Lead management is a set of processes designed for acquiring new potential customers for a business. This is done through marketing campaigns that are used to bring on board new customers for the company. Many companies do not have a leads process that will effectively nurture and capture new sales. A new lead that is properly followed and nurtured can present a new income generating opportunity. Lead management is therefore one of the most important processes for any company that wants to increase its sales and get new customers.
A typical lead management process will involve a company coming up with a structured process for managing hundreds to thousands of inquiries by prospective customers. These inquires will then be captured using lead management software or manually which will then be used to do a follow-up on the customers. Advertising is also considered as one of the most important ways of generating leads. Though it could be expensive, it is used to generate a lot of interest for the business. But with the advent of the internet and modern technology, it has now become very easy for businesses to come up with lead generating strategies including the use of the social media and other popular websites.
Lead Management Process:
1. Lead generation – The first step towards realizing a successful lead management process is lead generation. Identify and understand your leads before placing an advertisement. You need to know who your potential customers are and what their requirements are. Profile your potential leads using demographics, behavior and their source. You can then generate your leads through advertisements, campaigns, exhibitions, referrals, phone calls etc.
2. Score your leads – Use the information collected through demographics and behavior of your potential leads to score them. This is important in determining how to proceed with each lead. The higher the lead's score, the higher the chances of conversion. The sales team can then use this data to make phone calls to qualified leads while prioritizing by the level of activity of the lead.
3. Track the lead source – Once you start getting leads, it is important that you start tracking the source of the leads. If you used social media, web banners, radio advertising or TV advertising, it is important that you know which media attracted the most attention. This will help you when you are doing future lead generation as you will be aware of which media is giving you the most leads.
4. Nurture your leads – A majority of potential customers will not be ready to purchase your products right away. They may be interested but might need more persuasion before purchasing. Start a lead nurturing campaign that will enable you to identify the specific needs of the customers who are yet to fully convert. Send them personalized emails while interacting with them until they move through the sales cycle and purchase.
5. Pass your leads to the sales force – Once your leads are ready, you can then pass them off to the sales campaign team. Make sure the leads are ready for sales before you pass them on. Also make sure the sales teams have as much intelligence as possible on the lead before engaging them.
6. Track your leads – Last but not least start tracking all your leads. Work with your sales team to understand where your leads are on the sales cycle. You want to make sure you do not lose any leads that are already in your pipeline. Measure sales performance as well as Return on Investment (ROI). Once you get the sale, the cycle does not end there; continue working with the customer to solve their needs and ensure repeat purchases and secure referrals to other potential customers.
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