What Is Lead Management? (Importance, Steps And Tips)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 19 July 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
A lead is a person or business with an interest in a product, service or marketing content. Professional lead managers utilise sales techniques to convert leads into loyal customers. Learning about lead management can help you establish an effective customer acquisition model and retention tactics. In this article, we answer 'What is lead management?', look at its importance, share the steps involved, explore some tips to increase the effectiveness of the lead management process and answer a few frequently asked questions.
What Is Lead Management?
Understanding 'What is lead management?' can help you facilitate business profitability by acquiring new potential customers. Lead management is the process of collecting lead details from multiple sources and utilising them to direct communications. Lead management involves segregating leads and allocating them to sales representatives. This process also involves recording and monitoring online and offline contacts, including emails, website visits, ad clicks, telephonic conversations and in-person meetings. Lead management also assists businesses in gaining a deeper understanding of the consumers' requirements and answering their concerns.
Why Is Lead Management Important?
The lead management process helps organisations determine the best technique for generating and nurturing leads. Lead management is a crucial process for efficiently utilising sales team time by assisting them to focus their efforts on leads who actually require the product or service and are in a suitable position to make a purchase decision. Lead management facilitates the categorisation and scoring of leads by region, media channel, behavioural traits and engagement time. With the help of such information, marketing teams can maintain proper contact with leads and forward them to sales specialists to help them make the transaction.
Steps Involved In The Lead Management Process
Following are six major steps of any lead management process:
1. Lead generation
Advertising and gaining the contact details of leads are the first steps of a lead management process. Websites, email, social media, webinars and sponsored ads are a few lead generation tactics businesses use to reach their potential consumers. Inbound and outbound are two major strategies for lead generation. Inbound strategies emphasise educating and engaging the audience by creating blogs and social media content which draws them to contact the business. The outbound techniques involve directly contacting prospective customers. Cold calls, ads and billboards are examples of major outbound lead generation methods.
2. Lead following
After getting the contact number and email address of the potential customer, lead following helps ensure they are interested in sales communication. Following leads is an essential aspect of lead management since it allows you to identify factors such as:
Specific webpage visit: If a lead visits the pricing page on a website, it might mean they are looking to buy a product or service.
Email open and click: If a lead opens and clicks your emails, it might mean that they may be interested in communicating with a sales representative.
Response to communication: A suitable potential buyer often responds to calls, text messages or other forms of communication.
3. Lead qualification
It is essential to qualify leads based on factors such as purchasing intent, purchasing capacity and product suitability. At first, the marketing team gathers a lead's contact information and other personal details to analyse whether the lead meets the customer profile of the company's target demographic. The marketing department labels a qualified lead as a prospect. A sales professional eventually organises a call to review the prospective client's needs, timing for purchase, purchasing authority and budgetary limits. The sales team may use this information to decide if the prospect is a potential prospect for further follow-up.
4. Lead distribution
Lead distribution involves matching leads with the marketing representatives who are best suited to turn them into loyal clients. Each lead has unique needs and goals and each marketing professional has a unique combination of abilities, knowledge and experiences. The objective of lead distribution is to manage the evaluation, qualification and allocation of leads to a team effectively. It considers several factors, such as a marketing representative's prior experience with similar leads and the expected transaction amount.
5. Lead nurturing
Lead nurturing helps in cultivating relationships with prospects to convert them into buyers. Often, a major component of lead nurturing is employing techniques, such as drip campaigns. Drip campaigns are emails that are sent periodically to leads. This introduces the customer to the company and its products. This phase allows sales and marketing professionals to create long-term connections with clients by educating them about products and services, which ultimately helps increase customer retention.
6. Lead passing to the sales team
At the last step of lead management, the marketing team forwards a qualifying lead to a sales professional. Assigning a numeric score to a lead based on their interest in products or services helps determine if they are ready to be transferred to the sales team. The greater the lead's value, the more qualified they are. This step also ensures that each lead has a first point of contact to avoid repeating the nurturing phase.
Tips For Effective Lead Management
Following are a few useful tips to consider for effective lead management:
Capture accurate information
For lead acquisition, creating contact forms and landing pages to collect their information is a helpful strategy. When leads have a strong intent to purchase, they can share their information. You can collect the key useful lead information, such as job titles, company names and email addresses.
Track lead generation
Often, there are multiple simultaneous lead generation campaigns active across the organisation. Proper lead management helps quantify the exact number of leads and income the respective campaign generates. It enables you to analyse marketing and sales key performance indicators (KPIs) through visual reports and calculate the return on investment (ROI) for each campaign.
Clear communication between all involved teams and with leads is important for effective lead management. When sharing information, contacting and following up on leads, it is important that the teams communicate in a timely and accurate manner. Utilising a lead management system can enable various departments to gain real-time context and visibility into the sales pipeline. This can help teams communicate more effectively with potential leads and prospects.
Understand interest and intent
When a prospect views a website, they express interest. If they take extra steps, such as registering for a product demo or reviewing pricing information, this shows that they have purchasing intent. By identifying which activities show what kind of intent, one can ensure the sales and marketing teams understand the distinction between these two types of behaviour and respond accordingly.
Developing content can help in the lead acquisition and nurturing stages of the lead management process. Relevant content can help attract quality leads to the website and build their trust in the brand. Awareness and trust help maintain a good conversion rate and save customer acquisition costs. You can also utilise drip emailing, which involves sending emails automatically to a specific audience. A content sequence based on a recipient's profile to sending them relevant emails periodically can help build interest in the product or service and gradually move them down into the marketing funnel.
Frequently Asked Questions About Lead Management
Here are a few frequently asked questions about lead management:
What is a lead lifecycle?
The lead lifecycle describes a potential customer's steps from the time they first interact with a brand until they decide to make a purchase. It involves multiple processes, such as analysing, segmenting, qualifying and nurturing leads. Effective lead life cycle management helps the sales and marketing teams understand the current stage of a particular lead in the buyer's journey and address their unique needs accordingly.
What is lead management CRM?
CRM stands for customer relationship management. Lead management CRM are specialised applications that integrate with other software to collect campaign data and simplify and automate marketing processes. It automatically captures lead demographic data and locations in marketing funnels. This helps you classify and qualify leads easily and focus your efforts on leads with the most potential.
What are the benefits of utilising a lead management CRM?
Here are some of the major benefits of utilising a lead management CRM:
Find lead stage and interact contextually: With an efficient lead management solution, you can understand the buyer's lifecycle stages and activity timelines of a lead. With this real-time context, sales and marketing professionals can effortlessly communicate by phone, email, chat and SMS directly from the CRM.
Segment and nurture lead: Segmenting allows you to target a large audience base based on different parameters. You can segment the leads based on demographics, region and behaviour to target the correct set of leads and increase the impact of your marketing initiatives.
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