Every business aims at earning profit and continuing to grow. That is possible only when you are closing more deals for which you have to track and manage qualified leads. As organizations opt for multi-channel outreach, lead management is essential.
Businesses these days choose lead management software that helps organize leads, schedule follow-ups, and close more deals. As a result, the companies with proper lead management generate more qualified leads at a lower cost than companies that don’t.
What is lead management?
Also referred to as customer acquisition management, contact management, or prospect management, lead management involves tracking and managing prospects. It may seem like a basic process, but you must keep in mind that its complexity increases with the company’s size. Having a system that automatically checks the history with contacts and tracks where the lead is in the sales process will help when you have too many salespeople. In addition, automating lead management can increase a company’s revenue faster, which is why most firms go for it.
What are the best practices in lead management?
Here are a few practices in lead management that will deliver you good results
- Keep the sales process and sales pipeline in alignment with each other.
- Ensure there is clear communication between various teams.
- Find out when the leads are qualified
- Keep an eye on the process of b2b lead generation
With a reliable lead management tool, all of the above can be taken care of.
How is lead management software different from CRM?
The above is a common question asked by most people. Yes, there are many similarities between CRM and lead management software. Both aim at managing existing and potential customers and tracking their historical conversations. However, all CRMs are not lead management systems. CRM systems are lead management tools, but most don’t have what high-grade lead management tools offer. The most significant difference between the two is pipeline management.
What is meant by pipeline management?
The sales pipeline or sales funnel graphically represents every stage of the sales process. It helps in moving the sales ahead. Pipeline management is vital to maintaining a healthy sales pipeline. As building sales pipelines vary from one company to another, so does the management process.
Most lead management tools are CRMs with sales pipeline management to offer, but they can manage larger volumes of leads.
What are the benefits of lead management software?
- Automated generation of leads and assignment
You can get leads from various sources, after which the software automatically assigns the leads to sales reps based on specific criteria.
- Increased productivity
The productivity of your sales and marketing teams can improve with the help of a lead management tool. For example, AI-powered tools detect duplicate contacts and remove them from your CRM. They also have scoring models to rank leads automatically based on historical data, thereby minimizing all the manual labor involved.
- Visualization of the life-cycle of the lead
A lead management tool will help you understand the different stages a lead goes through during the sales cycle. It enables better communication between the sales and marketing team members.
- Segmentation and nurturing of leads
Segmenting a large target audience is the key to better management. You can improve the campaign results by segmenting your audience based on demography, geography, and behavior and targeting the ones that seem promising.
- Ability to measure results
You can find details like what generates the maximum leads for each rep’s response time. Knowing which lead source is getting you the maximum leads can help you decide what areas you must work more on to increase your ROI.
What features should lead management software to have?
There are some features that all lead management tools should have. Let’s have a look at the below.
- It should manage contacts and their history.
- It must integrate with email marketing.
- It has to help in quote/bid management.
- It should perform real-time dashboard tracking.
- It has to help with billing / invoicing.
- It must track sales outreach (inquiry/lead/closed).
- It should be easy to integrate with Social Media.
- It should manage landing pages and templates.
- It should manage tasks like assigning leads and follow-up.
- It must be easy to integrate with your calendar.
- There has to be built-in scheduling.
Lead management software segments
There are two main segments of lead management software based on the need and size of the business. However, it would be best to remember that no two companies or tools are the same. You may have to consider many factors before deciding which one will suit your organization.
- Lead management for small businesses
For smaller businesses, every prospect is essential. Also, you must note that the budget is often not too much for a small business, and therefore, the software you choose for it must give a reasonably good ROI. Usually, the lead management software is customized for small businesses to suit their requirements.
- Lead management for enterprises
The only difference between a lead management tool designed for larger companies and smaller businesses is its functionality. The functionality is more for larger enterprises when compared to small businesses. The software is usually a do-it-all system that tracks all the leads for the former.
Above all, you must choose the tool that caters to your needs and fits your lead management definition.
The Final Thoughts
Lead management refers to managing and tracking leads. This process increases in complexity as the size of the organization grows. It becomes challenging to handle the tasks manually, so you need a lead management software system that considerably reduces the manual work.
Lead management software is similar to CRMs in many ways. However, they have pipeline management to offer that CRMS doesn’t. It is worth investing in lead management software as there are many benefits of automating lead management.
Before choosing your lead management tool, you must ensure that it has all the ideal tool features and is suitable for your organization.
Andrej Fedek is a digital marketer. He recently started his own blog about digital marketing called InterCool Studio. His passion is to help startups grow and thrive in a competitive environment.