As we’ve looked at the best practices of lead capturing quite recently, continuing with a topic about lead management seemed logical. So, this post is all about actions that one should take when they already have a solid amount of leads captured. It doesn’t really matter whether you use spreadsheets or a CRM to manage your sales process, tips shared in this article can be applied in any case.
But before diving into details, let’s point out why lead management is important:
- It helps business to understand which tactics bring in the best leads.
- Therefore, it allows to optimize your sales strategy.
- It documents the full history of lead’s interactions and experiences with your company.
- Therefore, your sales process becomes more personalized and consultative rather than generic and pushy.
Everything’s in Your Hands
Keeping things well-organized comes with the feeling that everything’s in your hands and you’re ready for whatever comes next. You know that unexpected guests won’t make you panic, you will find whatever you’re looking for in a tidy room and all that jazz. Likewise, keeping your sales leads organized can help you feel more confident and ready to qualify or convert them whenever necessary.
Every person has their own way of keeping things organized, but here are some tips and tricks useful for everyone:
- Customized fields is a good way to ensure that you track all the information necessary to match your business needs. The more information about a lead you have, the easier it will be to qualify and convert it. Teamgate users can set custom fields once they start using the CRM or later if they think that something useful is missing.
- Tagging your sales leads allows to differentiate them from one another and categorize to conveniently perform actions, e.g. exporting, adding to a mailing list, etc. Moreover, tags can be useful when looking at reports. Teamgate does not only provide a number of default tags, custom tags are also supported to ensure that your business needs are satisfied.
- Make sure your leads are not duplicated. Try keeping the list as clean as possible because this allows to focus your efforts on the right leads. To make de-duplicating easier and quicker, you may want to start using a CRM. Such systems automate the workflow; for example, Teamgate marks possible duplicates and allows users to instantly merge them.
- Track status of your sales leads to make sure necessary actions are taken on the right time. By assigning leads status values, you can segment them based on previous sales activities, keep sales reps on the top of the sales funnel, prioritize the outreach, enable follow-ups, and nurture your leads.
- If you follow these advices, sorting and filtering your leads will not only be easy but also beneficial. By sorting and filtering you are able to find necessary leads a lot quicker. Also, this helps to categorize leads and perform actions with multiple items at the time.
Finally, staying organized is nothing without planning. Make sure to plan your sales activities in advance and stay on schedule. A CRM may be of great use in this case, because most of the CRMs, including Teamgate, support event calendars and reminders. Well-organized sales leads and activity schedule is a good way to start lead nurturing.
Building Relationships Pays Off
Lead nurturing helps to raise company’s profile in the eyes of potential customers and build relationships with them at every stage of your sales funnel. Investing additional effort in lead nurturing definitely pays off. Therefore, we have put together a list of things to consider:
- Nurturing campaigns must offer value and create brand awareness. Build the relationships with potential customers by providing them with relevant and valuable content. From blog posts to videos, from infographics to e-books, and so on – create content that would attract, engage and serve your target audience.
- Focus on acquiring quality leads. Remember that quantity is less important, especially if you own a small business and have limited sales resources.
- Create targeted content, because if you understand who your audience are, you’re more likely to reach out to them. It’s time your marketing and sales teams put their efforts together because sales can identify what they look for in a lead and this is what marketing needs to create well-targeted content.
- Use multiple communication channels. People may prefer different ways to be contacted and, luckily, there are various channels available, e.g. email, landing pages, web forms, ads, newsletters, social media, phone, etc. You can use them in combination, e.g. to retarget leads using different channels, or on their own, e.g. send newsletters to certain leads only.
- Communication has to be timely and two-way. Don’t miss a chance to interact with your leads, make sure to contact them as soon as possible and present the value proposition or next steps. Also, provide the opportunity to contact you, it can be via a live chat, social media, phone, or email.
Finally, consider automating the process of lead nurturing. Using a CRM helps saving time and ensures you don’t miss necessary follow-ups. For instance, instant automatic emails can make your prospects feel welcome and informed. Or, if you keep your leads database well-organized, you can easily communicate with particular categories by sending newsletters. For example, Teamgate supports an integration with the powerful email marketing platform MailChimp. You not only can automate the distribution of newsletters but also track the statistics without leaving the CRM.
Know What You’re Looking For
Deal management can also be enhanced by lead scoring, which is used in conjunction with inbound marketing tactics to decide which of your leads are ready to convert. To make sure that lead scoring helps you close more deals, it is also important to follow the other tips in this article. Good organization of leads and careful nurturing contributes to getting the most out of lead scoring. This works vice versa too – lead scoring helps to categorize leads and identify those that need nurturing.
As lead scoring is not a particularly simple process, we made sure to describe it in detail. In a nutshell, here’s what you need to know about it:
- Efforts of sales and marketing have to be joined to identify the ideal leads and decide on the lead score criteria.
- Lead scoring is necessary if you have enough leads and want to focus the effort on the right ones.
- To score your leads, you need lead capturing forms on your website to collect relevant data.
- Capturing and funneling the data to CRM software is the most convenient way to score leads. Then, you can start tracking interactions of your potential customers.
Improving the Never-ending Cycle
Tracking interactions of your leads allow to collect and analyze information. This comes in handy with the processes of lead scoring and qualification. By tracking leads you get to know who they are, what impact nurturing has on them, and when it’s the best time to convert.
First and foremost, rather than striving to collect all the possible data, focus on the most relevant which would help to qualify and convert captured leads. The next step is data analysis, which, there’s no secret, is the most convenient when automated. Teamgate Insights offers a number of templates that facilitate the analysis. For example, you can:
- Quickly identify where your leads come from.
- Follow the trajectory of leads to get the big picture of your lead management process.
- Audit leads history to understand how lead criteria are tied to the amount of opportunities and closed deals.
- Analyze data to decide on lead score criteria, or revise it.
To sum up, tracking your leads and their management cycle helps to identify where optimizations can be made. We suggest to consider using a CRM to automate this process, because the time saved for the analysis can be invested in the optimization as lead management is a never-ending cycle.
Too Much Work? Think of Automating!
Long story short, you may want to keep your leads systematized to nurture, score, and track them easier. Building long-lasting relationships with potential customers start with lead nurturing and you should have a strategy for it. Moreover, you need to think of your ideal customer profile to be able to score your leads and get the most out of lead scoring, i.e. successfully qualify and convert the leads. Finally, tracking interactions and analyzing data is the key to success, because lead management is a continuous cycle, which has to be improved constantly.
If you’d look back at the tips we’ve shared in this article, you would probably agree that automating some, or all, the processes might be a good idea. This may sound like a cliché statement, but using a CRM software would save time and help your team, to work more efficiently. Just think about it, you would be able to deal with different types of leads, categorize them and apply different nurturing strategies quicker. Also, you would have a chance to look at reports and decide on lead scoring criteria, identify necessary improvements, understand where your leads come from, and much more. You wouldn’t ever get lost in your spreadsheets again because CRMs help to keep everything well-organized and accessible.
By the way, what we’ve discussed here is only the beginning of a sales process. So, stay tuned for more articles about the next steps in the process and some extra tips and tricks.