What is Lead Management? Definition, Tools & Best Practices

Struggling to turn potential customers into sales? Your lead management might be the issue here.  According to research, B2C conversion rates range from 1.8% to 19%, while B2B conversion rates vary between 0.35% to 40%. And this number totally depends on how well you attract and nurture leads. 

If you can handle your lead effectively, you could turn most prospects into customers. In this article, you will learn what is lead management, the tools you can use, and best practices to boost your sales.

Let’s start the discussion!

What Is Lead Management?

What is lead actually? A lead is anyone who might be interested in your business. Someone who gives you their contact details signs up for something, visits your website, or watches a product video.

Many companies still track leads with spreadsheets. But the old-fashioned system wastes many leads! Studies show up to 70% of leads go nowhere with spreadsheets.  To prevent this inefficiency, a lead management system works as a smart address book for leads. It helps you organize these interested people and figure out the best way to connect with them.

Lead nurturing is a key component of lead management. It separates leads into groups based on their level of purchase intent. High-value leads, such as C-level executives contacting you directly, can be classified as sales-qualified leads (SQLs) and passed on immediately to the sales team.  On the other hand, if website visitors keep showing interest but aren’t ready to purchase yet, you can use specific content and ads to guide them closer to buying.

Altogether, lead management is a big-picture way of looking at sales. It includes all the tricks to find and turn interested leads into customers. You can also connect this lead management tool to your CRM and enjoy greater benefits. Some CRM software like SaleBee CRM comes with a built-in lead generation module. As a result, you can get both CRM and lead management features in one interface.

Lead Management Process 

Lead management basically has 5 main processes. You will get ultimate success if these processes work properly.

1. Capturing Leads

Lead generation begins with capturing leads from multiple sources. The sources include website visits, social media, email marketing, paid ads, telephone conversations, internet searches, etc. From these sources, information like, names, emails, phone numbers, ages, addresses, and so on are collected.

All these details are then fed into an automated tracking system to get more intense information out of these.

2. Tracking Their Journey

Don’t think that just by collecting the names and relevant details your job is finished. You need to understand their interest level. With an automated lead tracking tool, you should follow your potential client’s online activities. See which pages they visit, what emails they open, or if they respond to calls or messages. With these data, you can understand what they want and develop a plan accordingly.

3. Qualifying the Leads

To be honest, not all website visitors are ready to buy immediately, some are even just browsing to kill time. Approach all of them will waste your resources and effort. That’s why, the lead qualification step helps you identify the most promising ones. Remember, poor lead sorting can result in around 70% of lost sales.

To qualify your leads, look at factors like their interest in your product or service, their budget, and if it’s a good fit for them. But don’t throw away the information of the non-sales-ready lead. You should keep a record of them for future use.

4. Distributing the Leads

Once you have gathered the qualified leads, you can assign the details to the relevant sales team. But how do you know whom to pass? Well, you can have a separate team based on their location, expertise, etc.

For example, you may have a team that works with only small-to-mid-sized businesses, another team might work with foreign clients. You should create your own lead distribution planning as per your team’s capability. The chance of conversion increases when you are able to find the right team to deal with that.

5. Nurturing the Relationship

It is true that not every qualified lead turns into a successful sale at the end. Your potential leads can change their mind at any time in the sales process, they might lose interest, or find your competitors more suitable for them. You have to accept this nature of marketing and also don’t lose hope yet.

Lead nurturing helps you build a relationship with this kind of customer over time. With a thoughtful approach, it’s possible to win over them again. research shows that businesses get direct benefits from lead nurturing programs.

How Can Companies Benefit from Effective Lead Management?

There are so many options to get leads out there. However, without an effective lead management system, the maximum will get wasted. With a proper lead management system, you can get the below benefits.

Turn More Leads into Customers

Effective lead management systems nurture your leads with interaction and engaging content. It makes your customers more interested in purchasing from you. Because of this, the conversion rate increased significantly.

Get the Most Out of Your Resources

The quality of all leads is not the same. It’s important to utilize your maximum resources on high-potential leads and follow a strategic approach for non-potential ones. Lead management software allows you to categorize the leads based on the quality. So, you can set up your team and strategy accordingly.

Faster Sales Cycles

With lead scoring and nurturing, you can identify the customers who are ready to take service from you. Your sales team can approach them quicker and have more productive interactions. When everything falls into place quicker, it faster the sales cycle and a smoother buying experience for your customers.

Build Relationships That Last

Lead management works further than just closing a deal in less time. It lets you personalize your service which results in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Your previous customer happily returns for more.

Data That Drives Results

The more accurate data you have, the stronger planning you can make. Think about Facebook. They become giants because they know what people exactly need and they get this information through personal data.

Lead management software can give you the same benefit. It provides valuable insights into your leads’ behavior and preferences. With this understanding, you can modify your marketing strategies and services. Ultimately, you will get improved ROI with more appropriate planning.

Grow Your Business with Confidence

When your business grows, naturally you will get more leads over time. A scalable lead management system can handle the increasing volume effortlessly. You can confidently focus on expanding your business and try more things. Your system will follow you and support you every time.

A Collaboration Powerhouse

Effective lead management makes collaboration easy between teams. Everyone can be at the same stage because of the central cloud system. You can easily hand over any task to your team and the whole team can access important data whenever they need it.

Most Important Lead Management KPIs

How do you know whether your lead management effort brings successful outcomes or not? Actually, there are 3 main KPIs that let you measure.

1. Leads to SQL Conversion Rate

Leads to SQL or sales qualified lead conversion rate shows how many leads turn into serious potential buyers. An easy example of this is- if someone asks for a demo of your product, they are showing strong interest and there is a high chance they will buy from you. But if someone just signs up for your newsletter, it doesn’t mean they are ready to buy. In this way, you can get a definite number of how many people are really interested in buying your product.

2. Lead Conversion Rate

Lead conversion rate tells you how many leads actually end up buying your product. So, if out of 100 people who show interest, only 10 ends up buying, your conversion rate is 10%. By tracking this rate, you can find out the best way to reach people and improve your existing way.

3. Sales Cycle

It is possible that someone is interested in your product, but it takes time for them to decide to buy. The sales cycle measures that time. This data helps you see if anything is slowing things down. For example, if it takes forever for people to buy after showing interest, you might need to make things move faster or improve your communication method.

Lead Management Best Practices

So, how lead management system turns website visitors into happy, paying customers? The answer lies in the following process details. Let’s have a look!

1. Targeted Content Marketing

High-quality content attracts leads and leaves a positive impression on overall brand value. Content marketing is especially valuable for the B2B world, where informative content establishes your brand as a thought leader and a trusted expert. Industry reports, white papers, or even blog posts packed with valuable insights offer a lot of value to other marketers.

Even in B2C spaces, like lifestyle or cosmetics, informative content like “how-to” guides or product reviews can go a long way in building customer confidence and making interest. If you can connect your audience with valuable and interesting content, you can attract quality leads on your way.

2. Data Quality Management

If your sales and marketing funnels are stuck with inaccurate or outdated lead data, it could hamper the overall process. Inaccurate lead information wastes valuable time and resources, as your team chases down dead ends or irrelevant contacts.

You can save the situation by taking out problematic leads. This might involve tasks like removing duplicates, verifying email addresses, and segmenting your leads based on specific criteria. Regularly cleaning your data ensures you are focusing on the right path.

3. Track Your Lead Management Efforts

Not all marketing campaigns are created equal. Some generate a flood of leads, while others work a bit slowly. By tracking your lead management efforts, you gain valuable insights into which campaigns are delivering the best results. As a result, you can identify high-performing strategies and put your effort and resources only into those.

There are many metrics you can track, such as website traffic, lead conversion rates, and customer acquisition costs. By analyzing this data, you can optimize your lead management strategies for maximum impact.

4. Lead Generation Strategies

Not every visitor to your website is ready to buy right away. And people who are not buying now do not mean they won’t deal with your business ever. The lead management process is like a journey, and potential customers are at various stages. Focusing solely on “hot leads” who are ready to purchase can mean missing out on valuable “warm leads” who just need a little nurturing.

To capture a wider audience, consider tactics like prominently displayed contact forms, building a strong social media presence, and utilizing targeted online advertising. In this way, you can broaden your reach at the top of the sales funnel and attract a wide range of customers.

5. Sales and Marketing Alignment

A successful lead management strategy only becomes possible with a successful collaboration. Marketers attract leads, but it’s the sales team that takes the responsibility and guides them toward conversion.

By working together, marketing and sales can create a remarkable customer experience. Marketing can provide valuable insights into lead behavior and preferences, while sales can offer feedback on what works most with potential customers. Together they can avoid any hurdles when passing leads from one team to the other. This smooth handover leads to more sales and happier customers!

End Note

So, there you have it! Now you know what is Lead management and how it helps your business. Although managing your leads might seem complex idea, it’s really about creating a win-win situation for your customers and your business.

Want to make lead management even easier? Check out SaleBee CRM’s lead management module. It helps you collect leads, keep them engaged, and turn them into customers – all in one place. See how SaleBee CRM can help your business grow today!

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