Companies globally spend millions of dollars on generating leads. They employ adroit marketing professionals, use the best promotional strategies and run creative ad campaigns to acquire customers. Well even after all the efforts and hard work, very few manage to convert them into paying customers.

79% of marketing leads never convert into sales.

This mostly happens because several companies fail to give proper attention to lead management which is the second most crucial step after lead generation.

For most of the growing businesses, lead management turns into an arduous task as they are loaded with many inquiries. They are unable to handle the leads and ultimately lose them.

If as an entrepreneur, you aim to expand your profits and grow your business, then ensure you are managing your leads efficiently.

Below are a few statistics that needs your attention

  • Lead conversion is determined 57% by lead quality and 43% by lead response time.
  • Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads.
  • Only about 20 to 25% of the leads you acquire are legitimate and ready to advance into the sales funnel.
  • Verifying sales leads before passing it to the sales team is conducted by only 56% of B2B companies

What is lead management?

Lead management is a conglomeration of methodologies, processes as well as systems for tracking and managing potential clients. It is a systematic way to receive, and asses leads for converting them into a source of revenue. A smartly planned lead management strategy can optimize the value of your lead and increase the velocity of your sales cycle.

A well-executed lead management strategy can produce significant savings, reduce time spent in the sales funnel, and bring sales and marketing into closer collaboration” – Cindy Collins- Taylor

Why is lead management important?

It is great to have a consistent stream of leads, but it’s pointless if they just get piled up without any progress. In most of the cases, they are scattered over the places escalating the difficulty level. The aim of a lead management process is to avoid the mess and get the leads organized for ensuring the sales opportunities are leveraged without slipping through the crack.

A proper lead management process can:

  • Ameliorate the sales flow and improves the odds of conversion.
  • Help in understanding the origin of your sales leads
  • Make your sales team more efficient by rendering more clarity and minimizing confusion.

Moreover, a systematic process also helps in identifying and filtering out the unqualified leads in real-time to ensure your sales team doesn’t waste their precious hours chasing bad sales leads.

An effective lead management process aids in focusing your sales efforts in the right direction and helps in optimizing your marketing strategies. It aids in understanding what exactly you need to do to attract your lead’s interest. Besides, with a strong process in place, you can also create a good buying experience for converting the lead.

Benefits of lead management  

There are many opportunities out there, but none of them will be of value if they are carelessly handled. Most of the early staged leads tend to get lost due to poor management. Thankfully with a strong lead management program, you can prevent loss of leads and contribute more towards the growth of your revenue.

Below are the benefits of proper lead management:

1. Build instant contact

A proper lead management process is pivotal in establishing instant contacts that can be gradually transformed into a strong and lasting relationship. No one is ready to wait in this fast-paced business world, for progressing a lead, it needs to be given immediate attention.

When the process is clear, it becomes easier to connect with the leads and address their issues. As per a study, 35-50% of sales go to the person who responds first to an inquiry. A quick response creates a good image and assures that you are genuinely interested in helping a company overcome their hurdles to growth. It gives them more reasons to do business with you.

2. Maintain continuous and effective communication

Constant communication is the key to push the lead forward in the buying cycle which is possible through effective lead management. Moreover, with a well-planned lead management campaign easily engage leads who are open to learning more about your business and product. Make the most of the technologies that offer the flexibility to automate your emails, so that you can enhance your communication for qualifying your leads quickly.

3. Easily access lead information

As we know lead management keeps everything clean and organized. So, in a tidy structure, the lead information is easily accessible. With everything conveniently available, you can plan and prioritize your leads efficiently. You’ll be able to use your time more effectively for achieving positive results.

Lead management process

After seeing the importance and benefits of having a lead management process, it’s time to delve deeper into the process.

1. Lead capture

Most of the companies are aware of their business problems, so they browse through various sites and channels to find a solution. With dollar sign handing over their heads, these leads turn into a valuable source of revenue for an organization. As an entrepreneur, you would like to attract them towards the solution your offer. Therefore, businesses try to capture the lead and bring them on board to familiarize them with the products or services.

Lead capture is a vital phase of the lead management process. For capturing maximum leads, it is necessary to make this path as simple as possible so that leads can easily reach your product.

  • Develop enticing website content so that they are motivated to click the email links or web forms.
  • Optimize your web forms for easily collecting your lead’s information.
  • Create a targeted and persuasive value proposition for driving action.
  • Ensure you have an alluring call to action to guide your leads to take the next step.
  • Keep live chat option for building instant contact.

2. Lead tracking

Once you capture the lead, your next step would be to track the source of the lead. You managed to collect the contact information of a lead which is great, but that isn’t the end of the road. It is necessary to understand from which channel did the lead come? Find out whether it came from your landing page or the contact form or maybe from one of the social media platforms.

Dig into the source to understand what’s working. Only when you know the source, you can bolster it to capture more leads. This is especially important when you have multiple touchpoints. You can take the help of Google analytics for finding the source of the lead or use the reporting feature of a CRM software.

3. Lead distribution

Prevent your leads from landing into your competitor’s database. Distribute them as soon as you receive them so that the best sales rep can take care of it. Think about the instances when you too explored options when you didn’t get a revert for the requested information. Don’t put your leads in the same situation, ask the specific sales rep to contact them instantly. The more you wait, the higher are the chances of losing a sales lead. As per research the odds of making contact drop by 3000x if the first call is made 5 hours after lead submission.

4. Leads qualification

In this stage of the lead management process, the leads are analyzed to find out if they are worth your precious time or not. Here you segment and prioritize the leads so that the most valuable ones can be pursued first and the low qualified can be eliminated at the right time. Lead qualification help in understanding the buyer’s intent if they are interested in purchasing your product or not.

For instance, on tracking the emails, you get to know that a potential buyer isn’t even opening your email. You tried several times but failed to get a response. So, in this case, there are chances that the buyer might not be interested in dealing with you. Based on the behavior patterns you can qualify a lead and take them to the next stage.

Lead nurturing

Few leads might be interested in your solution, but they still have the cloud of doubt hovering over them. Such leads need to be gradually nurtured using the right tactics. The experience you provide can positively impact their decisions and give them reasons to mull over your product or service. So, pay extra attention to this stage of the lead management process and take all the necessary steps required to nurture the lead.

  • Follow-up on time
  • Personalize the emails
  • Create targeted content
  • Educate them through newsletter and blogs
  • Create content around the buyer’s pain points

Lead management best practices

For succeeding in sales, you need to try every method, strategy, tactics, and practices available. Following a lead management process isn’t enough, you need to find out the perfect ways of doing it. Here are lead management best practices for getting the most out of your efforts.

1. Have a singular understanding of lead

There needs to be a single definition of a lead that all the teams of the organization understands and follows. Most the leads that reach the sales team aren’t acted upon; either because they aren’t assigned to the right person or the leads are not prepared to engage yet. Just because someone expressed an interest in your product/ service that doesn’t mean they are ready to interact with the sales rep.

The sales and the other teams of the organization need to understand the thin line between suspect and lead. The marketing team should know when a suspect becomes lead and is ready to be passed on to the sales team. The right timing is essential in sales for increasing conversions.

2. Regularly updating the status of the lead

For successful lead management, it is requisite to update the status of the lead. Following a formalized process can augment productivity and minimize inefficiencies. Most of the sales reps are in a rush, so they fail to update the status of the lead which results in unnecessary clutter. Though this task might seem time-consuming but it’s worth the effort as you can understand which leads need immediate attention, and which needs to be removed from the funnel.

3. Aligning sales and marketing team

Most of the time you might have seen the sales and marketing teams playing the blame game. The company loses many opportunities due to this dispute and indifference. Sales and marketing teams are two powerful entities that need to be united for boosting top line growth.

Organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing had 36% higher customer retention rates and achieved 38% higher sales win rates.

Bridge the communication gap between these two teams to ensure the right lead related information is shared and updated. The alignment makes the lead management process smooth and improves the level of engagement.

4. Measure everything

For an effective lead management process, ensure you are measuring everything you do. Use a CRM or others analytics tool to measure vital metrics like-

  • lead source
  • cost per lead
  • and size of the opportunity.

Based on the information gathered by analyzing these metrics you can refine your process, take informed decisions, and plan your strategy.

Salesmate CRM for better lead management

Increase the pace of your work by combining your skills with advanced technology. Software like Salesmate – lead management CRM can be of great help in managing your leads efficiently. It gives you control over your sales and aids in converting a lead.

With Salesmate CRM you can-

  • Capture and streamline the information of the leads
  • Automatically assign the leads to your team
  • Track the lead activities and get all necessary updates on-time
  • Create insightful reports for better lead management
  • Create sequence emails for engaging your leads and following up on-time
  • Maintain transparency between the teams with a centralized database
  • Records call and hear it later for understanding the buyer’s intent
  • Integrate with various other applications for working with more functionalities

Wrapping up

Every company needs sales-ready leads. But you won’t get things by just ‘wanting’’ it; you need to work hard for it. Explore and experiment everything possible; try new tactics and strategies. Monitor your lead’s activities and keep them organized.

Seamless coordination between sales and marketing team is a must if you don’t want to lose your precious leads. Play your cards smartly by taking the right steps and converting leads will turn into an effortless task. Use the best lead management practices and technology to succeed. To see how salesmate can support your sales efforts and aid in managing leads you can try it for free.