In this digital age, does your business still find it difficult to nurture and qualify leads? Do you face problems with lead leakage and lead duplication? Is your business losing high quality leads to competitors? If you answer yes to at least one of these questions, it’s time to implement a lead management process.
An effective lead management process deals with the whole customer lifecycle. It starts with tracking the initial customer contacts and goes through leads nurturing and down to the sales process.
Lead management is critical to your business success. It is like bread and butter for every business. It helps to prevent lead leakage as well as nurture, manage, and reengage leads after a successful sale.
How Do You Define A Lead?
A lead is an initial customer contact. When a person has shown some form of interest in your company’s products and services, he/she becomes a lead. The interest is usually in the form of filling out the web form, visiting your website, downloading a white paper, or attending one of your webinars.
For an effective lead management process, a business should implement a customer relationship management (CRM) software. There are several options on the market. Some of these are free CRM tools, some others can be extremely expensive. It all depends on your needs.
Here we highlight 4 ways to create an effective lead management process for your startup.
1. Lead Capture Mechanism & Elimination of Duplicate Leads:
In a CRM application, a lead is captured in three different ways:
- Automatic Lead Capture Mechanism – This allows leads to be automatically captured through integrated web-forms, quote request forms, newsletter subscription, and more. However, leads should be captured also through social media and online marketing activities or conferences. A process structured in this way can prevent leads leakage as well as automatically identifies a high-profit lead generation sources.
- Leads Import System – Importing leads from an excel spreadsheet into CRM tools.
- Lead Page – Manually entering details of each individual lead and later save the records in a centralized CRM database.
Besides possessing an automatic lead capture mechanism, you can use a CRM application to clean the lead records by eliminating duplicates.
In a CRM system, you can notice duplicate lead records in the event that the same lead has contacted your business or responded to your marketing campaigns several times. You can use your CRM software to merge duplicate lead records belonging to the same person into a single file.
2. Lead Tracking & Automatic Lead Scoring
Once leads are automatically captured in the CRM system, it’s time to track leads activities. Automatic tracking lead intelligence techniques are the way to go.
A startup implementing a lead tracking methodology can collect the lead’s geographical area, the company size, product interests, the source, as well as their problems, needs, and wants.
Having a lead tracking mechanism enables your company to determine its online behavior. For example, what is its browsing history? How many times have they visited your website? What about your company blog? Have they downloaded any of your whitepapers?
Tracking all this will help your startup better understand the mindset of prospective leads.
Once lead tracking is completed, it’s time to implement a lead scoring mechanism.
Some cloud-based CRM solutions allow businesses to define customizable rules and criteria for leads scoring. Rules and criteria should be fitting your needs and products in order to reflect correctly potential opportunities.
3. Lead Segmentation & Lead Qualification
Lead tracking and scoring will help your business segment leads automatically into various categories, such as hot, warm and junk leads.
With this segmentation, leads who then show interest in purchasing your company’s products or services will be qualified as sales opportunities. Whenever a lead becomes a qualified sales opportunity, then a separate contact and account record should be created in your CRM tool. At this stage, this lead will enter the sales pipeline and passed on to a sales representative.
4. Lead Nurturing
Once the lead is qualified, it needs then, to be nurtured, engaged and followed-up to become a successful client. The lead nurturing mechanism is effective for those leads who show little interest in purchasing. However, keep in mind that in a CRM system there are no dead leads. Every lead can turn into a good prospect if provided with the right material.
Lead nurturing should be a continuous process for every startup. Leads should consistently be engaged across multiple channels by sharing relevant and interesting resources. These should also be triggered by email marketing campaigns.
The lead management process is crucial to any startup. Understanding how a lead contacted your company and mastering the technique that brought that lead to a successful sale will be the source of future success.
With a clear view and process around this, businesses can optimize the sales strategy efficiently and streamline the lead experience. If you want to take your startup to the next level, invest in a CRM system that can help your business track prospective customers effortlessly, provide real-time lead notifications, as well as automatically prioritize leads for a faster response rate.
Do you implement a CRM tool in your organization? How do you successfully control the lead journey? What are some key factors in structuring a successful lead management process? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.