This article was originally published by our subsidiary, LeadsBridge, here.
New leads are the lifelines of businesses both online and offline. That’s why 53% of marketers spend at least half of their budget on lead generation. However, 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. This is where lead management comes in. With lead management, you can nurture leads that did not convert to the point where they can trust your business enough to buy from you.
In this guide, you will learn all about lead management, its processes, software, and strategies – all with examples.
What is Lead Management?
BigCommerce defines Lead Management as the process of acquiring and managing leads (potential customers) until the point where they make a purchase. At some point, your lead volume will grow to a point where it becomes difficult to manage. This could lead to lead leakage, lack of follow-ups, and poor lead engagement. With solid lead management processes in place, you can capture, nurture, qualify and distribute the leads to respective departments where they can be converted to sales.
But is lead management actually necessary? Read on to find out.
Why is lead management important?
Generating leads can be a difficult and expensive process. Therefore, managing them effectively is important. There are five benefits to having a proper lead management process in place:
- Lead management helps to get the right leads in your CRM
One process of lead management is called lead qualification. This process helps you identify qualified and unqualified leads you can add to your CRM of choice or a free CRM system. With this process, you can concentrate on high-value leads and maximize sales opportunities instead of wasting efforts on non-qualified leads.
- Lead management helps you maximize your advertising spend and marketing strategies.
Lead management makes it easy to identify the best platforms providing the best leads for your business. This will help you focus on the platforms, thereby maximizing your advertising spend and marketing strategies.
- Lead management enhances the buying experience.
The data generated from lead management is helpful in sending educational materials that can help leads to make informed buying decisions.
- Lead management increases marketing and sales productivity.
When you know the quality of your leads, you can segment and prioritize them, and decide on the appropriate messaging and channel to communicate with your customers through. This helps to increase the marketing and sales teams’ efficiency.
Ok, so lead management is important. But what actually makes a successful lead management process? There are five basic steps every marketer should follow:
1. Lead Capturing
Lead capturing is the process of collecting contact information of prospects in order to generate leads. You start by placing a call-to-action (CTA) button on an image or text on your website, blog, or social media channel. Once a user clicks on the CTA, they are taken to a page where they can enter their personal details, such as their email address, phone number, and name.
As your business grows, your lead volume will increase, which means you’ll need to automate your lead capture system to make it easy for you. This is especially true if you use Co-registration, Facebook, LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms, or Google Ads to generate leads for your business. Without automation, you’ll have to collect it manually from the platform and then copy it into your CRM.
The good news is, you don’t have to do that! ActiveProspect provides easy plug-and-play API integrations that allow you to capture leads from any source and deliver those leads into any end point or preferred system of preference.
2. Lead Tracking
Lead tracking is the process of monitoring lead activities from the initial touch to sale. With it, you can manage and track all your marketing channels, such as the blog and the social media campaigns.
Lead tracking tells you where leads are coming from so you can appropriate your budget to the best channels. Leads can be inbound or outbound. Inbound leads come from organic searches such as Google search, phone calls, blog content form fills, etc. Outbound leads come from your cold email campaigns, cold calling, direct mail, and display ads.
Lead tracking helps to:
- Gauge how engaged a lead is or how close a lead is to buying. This helps you to create processes that will quickly turn the lead into a customer.
- Avoid losing leads along the sales funnel
- Make pipeline projections with the data collected from lead tracking
- Fine-tune your marketing campaigns in order to focus on the strategies that are working well.
3. Lead Qualification
The truth is, not everyone will be the right fit for your product or service – and those who are may not be ready to buy from you immediately. To find out, you need to qualify the leads that enter your system. Unfortunately, few businesses engage in lead qualification.
Lead qualification is important because:
- It helps to improve sales and marketing efficiency
- It saves time, energy, and money in pursuing wrong leads
- It helps to create a more personalized promotion for prospects who are ready to purchase
- It improves revenue
Once your leads are qualified and scored, it’s time to sort out which leads are ready to buy and which still need more nurturing.
4. Lead Nurturing
A study by Marketo revealed that 96% of visitors who come to a website aren’t ready to buy yet. That’s true, but there is something you can do to encourage them to buy your product or service: lead nurturing.
Lead nurturing is the process of sending relevant content to leads and customers at different levels in the sales funnel.
Lead nurturing is important because:
- Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales leads at 33% lower cost per lead.
- Targeting users with content relevant to their position along the buying process yield 72% higher conversion rates.
- Companies that maintain consistent communication with prospects help buyers to make an informed purchase decision.
- Well-nurtured leads have a 23% shorter sales cycle.
Lead nurturing is one of the best ways to convert your lead into customers. This is the reason 74% of companies say converting leads into customers is their top priority. Capitalizing on lead generation and impactful nurturing strategies with a conversion rate optimization tool is therefore a must for any ambitious organization. This is not only about bringing prospects in and converting them into customers, but also understanding what works, and what doesn’t in this context.
5. Lead Distribution
Lead distribution is the process of assigning leads to different marketing channels or sales teams. This will enable you to match leads with the messaging and channel best suited to convert that lead into a customer. . Lead distribution can be automatic or manual, but it involves gathering leads from different lead generation sources such as your website, social media, events, emails, etc, and distributing them to any endpoint or system of preference based on custom rules and logic.
Proper lead distribution helps companies:
- Improve speed-to-lead. This is very important because leads who are contacted within five minutes are 9x more likely to convert.
- Produce high-quality leads because only qualified leads make it into your sales or remarketing funnel.
- Creates room for more accurate targeting.
- Makes it easy to attribute revenue to the leads generating the most revenue.
- It reduces the response time.
Lead Management Strategies
It is imperative for businesses to have lead management strategies in place. This will help you know how your leads come in, how to organize them through scoring, nurture, and convert them to paying customers. Below are some lead management strategies you can use for your business.
- Use different lead generation content
Most online businesses use one form of lead generation content, which is usually an eBook or whitepaper. You hardly see video or other forms of interactive content. To stand out, you need to mix up your lead generation content. Add videos to the mix to enhance the reader’s experience. In fact, 86% of marketers report that video helped in their lead generation. Also, diversify the content on your website by using interactive content that will engage your website users.
- Integrate your lead management platform with a third-party app
Leads are more likely to convert when you contact them within minutes, not hours or days. Contacting prospects immediately after they opt in will help you to sustain their interests in your products or services, and it will be easier to nurture and convert them to customers. One way you can do this is by using integrations. ActiveProspect provides direct integrations with lead generation publishers and platforms like Facebook Leads Ads, Google Lead Form Ads, and LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms. ActiveProspect’s LeadConduit platform also provides a multitude of integrations so you can validate leads in real time, while filtering out bad leads from your CRM.
- Clean up your company’s contact database
Did you know that 30% of the data in your CRM goes bad each year? This can happen for many reasons, like your contacts changing their emails, getting new telephone numbers, moving, and many more. Outdated contact information in your database can lead to failure in your marketing activities. Customers’ data are assets for your business and you need to keep it active and alive. To clean your database, ensure you remove all duplicates and bounced or opted-out emails, and verify new data. ActiveProspect’s platform allows you to validate and de-dupe data in real time, as well as set rules-based logic that drives real-time lead acceptance and rejection decisions based on your criteria.
- Up-sell and cross-sell by sending emails through automation workflows
Up-selling is the process of convincing a customer to buy more expensive items from you. Cross-selling is increasing the value of sales by presenting different products to a customer. A study revealed that product recommendations can drive between 10 – 30% revenue. Upselling and cross-selling can help you grow your revenue tremendously.
Use automation workflows to help you upsell and cross-sell your present customers, use automation workflows to give them offers similar to the ones they already purchased. Also, tag your contacts based on the products they have bought from you and use automation to recommend products that are complements to the ones they bought.
Lead management is important if you want to grow your leads, nurture, and convert them to customers. There are five different processes involved in lead management – lead capture, lead tracking, lead qualification, lead nurturing, and lead distribution. You need to follow these processes to create a robust lead management system that will benefit your business. However, you don’t need to do it manually, thanks to lead management software such as Salesforce, Zoho CRM, Freshsales, HubSpot CRM, and AgileCRM, which you can use to manage your leads effectively.
Using proper lead management strategies, such as keeping your data clean and accurate, automating lead capture and delivery, upselling and cross-selling customers, and integrating with platforms like LeadsBridge and ActiveProspect will help you generate better results when acquiring and taking action on your leads.
To learn more about how LeadConduit can help, schedule a demo today!
To learn more about how LeadsBridge can help, contact us here.