This phrase may have been true at one point in time, but the digital age has changed everything. The reality is that your target demographic has so many options that merely building something isn’t enough. To achieve the results you want, it’s vital that you maintain it for long-term success. This is important when it comes to your approach to lead generation, and more specifically, how you manage leads in the sales pipeline.
A comprehensive sales lead management strategy is what it’ll take to give your business the ability to grow a solid pipeline of potential customers. You’ll need a steady stream of leads to continue increasing revenue, and a solid lead management strategy can help you achieve this objective.
In this blog, we’ll cover the following:
What Is Lead Management?
Lead management is a system that helps companies ensure their sales pipeline continues to gain momentum and generate revenue growth over the long term. Lead generation is about acquiring and managing leads until the time the leads, or prospective customers, make their buying decisions.
When it comes to lead management, the goal is to:
- Acquire and capture potential customers
- Find patterns in their behavior and activities
- Educate and interact with them
- Communicate your company’s value proposition
- Explain how they can make purchases
How to Approach the Lead Management Process
Depending on the lead management solution your business practices, you’ll be able to categorize leads based on which phase of the process prospective customers fall into. It’s essential to understand the various stages of the lead management process and know how to deal with prospective clients at the various stages. Knowing what to do will increase conversion rates.
When it comes down to it, there are five major stages in the lead management process:
- Lead Capturing
- Lead Tracking
- Lead Qualification
- Lead Distribution
- Lead Nurturing
Many businesses typically assign teams to follow up on leads. The goal is to convince prospective customers that buying products or services from your company is in their best interests.
In the past, businesses performed lead management manually. But if you want to generate a lot of leads and achieve a high conversion rate where these leads quickly become clients, you need a way to automate the process. A lead management system means your business will have help managing leads in a way that makes the entire process manageable and productive. This is often done through a customer relationship management (CRM) software like Salesforce or HubSpot.
When your company generates inbound leads, you can be sure that many of these leads have some level of interest in your products and services. But no customer wants to be left waiting for days or weeks to hear back from a company. If you don’t have a lead management system in place, that can lead to poor lead engagement and low customer satisfaction rates.
How Does Lead Management Impact Lead Generation?
Research shows that 96% of customers acknowledge that customer service factors into their decision to show loyalty to a brand. While you might have the best products and services in the world, that will be for nothing if customers don’t feel their loyalty is appreciated. Your business has to have a customer-centric approach and show customers that their support matters. Therefore, your business must be accessible, respond to questions or concerns quickly, and resolve issues as soon as they rise.
If you drop the ball at any point during the lead management stage, many prospective clients won’t give you a second chance. That’s why your business must demonstrate a high level of professionalism during the lead management process. Prospective clients will be able to see your value proposition and buy your products and services. This is one of the primary benefits of lead management, and your business is missing out if you’re not using it to its advantage.
What Are the Stages of Lead Management?
As mentioned above, there are five major stages in the sales lead management process. It’s important to know what they are so that your business understands how to engage with would-be customers based on which stages these leads happen to be in, so let’s jump into what each of these stages entail.
Stage 1. Lead Capturing
The first step in the lead management process is lead capturing. Your business can generate leads by taking advantage of different proven strategies for enticing would-be customers. They include but aren’t limited to cold calling, pay-per-click advertising, social media posting, website posts, email marketing, and webinars. Your company can use these types of lead capture strategies to get prospective clients in your target market to reach out for more information, for a free trial, or whatever you’d like them to achieve.
Stage 2. Lead Tracking
A key component of every sales presentation should be to speak to a pain point. If you know your ideal customer (you should if you’re in B2B sales), then you already know their pain points and understand why they may need your products or services. Use this to your advantage. Identify a problem, use statistics to back up your statements, and use the issue to lead into your value proposition.
Stage 3. Lead Qualification
It’s important to consider just how motivated your leads actually are. When you get the right lead management solution, you’ll be able to figure out which clients are on the verge of making buying decisions by considering factors like the interest they’ve expressed in your products and services, their previous engagement with your company, and more. With a lead qualification process in place, your staff will be able to prioritize leads, so prospective clients who appear to be on the verge of buying decisions get an appropriate level of attention. It’s also about not spending excessive time on leads that are unlikely to lead to sales.
Stage 4. Lead Distribution
If your business diligently seeks out leads, you’ll face the not-so-unpleasant problem of having many leads to sort through. That’ll require having a way to divvy up the leads among the workers assigned to get in touch with potential customers. It’s important to reach out to prospective customers as soon as possible. If you get a lead today, you don’t want to put off contacting that lead for a week. Failing to reach leads in a timely manner could cost your business a customer. After all, a motivated lead might choose to look elsewhere rather than sit around and wait for a callback. The right lead generation system will assign leads based on workload, skill set, and experience. You may want to assign leads that are at certain stages of the lead management process to specific workers with the right mix of skills.
In a perfect world, all your leads would quickly move through the lead management process and become long-term customers. But there is no specific time frame for leads to get from being interested in your products and services to being ready to complete sales transactions. Lead nurturing is about educating prospective customers about your products and selling them on your company’s value proposition. You want to convince your target market that your business offering is what they need. You can use a sales lead management software application to reach out to leads who might need to be nudged in the right direction. All they require is the right information demonstrating how what you offer will benefit them and why your offering is better than rival offerings.
If you want more insight into the best ways to follow up with sales leads, read our blog here.
How Does Lead Management Work?
After you’ve acquired or generated leads, you’ll need to keep on top of them so that nothing falls between the tracks and so that prospective clients are contacted in a timely manner. The first stage, lead capturing, is the stage where you gather basic contact information about your leads. That means you’ll have their personal names, business names and addresses, position title, email addresses, phone numbers, and anything else that’s relevant for closing business with your company.
However, the tracking stage takes things a step further, and this means gathering behavioral data on prospective customers. Lead tracking is how you can get this important information that can help shape your marketing efforts so that they align with what your target demographic is looking for.
When your company tracks leads using the right lead management software, your staff can create targeted marketing campaigns to turn would-be clients into paying customers. You can use lead management software to track where leads are in the lead management process based on the captured behavioral data.
But how can you get the information you need to do this?
There are several things you can do. For instance, you can track leads through email marketing and surveys. You can also keep track of how they use your website. Look at what pages they visit, what links they click, how long they stay on certain pages, and more.
Using the right software will make tracking your inbound and outbound leads easier. On the one hand, the former refers to leads originating from organic searches such as search engines, forms filled out online, and phone calls. On the other hand, the latter refers to leads originating from pay-per-click ads, cold calls, and email campaigns.
When lead tracking management is done correctly, your business will get the following benefits:
- Figure out if prospects are on the verge of making buying decisions
- Ensure that no leads fall between the cracks
- Develop more impactful marketing campaigns based on data collected
When it comes to tracking sales leads, the key is to get the right lead management software. It would be inaccurate to suggest that one lead management software is necessarily as good as another. Your business will find it easier to track leads and turn them into customers when you have the right software application.
Why Use Lead Management?
Why does your company need to use lead management? Even if you recognize the potential benefits, you might still wonder if your business needs a lead management solution. But the reality is that such a tool can benefit businesses of all sizes and in virtually all industries. Every company needs to focus on growing operations by finding new customers, adding new products and services, and other strategies. When you have the right lead management solution, your business can create marketing campaigns and gauge how effective they are based on things like the behavior of leads.
Here’s a run-down of what your business can look forward to if you prioritize lead management:
You Can Focus on the Right Leads
The right lead management strategy will allow your company to weed out unqualified leads, enabling you to concentrate on pursuing high-value leads. You’ll find it easier to capitalize on sales opportunities and achieve higher close rates. Spending a lot of time on unqualified leads wastes time and effort. So, it’ll help if your business can put more time and effort into the most promising leads.
You Can Make the Most of Marketing Budget
Lead management will give your business insight into where your leads originate from. With this information, you’ll be able to update or overhaul your marketing and advertising campaigns on platforms that account for your leads.
You Enhance a Customer’s Buying Experience
The best case scenario is for leads to become paying customers quickly. But the reality is that leads move at different paces. Some go on to become customers and others decide to go elsewhere for the products and services they need. With the right sales lead management solution, your company will be able to help leads get to the point of making decisions. You can do this by sending them helpful information, making it easy for them to ask questions, and providing detailed answers promptly.
You Can Boost Efficiency and Productivity
Your company will understand which leads to prioritize, which will mean greater efficiency and productivity. Rather than spending time calling random leads in the sales pipeline, a lead management process enables your sales reps to prioritize leads based on their readiness to buy, allowing your sales team to get more meetings and generate more revenue.
Are you willing to take your company’s lead management to the next level? Whether you don’t have such a solution or don’t like the one you currently have, it’s crucial to find the right sales lead management solution to generate more leads and close more deals. If you’re not using a lead management strategy, you’re missing out on significant business opportunities.
At Abstrakt Marketing Group, we help clients build and sustain their sales pipelines through outbound sales development and inbound marketing. If you’re looking to outsource lead generation efforts, don’t just partner with just any service provider—outsource to a team of high-performing business growth experts. When you’re ready to take practical steps to grow your business, contact the lead generation experts at Abstrakt!