If you’re in the world of sales, how much time per week do you waste on poorly-qualified leads? Whether it’s two minutes or two days, any amount of time spent on weak leads can be chalked up as a waste of resources.
As inbound sales strategies continue to gain popularity among various industries, the importance of having an effective lead management strategy is becoming clear. According to research from marketing data firm Forrester, lead nurturing can supply up to a 20% increase in sales opportunities from nurtured vs. non-nurtured leads. Lead management provides clear benefits and ultimately leads to more sales.
So what steps can you take to implement these solutions? Here are the best tactics and software to give your sales lead management strategy a boost.
What is Lead Management?
Lead management is defined as the process by which sales and marketing work together to acquire, evaluate and nurture leads. Organizations can better support their sales pipeline by implementing lead management strategies that weed out those just browsing from genuine prospects. To win at lead management, you can’t just throw a dart at a board and expect to hit the bullseye. You need careful planning and to build a strategy that allows creativity and technology to work side by side.
And if you’re considering implementing lead management – and you should – there are plenty of reasons to tackle the challenge.
Why You Need Lead Management
Managing leads helps companies understand which tactics are bringing the most qualified leads. As you develop new relationships and expand into new markets, you can optimize your sales strategy to be more effective and efficient. Additionally, since lead management software can record consumer interactions with your company, you can better grasp how they move through your funnel.
To build a successful sales system, many managers are adopting automated databases into their strategies. When you have a tool that automates processes such as calls, emails, demos, meetings, revenue and contact rate, you free up your sales team’s time from annoying, administrative duties.
Benefits of Lead Management Software
Lead management software carries many benefits. It’s main intention is to make the sales process easier for every stakeholder and prospect involved. Here are a few benefits of sales management software:
One of the most unloved tasks of salespeople is lead organization — at least if they have to do it themselves. If you don’t have a tool to organize leads, you’re making your sales team’s life much harder. With today’s sales software, lead organization can be automated. Without a system in place, it’s difficult to coordinate distribution or maintain an appropriate exposure schedule.
The modern shopper needs to be contacted as soon as possible once they make contact. Capturing a prospect at their moment-of-interest is incredibly important to establish a connection between the prospect and organization. There’s too much distraction in today’s market to pass up opportunities; it’s been shown that up to half of all leads will go with the first vendor that responds. Software systems can monitor contact requests and even respond for you.
This is especially important for companies that sell to large territories or across many regions. A lead management system supplies a steady stream of leads to the sales team, so they can coordinate touch points based on geography, contact chronology or even by product line. With leads being fed to the sales force in a more timely manner, it keeps the whole team more organized.
Establishing and Maintaining Relationships
Overall, lead management software will help you establish and maintain relationships. Many shoppers aren’t convinced to buy after only one or two contacts. Software can assist in establishing a marketing funnel that will continue to engage the prospect until they become a conversion. Building a relationship can start with any interaction, really. If they click on a certain button, watch a specific video or respond to a targeted social post, that can all contribute to a profile that’s built and maintained in the software’s database.
Now that you know the importance of software, let’s discuss some key tactics that will help you better engage prospects and move them through the pipeline more effectively.
Lead Management Tactics
- Choosing Your Sales CRM
Implementing your sales CRM is relatively straight-forward, but there are a lot of options to choose from. If you’re looking for the best lead management software for your team, head to the end of this post where we provide a variety of programs to choose from.
- Aligning Sales, Marketing, Customer Service and Development Teams
Gather your sales, marketing, customer service and product development teams and have them detail every aspect of their department’s business activities. When the teams are aligned, they will be better positioned to provide leads with the best, most comprehensive messaging.
- Develop a Solid Sales Funnel
The structure of your sales funnel is highly dependent upon a number of different factors. However, you can use the classic structure to get yourself started: AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action). This refers to the buying process that companies lead customers through when purchasing products or services, and helps internal teams stay focused.
- Try Highly-Targeted Content to Qualify Leads
Once you have your sales funnel generated, you can start building highly-targeted content aimed at specific areas in the AIDA spectrum. If the user is new to your brand (awareness stage), try giving away a free ebook download to capture their email or boost brand awareness. If the user abandoned their cart (action stage), try sending a follow-up email with a discount to that specific product. With user data on specific content, you can build a stronger list of lead qualifications.
- Score your Leads
Within your CMS, you should be able to set up lead scoring criteria. Leads accumulate positive scores for completing certain actions, behavior styles and demographic types. For example, you could award more points to a certain persona, or to someone that fills out a contact form. You can also apply negative points to those behaviors deemed as a poor fit.
- Lead Segmentation
Setup automated segmentation to build better workflows. By defining specific criteria according to your target market, you can segment lead quality into different buckets. You can then deliver content to those segments that target the defined characteristics.
Now that you know a few of the specific tactics that go into lead management, you need a way to implement them. This is where lead management software comes into play.
Lead Management Software
There are many options when it comes to lead management. Here are a few of the most popular:
Leadfeeder is easy to setup and integrates with many popular tools such as Mailchimp and Salesforce. It can take any website and turn it into a lead generation machine, acting as your sales coach, alerting you when you’re doing something that you shouldn’t. It can be pricey compared to other tools, but it is effective and simple to use. It’s also been rated #1 in the Google Analytics Partner Gallery.
Tubular is an intuitive system that gives sales teams a full picture of the sales pipeline. If you’re a visual person, this tool may be for you — with the deal tracking feature you can easily move prospects through a fully-animated funnel. It’s cost effective and offers continual updates on features so you can convert more leads, close more sales and track your deals.
KiteDesk provides users with smart prospecting software, specializing in one of the hardest tasks salespeople face: a lack of qualified leads. With a huge lead database and advanced connection scoring, KiteDesk offers a number of features useful to the modern sales rep. It integrates seamlessly with LinkedIn and Salesforce as well, for an extra way to manage the leads that matter.
Pipedrive is a sales tool built specifically for entrepreneurs and small teams, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less powerful. It’s easy-to-use and intuitive, even while on-the-go, thanks to its responsive applications. With the ability to integrate with other software such as Google Apps, Mailchimp and Zapier, the sales process becomes much more efficient.
OppSource offers PursuitPro™, our tried-and-tested sales development software to tens-of-thousands of companies across the globe. Our software automates and organizes your sales development day, gives you the flexibility to create your own sales development campaigns and enables you to deliver account-based sales ready opportunities to your sales team. We’re unique because we were founded by three sales veterans who’ve been on the inside of the sales world for decades. We know the struggles that face the modern day sales representative, and we’ve set out to provide solutions in an easy-to-use, all-in-one sales platform.
Wasting time on poorly qualified leads will drain precious resources and slow down the advancement of your business. As your company develops its inbound sales strategy, lead management plays a huge role in the success of your team. With the benefits of lead management software, you can implement several tactics that will give your organization a considerable advantage in the market. So take your business to the next level by implementing a lead management strategy today!