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Businesses need a stream of opportunities and revenue in order to survive and grow, with every new revenue pound starting out as a lead.

Understanding the process involved when turning a lead or enquiry into a paying customer is therefore vital. A large part of this hinges on your sales lead management, but what exactly is it and why is it so important?

Written by Lauren Shaw
Marketing Manager

Published: 03/07/18
Last updated: 11/01/2020

A process and methodology

Sales lead management is the process of capturing leads, tracking any activities and behaviour for those leads, qualifying them and giving them constant attention until they’re ready to buy.

The sales process you guide leads through should be pre-defined and easily understood by your sales team. That way, you provide a consistent level of service and follow-up methods that more often than not help to successfully convert leads into deals.

Your process should cover each step in your sales process, ensuring that a lead feels valued and understood along the way. This will increase the likelihood of a sale.

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The sales process you guide leads through should be pre-defined and easily understood by your sales team. That way, you provide a consistent level of service and follow-up methods that more often than not help to successfully convert leads into deals.

Capturing leads effectively

From contact forms on websites to responding to messaging apps and chatbot conversations, it’s important that you have as many avenues to capture data from leads as possible.

Sales lead management covers everything from capturing leads via email, web form, telephone and SMS, keeping a log of every interaction, ensuring they are the right target audience for your business and providing them with the information they need to make a purchase.

This process also helps to identify unsuitable leads. A lead might not be the right fit for your business for a number of reasons, including:

  • Location
  • Budget
  • Expectation
  • Timescale

Sales lead management allows you to have a process in place to identify the best opportunities for your business and your skill set, helping to ensure you put your focus on the right leads and don’t waste time chasing any opportunities that aren’t suitable.

 

Contact and lead nurturing

Leads need to be worked on quickly, and the most effective way to make a success of any lead generation is through effective lead distribution. This means putting the right leads in front of the right people who are best placed to deal with them as soon as possible.

Distribution can be done through a number of means, such as by area of expertise, staff availability, on a round robin basis or through customer location. Distribution then ties into the lead nurturing phase. Not all leads are ready to buy, and should be nurtured with additional marketing information and contact from your team.

Nurturing a lead allows you to provide more relevant information and overcome any obstacles or barriers that might prevent a lead from converting. This can include asking questions to build a clearer picture of the customer need or providing more evidence of your skill set to help highlight why your services are the best choice for a project.

Your lead management process should also allow you to assess and track the progress of a lead. This helps you to stay on top of which leads are progressing, which need to be chased up and which leads might have gone cold.

 

Lead management systems

Ensuring you have effective processes in place is the first step towards sales lead management success. If you’re managing a high volume of leads and want to take your lead management to the next level to maximise the chances of converting more leads into sales, a lead management system can help you improve the way you engage with and nurture leads by automating your sales processes.

Robust lead management software should allow you to:

 

Written by Lauren Shaw, Marketing Manager at FLG

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