clearer understanding of which leads offer “attainable value,” says Zachary Totah at SelectHub. You are then able to focus more time and money on developing those leads, rather than wasting your valuable resources on other less attainable prospects.

Next, let’s take a look at how the Lead Management process works, and how you can make it work for your business.

What is lead management
lead management pipeline

The 6-Step Lead Management Process?

1. Capturing Leads:

The first step in your Lead Management process should always be about capturing leads. Without first being able to bring prospects into your sales funnel, there is no Lead Management System. Capturing leads can be done in a number of ways, some more effective than others. The most effective way to capture leads is through offering high-level content such as trade shows, conferences, and events. According to Drift, companies rated events like those mentioned at 32% effective for capturing leads. Other effective tactics include SEO, your company website, Email marketing, and webinars.

2. Scoring Leads:

Lead scoring is used by a business’s sales and marketing teams to ascertain a prospect’s buying readiness. It places a value on each lead to help you identify those leads that make ideal customers for your product or service. Scores are typically based on two types of behaviors: latent and active. Latent behaviors include attending a webinar, visiting your website or blog, and engaging with early-stage content. These leads tend to receive lower scores than those participating in active behaviors. Leads who click through your website’s pricing page, watch demos, check out mid and late-stage content, or use branded keyword searches receive higher scores. Lower scores indicate that a lead might still need to be nurtured before being funneled to your sales team, while those who receive higher scores are likely more ready to buy.

3. Prioritizing and assigning leads:

Once your leads have been accurately scored, you can start prioritizing and assigning them. This part of the Lead Management System allows you to identify which leads are closer to purchasing, therefore you can prioritize them. It’s important to ensure that leads who wish to purchase are quickly assigned to a sales rep who can close the deal, otherwise, they may slip through your fingers and backslide into a previous stage, or cool down entirely and change their minds. If you make those leads that are close to buying a priority, you have a greater chance of closing the deal.

4. Converting qualified leads:

So you’ve captured a lead, scored them, and prioritized and assigned them to a sales rep. Now what? Now is the time to convert those leads into contacts. Your marketing team has done the work and handed off the lead to the sales team. Converting them from a prospect to a contact or account is how your sales rep drives them through your sales process.

5. Nurturing leads:

This is probably one of the most important steps for your Lead Management System. This is due to the fact that more often than not, a qualified lead is just not ready to make a purchase from the moment they’ve entered your sales pipeline. They often need to be nudged more and more until eventually they’re convinced. The secret to nurturing your leads properly is building strong relationships with your prospects so that you know what information to give them and when. Overwhelming them with info about your product when they’re not quite ready yet can often scare them away. But the more you get to know your lead, the easier you can predict the right time to give them the right information.

6. Evaluating leads:

And now we come to the final step in your Lead Management System process, evaluating leads. Lead evaluation takes lead scoring one step further. It’s in this stage that you will determine which leads are ready to purchase and which ones need more nurturing. But it’s also more than that. Lead evaluation allows you to funnel leads through your sales pipeline based on the quality of those leads. While you want to follow up on all potential leads, it’s important to prioritize those who are of higher quality, or who are likely to spend more money on your product or service. Evaluating your leads allows you to differentiate between top-quality and lower-quality leads.

analyze your lead generation
marketing to sales process

Advantages Of A Lead Management System?

Now that you’ve learned what Lead Management is, and all about the six steps in your Lead Management process, you might be wondering what the advantages of a Lead Management System are. 

First and foremost, a Lead Management System can help increase the productivity of your sales staff. It does this by making the marketing to sales pipeline more effective. When your marketing and sales teams are on the same page about lead scores, it stops the marketing team from just handing over every lead, whether they’re ready to initiate the sales process or not. 

A Lead Management System will also help your team to segment leads and customize the nurturing of those leads. When you know more about your prospects, their businesses, and their pain points, your marketing team is better able to customize those extra little nudges a lead may need before they can be funneled to the sales team. You’ll also be able to segment those leads into, “needs more nudging,” and “ready to buy,” columns. 

When your marketing and sales teams are working together seamlessly, this allows for more timely engagement with their leads. It cuts out the potential for leads falling through the cracks between marketing and sales, as well as fizzling out because they were sent to sales before they were ready to purchase. 

And finally, your Lead Management System will measure your lead generation and management efforts so that you can get a bigger picture of what works and what doesn’t in terms of lead generation. This will help you to invest in the things that attract the greatest number of leads to your business. When you save money on the things that don’t work, you have a greater ability to funnel those investments into lead generation efforts that you know work for your company.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a way to save money, increase productivity, and capture more leads than ever before, employing a proper Lead Management System is paramount for your business. Without one, you run the risk of losing potential prospects through a faulty marketing-to-sales pipeline or by not employing the proper tactics to capture those leads. Capturing, nurturing, and ultimately closing on leads doesn’t have to be difficult. Make it easier for yourself, your teams, and your business, and get on the Lead Management System bandwagon today.

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