Your business needs new leads to thrive, and lead management is exactly what is sounds like.
Let’s face it. If you aren’t driving new prospects into your sales funnel on a daily basis, then you’re going to have trouble remaining profitable.
Running a successful business isn’t only about getting leads. You must also have a process that makes it easy to track those leads all the way through the sales process.
That’s where a process for sales lead management comes into play. Here’s what you need to know about lead management.
What is Lead Management?
Lead management is the process of identifying and capturing potential customers throughout the sales cycle. Leads are also called prospects. They are people who have shown some interest in the product you offer by requesting more information about it.
The goal of lead management is to convert leads into paying customers.
The Lead Management Process
Lead management includes the following steps:
- Identifying leads: finding prospective customers to contact
- Capturing leads: getting the contact information of those interested parties so you can market to them until they buy a product or service
- Converting leads into sales: turning a lead into a sale by using the most effective marketing strategies
Lead management is an ongoing process. It’s not something you can complete in one simple step. If you want to increase your company’s sales and stay profitable, then you need to build up your leads with consistent effort over time.
The first step of lead management is identifying leads.
Identifying the kind of leads your company needs requires research into industry trends, market demands, and any other data that can help you determine where demand exists in your marketplace.
You’ll also want to know which demographics are likely interested in what you have to offer so that your marketing strategies remain focused on the right people. Marketing to everyone in hopes of getting sales isn’t going to work long term. It will cost you more money than you’re likely making back from those efforts.
Instead, focus your attention on finding leads that are most likely to buy something from you. You don’t need to waste your time with leads that aren’t going to convert well.
The second part of the process is capturing those potential customers expressing interest in your product or service.
There are many different ways for companies to capture information about their prospects.
- Email marketing: sending direct emails to your prospects with information about what you have to offer. This is a good option for businesses that want to stay in touch with their prospects without spending more on advertising.
- Call center marketing: setting up phone calls or live chat sessions where people can ask questions and learn about the next steps in the sales process.
- Lead nurturing: a strategy where interested prospects get sent informational emails and content about your business so that they learn more over time. The process helps to build trust with potential customers.
Converting Leads Into Sales
The last part of a quality lead management system is converting your leads into sales.
Every company wants to turn interested prospects into paying customers, but that isn’t always easy to do. People are busy, and it’s sometimes difficult for them to find the time needed to make a purchase decision about your products or services. That’s why lead nurturing is an important part of turning potential buyers into actual customers.
Many companies find that the best way to convert leads into sales is by starting with email marketing and then following up through phone calls or live chat sessions before proceeding with a sales proposal or contract. Check out this article for a list of email security best practices.
A process such as this allows your prospects the time required to consider your offer. It’s important not to push your potential customers too hard. Instead, give them enough information, so they feel as though they made the decision to buy on their own.
What Types of Businesses Should Use Lead Management Systems?
Any type of business can benefit from having software in place that helps to track leads throughout the sales process. Here are a few industries that will benefit from using CRM lead management tools.
- Real Estate
- Small Businesses
- Financial Services
- Computer Software
A real estate business should track its listings using a lead management CRM. These types of businesses can leverage lead management to see what listings are selling and which ones aren’t. As well, real estate brokers can track the leads they receive through their website or other channels like email marketing campaigns, paid ads, or social media activity.
Insurance companies should use a lead management tool because this type of business needs to track their consumers’ age, location, and insurance needs. Lead management can help these firms understand who’s interested in specific types of policies. From there, this makes it easier to know how to best market themselves or tailor the policy for that specific consumer.
Utilities are businesses that provide essential services like electricity, water/sewage treatment, or phone service. Lead management systems will help these companies track the leads which come in through various channels, whether it’s advertising or other marketing campaigns. The proper system will also track referrals from existing customers.
Retail & E-commerce
Retail companies can track their customers using lead management systems so that the business knows who purchased which items. Retailers can also use these systems to understand how much inventory to purchase as they work to fulfill the demand for certain products.
Managers can use this information to analyze data, create reports, share files, and make business decisions.
Small Businesses & Freelancers
Small businesses should use lead management systems for their customer relationship management (CRM) software. It helps them to track who’s interested in various types of services or products, allowing these companies to tailor the sales pitch to that particular consumer.
Hotels & Resorts
Hotel businesses can use lead management systems to track reservations. Hotels need to know which rooms are available on what dates, how many people will stay in each room, and if guests require any additional services. Other services might include a restaurant reservation or transportation from the airport.
Financial Services & Banking
Financial services companies can use lead management systems to track their clients’ financial needs and see which products to pitch next. These businesses need to know how much their client already invested, what risk level the person feels comfortable with, and whether or not this consumer is ready for new investment opportunities to grow their wealth.
IT & Computer Software
Computer software companies should use lead management systems to track the leads coming in from various sources, such as advertising or referrals. This type of company needs to know who’s interested and what they’re looking for. Computer software customers might need a new piece of hardware or different types of software that increase business productivity.
What is Lead Management Software?
Lead Management software is a type of CRM that allows businesses to track consumer leads from various channels. Lead management systems provide analytics for business owners, helping them make informed decisions based on lead data and generating reports about their operations.
Choose from the Best Lead Management Software
Many different types of online lead management solutions exist that your business should compare and consider using.
Salesforce Lead Management
Salesforce is a popular choice for lead management software. It offers many different features that users can use to track leads from various channels, including referrals or social media campaigns.
A unique advantage to Salesforce includes its intuitive and easy-to-use dashboard. It also features mobile capabilities for anytime access and provides all-inclusive service without additional fees or contracts. An unlimited number of users can log in at the same time (which makes collaboration between teams simple), and its phone support remains available 24/7.
In addition, Salesforce is a powerful CRM. Its users can track not only leads but also accounts and contacts. It lets you identify opportunities to bring back past customers. You’ll see all the information you need in one place to better organize the sales process.
Another advantage to using Salesforce is that it offers unlimited email templates, making it easy for users to follow up with leads.
As the business grows and changes, Salesforce is flexible enough to accommodate different needs, whether that means adding or removing modules or customizing existing ones. The flexibility in this area makes Salesforce a powerful option for growing companies. It helps with the need for the software to adjust to changing needs without having to invest in an entirely new solution.
Marketo Lead Management
Marketo is another popular choice for lead management software due to its extensive features. Users can track leads from various channels, including referrals or social media campaigns. Unique advantages include mobile capabilities, a free demo, and a user-friendly interface.
Marketo offers unlimited email templates as well as tracking for 25 leads per month. You can track which emails generate interest from prospects without having to pay extra fees or limiting the number of leads you follow up with.
Additionally, Marketo makes it easy to customize to your specific needs. It’s a flexible software option that adapts to your changing needs. A feature like this makes it an excellent choice for growing companies needing more advanced features as they expand.
HubSpot Lead Management
Another great option is HubSpot. It’s a lead management software that provides all of the necessary features users need to organize their sales process and follow up with leads. Users can manage multiple projects and campaigns at the same time, and it includes a free trial.
HubSpot offers lead scoring so users can prioritize their most promising prospects based on engagement level and other factors. With this feature in place, you can focus on the leads most likely to convert.
Another advantage is that HubSpot offers a user-friendly interface and provides 24/7 phone support.
It includes unlimited email templates, contact lists, and social profiles. HubSpot also offers a lead management app marketplace for add-on features such as surveys, calendars, or webinars. You can also customize the HubSpot experience as your business grows and changes.
Pipedrive Lead Management
Pipedrive is another option to consider. Unique advantages include a clean interface and an email tracking tool. In addition, Pipedrive offers detailed contact profiles with social media information as well as the ability for users to create personalized follow-up messages.
Additional Pipedrive features include email integration, a CRM-like view of the pipeline and contacts, and customizable fields for users to add notes on each lead. Pipedrive also provides phone number tracking so you can see if your calls go straight to voicemail and get ignored by leads.
Finally, there’s an option to create custom fields, which will allow you to track any information that’s important to you.
Keap Lead Management
Keap offers a CRM solution and a number of other tools as well. The software provides users with the ability to create custom forms to use for lead collection, such as questionnaires or surveys. Additional benefits include email marketing capabilities and instant alerts when leads are new or updated on your site.
Keap offers real-time data, which is important for any user who wants to keep up with the latest information about their contacts. You can access Keap on smartphones and tablets, which makes this solution an excellent choice for teams that are always on the go.
Other important features include the ability to integrate with third-party applications, multi-brand management, and the option for you to create custom fields. Keap also allows your company to track contact history so you can easily see communication trends over time.
Identifying and tracking your best prospects is a vital part of running a successful and profitable business. If you aren’t already using software to facilitate this process, then consider which lead management solution sounds like it fits your situation best. Compare all options and then implement the system that helps you most effectively find and close leads.