By Erika Sommer, Content Writer at PipelineDeals
Lead management is the process of working your leads from the marketing funnel to the sales pipeline. It’s a way to track, manage, and qualify leads, with the end goal of turning them into a sale.
This seems simple, right? Well, imagine having thousands of leads funneling in every day. How can you possibly nurture each and every one of them? You can’t, and that’s why lead management platforms such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software exists. CRM software helps your sales team stay organized and prioritize leads to nurture.
But before we discuss how this platform can be beneficial to your company, let’s discuss the basics of lead management.
There are four main components of the lead management process. They are:
- Lead Generation
- Lead Capture
- Lead Organization
- Lead Nurturing
Each of these four components helps with the process of converting a lead to a sale—A.K.A. lead management. And to understand the construction of this framework, let’s dive deeper into each.
From a high-level perspective, lead generation first gets kicked off in the marketing department. The purpose of lead generation is to attract visitors who match your ideal customer profile, or customer persona, to your business.
Lead gen is divided into inbound and outbound marketing campaigns. Campaigns can include anything from social media, blog posts, e-books, white papers, email campaigns, cold-calling, referrals, and more.
When a prospect responds to a marketing campaign or advertisement, the next step is to learn more information about them. The process is called lead capture, and commonly occurs on the internet via a web form. Some common lead capture strategies are to offer a free ebook, free trial, or free web course in exchange for personal information like a name, contact information, company information, and more. Their information is essentially being “captured,” and they will go from being classified as a prospect, to a lead.
Once the lead’s information has been captured, the distribution process will begin. This is the process of sorting and categorizing the lead based on its potential to become a sale. Marketing and sales teams typically use lead scoring to determine which leads should be sent to sales, and which leads should continue to be nurtured.
During the organizational process, leads are transferred from marketing, to the sales department, for further contact. And depending on how the initial contact goes, the leads will be followed up on, or nurtured, with the end goal of turning them into a sale.
So, while lead management will make your marketing and sales teams more efficient, it’s hard to complete this process without the help of a secondary organizational platform. This is where lead management platforms such as a CRM comes into play.
Customer Relationship Management
A good customer relationship management software, or CRM, will help streamline your lead management process. It will help you organize your prospects, leads, and, sales, and keep track of them as they move down the funnel. It takes out some of the manual labor, and creates a simplified approach to the entire lead capturing and nurturing process.
And while different CRM software companies will have their own set of specialized features, they all come with the same blueprint. Here are the basic features most CRM software provides you with.
A good customer relationship management platform will allow you to tag where the leads are coming from when initially imputing them into the system. And it should allow you to state where they are from on a geographic level, as well as how they found you and filtered into your site.
For example, did they come from an e-book? Or was it a trade show. By documenting where the lead came from, you can better assess how to utilize your marketing channels.
Assign and Distribute Leads
Another beneficial feature of a CRM is the ability to assign out leads to various members of the sales team. And with the software, you’ll be able to monitor each member of the sales team’s track record, as well as conversion rates.
By being able to manage these leads and your sales team, you’ll be able to reduce duplication of leads. And you’ll be able to see a visual picture of how your sales staff is performing, which will give you a better picture of how you can improve as a team.
Once your marketing team gives your sales department qualified leads, you’ll want to make sure you can track them through the sales pipeline. Most CRM’s allow you to highlight the status of where different leads are in the sales process. You’ll also be able to see when the lead turns into a sale. And most CRM’s give you the ability to track the entire lifeline of that lead, from start to close. So, if you see them starting to drop off, you can set the software to put certain nurturing methods into effect.
Overall, lead management is a powerful tool for tracking and guiding your consumer through the marketing and sales funnel, and into a sale. Just make sure to look into a lead management platform such as a CRM, which will better improve your results and make your marketing and sales teams much more efficient.
You can even start by trying out PipelineDeals’ free 14-day trial. You’ll never know what you’re missing out on unless you give it a try.