Regardless of your business size and type, you need customers. Yet, before you find dream customers, you have to find leads. Where many businesses struggle is converting leads into customers due to a lack of time, organisation, and skills. Having an effective lead management process can help. It may involve lead management software, using a consultant, or hiring a lead management agency to do the heavy lifting for you. Implementing the following five steps of lead management will help improve your conversion rate, find loyal customers, and increase revenue.
Why lead management is important
Lead management is important for tracking, qualifying, and nurturing leads. Poor lead management processes can cost companies valuable time and money. Setting up a system that automatically captures, tracks, and qualifies leads can help you find customers more efficiently. It also gives your sales team more time to nurture leads, helping meet sales targets and convert leads into revenue-generating customers.
What is the lead management process?
Years ago, lead management was as simple as – getting a lead (via phone, email, or fax), making a phone call, and closing the deal. Today, lead management is more complex. Before deciding, people have more touchpoints with a business through various marketing channels. Each channel requires its own sales process that the sales team must follow until the lead is a customer. A typical lead process includes five stages; capture, track, qualify, distribute and nurture leads.
What are the five major stages of lead management?
IImplement these five stages to streamline your sales process and increase business opportunities.
Once a lead contacts your business via a marketing channel (email, website, social media, or paid ads), you need to record their details. If you have good software, it will automatically enter and save their information. Having a lead management software or agency to take care of this will avoid duplicate data, incorrect information, and lost leads.
Track where you acquired the lead and where they are in the funnel. Understanding where the lead is in the sales funnel will help you move them into the appropriate next stage to close the deal.
There are many methods to qualify leads, depending on your business. For example, lead management software often uses AI-powered lead scoring, qualifying leads based on their product interest, demographics, and buyer journey. This step is essential as it helps sales reps see if a lead is worth pursuing, saving time and money in the long run.
Once you’ve qualified the lead, it’s time to assign them to the right sales member. Either use software or appointment setters to distribute leads with sales reps. The quicker the sales team contacts the lead, the more likely they will become a customer. Automating or organising lead distribution is crucial to avoid lead leaks.
In an ideal world, every lead captured will become your customer. However, not every lead will be a suitable customer for right now. Lead nurturing involves tailoring a sales pitch that aligns with the sales funnel stages. For example, someone in the awareness phase may receive an email about your products and services. In contrast, a person in the decision phase may receive a phone call discussing the following steps to become a customer. When a lead isn’t ready to be a customer yet, it’s essential to nurture the relationship over time until they’re ready.
How to manage leads
Even with the introduction of software, managing leads requires a human element. Lead management relies on sales reps and is limited to their skills and experience. Consulting a lead generation agency with highly trained sales reps and appointment setters can be more cost-effective. This method is particularly beneficial when your business requires a unique lead process. Appointment setters will prospect, qualify, and book appointments with leads ready for your sales team to step in.
How to create a lead management system
A lead management system will look different for every business and depend on your desired sales outcomes, customer demographics, and available marketing channels. The following steps will help create an effective lead management system, regardless of your business.
Step 1: Define your sales goals
It may sound counterintuitive, but we recommend first thinking of the end goals. Who is your customer? What do you want them to buy? How do you want to work with them? Answering these questions will help set up the following steps and find the right customers.
Step 2: Understand your customer
Knowing your customer’s needs, pain points, and how to fix them will help define your lead management process. Whether it’s their age, gender, or affinity interests, the more information you know about your dream customer, the easier it will be to find them.
Step 3: Find Customers
Once you know who your customer is, you will know which marketing channels to find them. For example, a corporate business may use LinkedIn to find leads, whereas a B2B business may use the cold calling approach.
Step 4: Capture leads
Using software or an agency to set up and capture leads will keep your business organised. When someone enquires about your products or services, capture their personal information and interests in your products.
Step 5: Engage with a lead management consultant
Once leads start enquiring, take pressure off your sales team by engaging with a lead management agency. At Lead Express, we use appointment setters to field enquires, qualify leads, and set appointments – saving your business precise time and money.
Need help automating lead management systems in your business?Get in touch with us through our contact form or call us on 1300 532 339.