What is Lead Management?

Dec. 16, 2022 · 5 minutes

A lead is any person or business that may be interested in your goods. This interest is demonstrated by sharing contact information, clicking on a "register now" link, visiting your website, or engaging in any other manner. The details provided by a lead are utilized by the lead management process to categorize and organize action steps.

Lead Management is the process of acquiring and managing leads (possible customers) prior to their conversion. This is a more extensive approach than traditional advertising and is especially suitable to e-commerce shops that cultivate individual client relationships.

Management of leads is a wide field that encompasses practically every sales strategy used to gather and convert prospects. Although this can be accomplished manually, it is preferable to use a digital platform that connects to your website on one end and your CRM on the other to create a continuous data lifetime. The customer can then be guided through this lifecycle, experiencing an accelerated path from interest to conversion. Lead management should not be confused with lead nurturing, which is a subset of lead management that occurs at the conclusion of the process.

But how can you determine if your organization is ready for a next-generation lead management system?

We advise you to be aware of the following warning signs:

  • There is no specific information source. In order to follow up on leads, your sales and marketing executives must constantly hop between platforms.
  • The leads provided to sales are unqualified. This indicates that you are spending an excessive amount of effort distinguishing good leads from bad ones.
  • There is no insight into the behavior of leads. Therefore, you are unable to execute tailored content marketing and must rely on the customer to approach you independently.
  • You frequently overlook opportunities. In any lead management system, it is expected that some leads would be missed; nevertheless, this number should not exceed a certain threshold.
  • Poor conversion rates are seen. This is often due to a lack of nurturing actions, and is the reason why good leads do not become qualified prospects.

Clearly, your firm requires a more sophisticated lead management strategy, backed by technology, if these instances ring a bell. Once deployed, it is essential to establish the designated lead management ownership.

Why effective lead management is essential for online businesses?

Lead management's primary purpose is to provide clients with the information they need to advance through the sales funnel. When several aspects of a company's marketing organization are out of sync or leads are not properly qualified, clients may receive duplicate or irrelevant material, which can kill an otherwise promising conversion. Simply managing leads in an efficient manner, whether through a CRM or another B2B lead generating method, eliminates human effort and enhances the customer experience for an online firm.

Who manages lead generation? 

Without a dedicated stakeholder accepting ownership and responsibility for the lead management system, the return on investment will not increase. Lead management falls at the crossroads of sales and marketing, depending on the customer's position in the purchasing journey. For instance, there are marketing qualified leads (MQL) when a client requests additional information about a product and contacts the business. You can now share presentations and pitches as a marketer in an effort to convert the customer.

On the other hand, sales executives directly manage sales qualified leads (SQL). These are often known as "hot/warm leads," emphasizing their eagerness to convert. At this point, sales can intervene fast and close the sale.

Regardless of the prospect's intent and level of interest, sales and marketing should always collaborate on lead management. Marketing is positioned to gather leads, track them, and transfer them to sales when customers are ready to convert. To assure upselling and cross-selling, sales are better positioned to qualify leads and nurture them in partnership with the marketing team.

This gets us to the actual process of lead management.

How to manage leads?

1. Prospect Generation

The initial step in the lead management process is advertising and lead acquisition. Before reaching potential clients, nothing can be done.

2. Customer Question

The management process begins when clients respond in some way, indicating their interest in the supplied product or service. Typically, this occurs when a customer clicks a link.

3. Identification

The next step in lead management is to determine who the customer is. Some of this information is accessible via Google Analytics, while other information can be accessed by requesting that the customer submit it to the business.

4. Question Filtering

Once IDs have been recorded, their accuracy must be confirmed. This aspect of lead management assists the organization in gaining a better understanding of the veracity of any data entered.

5. Lead Weighting

Once their unique identity has been determined, leads should be screened according to their assessed worth to the organization. Prioritize leads that are more likely to result in a sale, or that provide greater value to the business, over casual consumers.

6. Distribution of Leads

Distribution of qualified leads to the company's marketing and sales employees, frequently with specific instructions and information. Customers with the highest potential value should be assigned to the sales representatives who are most likely to convert them.

7. Sales Contact

At this point, the sales process begins in earnest. Sales professionals must arrange their interaction in a manner that stimulates a response from the lead, and the manner in which this occurs must be determined by the lead's behavior to date.

8. Leader Development

Leads who reply to the Sales Contact should be added to the lead nurturing process, which uses both automatic and personalized follow-ups to persuade them of the value of making a purchase.

9. Sales Result

When a lead ultimately makes a purchase, the management procedure concludes. If you desire repeat sales, return to Step 7.

The Math of Business

You must have X leads in your sales pipeline to create Y dollars in revenue, based on your typical lead conversion rate.

However, conversion rates vary.

Depending on your target market, the lead-to-sale conversion rate for the B2C sector ranges from 1.8% to 19%.

In contrast, the B2B lead conversion rate ranges from 0.35 percent to 40 percent.

Why is there a disparity?

It all depends on the industry in which you operate.

There are no benchmarks, however MarketingSherpa asked 17 marketers in 12 industries to disclose their lead conversion rates.

Here are the results:

Lead Conversion Rate

If your conversion rate is higher than those listed above, congratulations – you're doing an excellent job!

However, the issue primarily occurs when your conversion rates are below the average for the industry. Either you're not creating enough high-quality leads or you're not keeping up with lead management. That is,

  • Your sales funnel does not contain qualified leads.
  • You're not able to seize all opportunities to sell.
  • You cannot determine whether your leads are interacting 
  • With your nurturing efforts and take necessary action.

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