What are the two common factors in all businesses?
But, sales and customers. To grow and thrive, businesses need customers.
And leads are the lifeline of a business’ sales engine.
To do it right, you as sales representatives or sales leaders need to have all sales and marketing leads well organized. Complete visibility into their source, background, context, status, and potential is crucial to progressing your lead through the pipeline with continued engagement until they buy your product or service.
Learn how a lead management system can support you at every step of your engagement, so you can convert more leads into customers.
Let us start with answering some key questions –
- What is Lead Management?
- What are the top priorities of sales reps?
- What are the challenges faced when lead management lacks efficiency?
- Steps in lead management
- Benefits of a lead management system
Lead Management Process
It is this process that starts with capturing leads.
Lead management takes them along a journey of nurturing via a series of touch points until you help them buy your product or service or decide otherwise.
As the lead is advanced towards sales, you gather as much information as possible to enhance your knowledge about the lead, so you stay relevant in their context.
The attempt is to continue to engage meaningfully via meeting, email, text, call, social media, or even virtual meetings, now.
The purpose is to help the leads see the value your business, product, or service can potentially offer, and convert them into a buyer.
What is effective lead management?
It is key for the sales rep to become a trusted advisor of the prospect.
The seller needs to be available to answer their queries and support with relevant information. Be prompt in responses while extending a customer experience that further seals the trust when interacting with the buyers.
Today, buyers need a seamless experience, no matter where they are connecting with the brand or with the sales team from.
How can you be equipped with the right content, collaterals, and information to share and support your conversations with your leads and prospects?
The right tools and systems can make it simple and easy for you to access the necessary resources.
A system that supports these conversations, interactions and communication is vital to making lead management truly effective.
Top Priorities of Sales Reps
The top-most priority of a sales rep is sales production.
Therefore, all activities that aid and support sales production become the priorities of sales reps.
- Speed and accuracy of response
- Meaningful conversations
- Understanding your prospect’s problems and priorities
- Staying on top of your prospects’ context and staying relevant
- Identifying problem – solution fit
- Ease of access to sales and marketing collaterals
- Making the right advice available to prospects
- Helping the prospect make the decision to buy your product and / or service
- Closing the opportunity to win the sale
Challenges when lead management lacks efficiency
Challenges abound if your lead management process is not streamlined.
- Unorganized and unmanageable data causes inefficiency across the organization
- Demotivation of sales teams creates churn in the sales organization
- Leads not meticulously organized wastes time and money
- Delay in entering leads into the CRM means loss of opportunity and revenue
- Manually qualifying leads delays lead progress in the pipeline
- Prospects lose confidence in the provider with poor follow-up
- Lack of accurate context of previous conversations further frustrates prospects
- Poor lead distribution creates imbalance in workload, accountability tracking issues, loss of productivity and costs rise
- Net results are a loss of revenue and loss of market share
Steps in Lead Management
Key steps in lead management include the following –
You need all leads that your business acquires, either inbound or acquired by any outreach method, to be entered in the CRM database.
A good lead management software takes care of capturing such leads automatically into your CRM. Besides, the software could enable bulk upload of hundreds and thousands of leads with the click of a button or could mine leads from your email to transfer them electronically to the CRM.
This saves tremendous amount of time compared to entering leads manually.
Leads in a Sales CRM could be marketing qualified leads (MQL) or sales qualified leads (SQL). A system that can separate the two categories can create tremendous efficiencies for the sales teams as the lead pipeline can always remain full with only active and qualified leads. As a result, easy to manage.
Leads that arrive in the CRM need to be allocated to the appropriate sales team members.
Based on the criteria of size, geography, category of products / services, a leader needs to allocate the leads to sales representatives, so they have their work allocated.
A software that gives the necessary tools to sales leaders to allocate, oversee and manage work is crucial for effective and efficient sales operations.
Once in the CRM, you need every contact, interaction, conversation, and communication with the lead, to be tracked and stored for future reference.
A software that can so track and provide a complete history of your lead progress and communication is ideal.
Besides, if email opening is tracked by the software the sales rep could further engage with the lead based on the action taken by the lead, when the lead is warm and seemingly interested in your offer.
A lead may not be ready to buy immediately.
In that case the sales representatives need to continue to educate the prospect, answer questions and demonstrate value of their products or services.
With the right lead management software, you can effectively nurture your leads.
You do so with the full context and history of past conversations as you easily access the right product / company data and information to support ongoing conversations.
You help your prospect with the decision-making process to buy your product or service. A system that provides you access to all sales and marketing collaterals to support your ongoing conversations, when and where you need them is truly a sales enablement system and not simply a CRM.