Leads are the lifeblood of any business across the globe since without them your revenue will eventually dry up and consequentially you will have to shut off the lights of your company.
But there is a problem – leads are not easy to come by as a Starbuck’s Latte.
Hence in order to cope with it, businesses turn to sales pipeline CRM software solutions to aid companies to manage their leads as lead management is the first step in the customer journey once the leads have established contact with your brand.
Now with competition becoming fiercer in most industries and customer’s demands for personalized experiences increasing every day, businesses cannot afford to overlook the need for lead management anymore, an opportunity that can only be found once companies adopt CRM tools like Salesforce or even any other Salesforce Alternative CRM solutions if they want to remain competitive in their marketplace.
So in this article let us take a jaunt into the world of managing your leads which can be also called CRM lead database management which can help in building better customer relationships.
Now lead management is a technique that focuses on bagging and retaining leads until they become happy and loyal customers with a subscription or purchase or any other business interactions on to the lead’s name.
In other words, lead management with a sales pipeline CRM software helps to guide the leads through a process of qualifying, scoring, and nurturing after which businesses can hand the leads off to their sales reps who are trained to turn them into paying customers.
Now that being said, let us show you some of the most important things that we have learned as one of the most promising vendors of the best small and medium business CRM software about managing sales leads over the last 15 years.
1. Define Qualified Lead
A major disconnect between the staff working in sales and the marketing department in any organization lies in finding a proper definition of a properly qualified lead.
Research suggests that more than even 75 percent of the leads that are passed on to sales departments never get actively worked by the sales reps in most organizations.
This can happen for a plethora of reasons.
We have found one major reason for this disconnect is not being able to define what a truly qualified lead is that can provide business to an organization
Hence for better sales effectiveness, the marketing and sales in an organization need to find a very precise meaning (or rules laid down for measuring engagement) when a suspected contact becomes a definite lead that can be thereafter sent to the sales department, partners, or other channels for nurturing them so that they can convert to a customer.
Now the parameters of this definition of an ideal sales-ready lead vary from company to company, but they generally include the following factors that include:
2. Nurture The Leads
Leads that have not fully passed the screen test of a “qualified lead” requires proactive nurturing by the marketers in an organization by using a sales pipeline CRM software.
We have found that most “leads” generated by marketing are doubtlessly not ready to buy based on their first interaction with a company.
Therefore it is best to nurture both suspects and prospects and you will be astonished at how much revenue can be made from nurturing lead in the CRM databases, even with the leads that have been already summarily written off by sales teams.
For this, campaigns need to be run allowing you to touch your prospective leads multiple times throughout the sales process using different sales cadences until they are ready to buy.
Special offers, new product announcements, and promotions are tools that should be set into action to reactive old and long-forgotten leads and even arouse interest in the new ones stored in the sales pipeline CRM software.
Hence nurturing leads is a distinctive sales and marketing skillset that needs to be greatly enhanced, measured, and rewarded appropriately for its successes by the company.
3. Distribute The Leads
According to studies, it is clear that the sales close rate increases phenomenally if you answer back within 12 to 24 hours after a lead initiates contact with your company.
This is because, by responding fast, you truly distinguish your organization and even yourself from other sales reps and your competitors.
For this, the “contact” should not just be an automated email responder, but also a personal phone call from a sales professional.
Obviously, the magnitude of the opportunity and the buying cycle command the persistence and intensity of the follow-up cycle with a lead.
Nevertheless, cloud based CRM systems that are integrated with AI and other cutting-edge business growth technology solutions are great technology in distributing leads quickly and efficiently using round-robin algorithms and more advanced techniques among the right members in the sales team.
4. Track Lead Source
In any business, you need to determine what works and what does not and the only way to know this type of information is to capture the source of the lead.
In an ideal world, this is done using a sales CRM system tool that gets automatically populated when a new contact or lead arrives into the system.
This is because if you are incapable of capturing the genesis or the source of the lead, you have no other way of figuring out what is working to make the lead find out your brand.
Most full-featured sales pipeline CRM software systems have inbuilt reporting systems that aids in understanding the Return on Investment (ROI) on the lead management activities.
Moreover, as CRM systems give you a multitude of ways for capturing and storing leads into the system, your marketing and sales team spends even less time entering and inputting data and more time acting on the stored information in its CRM database.
Additionally, with complete visibility to all leads, there is less chance of multiple people calling the same prospect, which can reduce the efficiency of your sales processes in the long run.
5. Remember Quality Beats Quantity
When it comes to generating new sales, quality definitely supersedes quantity, since significant time can be wasted by organizations and businesses that invest momentous time and energy churning through poor quality leads.
Moreover, the more information you can capture about a prospective lead, the more energized your sales team will be about the lead.
Now this information can be captured in many different ways including things like the search string someone used to get to your website.
This information increases the “quality” of the lead and should be passed to the sales via a simple CRM system.
6. Measure Everything
Lastly, you need to determine what is exactly that you want to measure and the reasons why.
Measurements generally include cost per lead, lead source, cost of acquisition, size of the opportunity, geography, buying cycle, size of the company, and more.
Hence once you determine what you want to measure, you can put the necessary tools like a sales pipeline CRM software in place to capture the information since when you have the right information, you can determine the return on investment of your marketing and sales efforts and focus on the lead generation campaigns that will increase your sales pipeline.
Do not leave money on the table. Invest in CRM database management and take your business to the next level.
There are plenty of easy to use CRM tools to choose from, so take your time when making a decision, ask plenty of questions, and keep your overarching goal in mind, which is – building up a strong customer base.