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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
Last updated: 11/01/2020
A process and methodology
Sales lead management is the process of capturing leads, qualifying them, tracking any activities associated with those leads 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’ll be able to provide a consistent level of service and use follow-up methods that more often than not will help to successfully convert leads into deals.
Each step in your sales process should ensure that leads feels valued and understood along the way. This will increase the likelihood of a sale.
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 all 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:
Sales lead management allows you to have a process in place to identify the best opportunities for your business and your skillset, 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 handled in a number of different ways, 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 into a sale. This can include asking questions to build a clearer picture of the customer’s needs or providing more evidence of your skillset to 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:
- Communicate effectively with leads across multiple channels
- Integrate with your other software platforms, such as MailChimp or Campaign Monitor
- Use powerful workflows to automate and control your sales processes.
Written by Lauren Shaw, Marketing Manager at FLG