Lead generation is a big part of marketing, and it has been for decades (though the exact methods of doing so have changed as the internet has evolved). Despite how long this method of attracting new customers has existed, there are still challenges associated with it. Collecting qualified, relevant leads can be difficult, even with today’s technology. This is especially true when it comes to the struggles that growing companies face when trying to keep track of the diverse variety of leads they collect.
If you’re struggling with lead management, you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon to have an exceptionally difficult time securing high-quality leads and converting them into satisfied customers.
Fortunately, the world of marketing technology has evolved, and helpful solutions are now available at your fingertips. Let’s cover what lead generation is, how to develop your strategy, and the ways a CRM tool can help solve the issues you’re facing as you work to secure more leads and convert them as efficiently as possible.
Your lead management layout might look a little different from lead management processes other companies use when looking at the finer details. However, most lead management processes will look quite similar at a glance.
For example, a standard lead management strategy might include the following points:
Lead management should look like a clear, step-by-step process you can follow, including branching-off points that allow you to segment your leads into groups.
Lead management is the steps that businesses take when acquiring and managing leads until they become customers. It works similarly to advertising methods, but there are more steps and details involved in the process. Let’s cover the basics of how the lead management process works and the steps that are usually involved.
Steps can be repeated if the product or service being offered is the type that customers should want to purchase multiple times in the future.
Effective lead management matters because it’s the entire backbone of the selling process. Generally, leads are not going to slip into making a purchase without any form of encouragement from the business they’re visiting. While it can happen, it’s not wise to rely on the customer alone to find their way through the sales funnel and become a satisfied customer.
Lead management is essential when it comes to developing an effective strategy for continuously making new sales.
The simplest explanation is that success looks like a sale. When a company has effectively managed leads and turned them into customers, the lead management process has been a success. However, a single sale doesn’t always mean that the lead management funnel has worked as intended. One or two sales can happen as somewhat of a fluke, but when a business is consistently bringing in new customers and increasing sales, it’s reasonable to assume that the methods used to manage leads are working quite well.
Depending on your business model and the industry in which you operate, the finer details of your lead management strategy can vary. However, there are a few concrete elements of an effective lead management strategy that every plan should include. Let’s cover a couple of the most important strategies to perfect when attempting to generate, nurture, and convert leads.
Qualifying the leads you’ve generated gives you the opportunity to learn about them as people. By discovering who they are and what they need, you can develop a unique approach when it comes to offering them something of value.
To qualify new leads, it’s a good idea to start by creating customer personas (also called customer profiles). If you have a list of customers that are already engaged with your company and your content, they can be incredibly valuable when it comes to designing profiles. Interview these individuals and collect their characteristics. Knowing their behaviors and demographics can help you fine-tune your approach so that you appeal to people that fit these personas.
Use the personas you’ve developed and ask yourself pertinent questions about the leads you’re reviewing. When the majority of the answers match those you seek in your profiles, you likely have a qualified lead. Determining that a lead qualifies for the offer you’re promoting allows you to move a good lead along the sales funnel and either resegment or drop leads that don’t qualify.
Customer profiles or personas will be beneficial during this step as well. Segmenting your leads into different lists will require examining the different elements that set them apart from other leads you’ve generated. For example, you will obviously want to segment your leads based on quality to start. That is, you’ll need to examine the source of your leads and the different characteristics you can gather. Use this information to determine whether the lead is likely to become a customer effortlessly, or if they’ll need significant nurturing.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to further segment your lists based on other factors. You might have lists of leads who share similar interests, leads that have the same rough budget in mind for purchasing, and demographics like age, location, and even lifestyle traits (married, parents, college students, etc.).
By segmenting your leads, you can develop unique strategies when it comes to reaching these individuals. You might alter the speech you use in your contact efforts, mention a shared pain point, or reference a common element that their lives share when attempting to discover who these leads are as human beings.
For example, if you serve people from widely different age groups, you might not want to approach your +60 segment using the same language as you would when nurturing your 20-something leads.
Segmenting and monitoring where each lead is along the pipeline is additionally helpful, as it helps prevent common lead management issues from occurring. For example, if you closely monitor where your leads are along the sales funnel, you can avoid losing them by making the following mistakes.
Even when it’s not intentional, leads don’t appreciate this. It’s hard to blame them, too, as nobody likes receiving the same piece of information over and over. It comes off as insincere and somewhat scammy, so to maintain your professionalism, avoid duplicate emails.
Much like nobody enjoys duplicate emails, nobody enjoys being bombarded with follow-up attempts. Even if a lead is interested in the product or service you’re offering, they may lose interest if they feel that you’re bothering them with constant emails and attempts to connect.
This is the opposite issue from the point mentioned above. While too many follow-up attempts aren’t good, not enough is also a big mistake to avoid. When leads slip through the cracks and don’t receive any attempts to follow up, they will likely move on and find another product or service that meets their needs.
By properly segmenting your leads, you can personalize the way you approach them. If you understand your customer profiles, you can use the information therein to create campaigns that effectively nurture each group. For example, your segmented approaches can address a specific need your leads may have expressed. The fact that you understand their goals makes them appreciate your efforts more. They’re less likely to feel that your nurture campaigns are strictly profit-based and more likely to understand that you want to help them.
Even individuals who are not particularly involved with the marketing industry will notice a vague sales approach. Almost everyone knows what it feels like to have salespeople close in on them with pitches and promotions. Instead, diversify your approach by trying several tactics. You might try content marketing and implement these methods into your overall strategy. This way, you’re providing leads with useful information that doesn’t feel like an overt attempt to sell something.
Try to make each interaction with your leads a meaningful experience. There should be a goal you have in mind when you reach out to your leads, beyond simply making an eventual sale. Work towards achieving something that serves you and your lead. Keep them interested in what you have to offer and ensure that they’re engaged with your content by making things interesting.
It’s also important to be mindful of the time you’re spending. Developing a timeline for your interactions with leads will help keep them warm and ready to convert when the time comes. A reasonable timeline will also prevent you from either overwhelming your leads with constant emails or totally neglecting the lead’s potential by not contacting them enough.
Finally, defining a purpose for your contacts can be useful when reviewing your lead management strategy. By looking at the work you’re already doing, you can determine whether specific elements meet the goals you’ve assigned. Tracking your interactions will also make it easier to determine when and where improvements can be made.
Let’s clarify what CRM means in the first place. CRM stands for “customer relationship management” and as the name implies, CRM tools are dedicated to managing and enhancing the way businesses interact with their customers.
This software type can be used to monitor and organize lead interactions, data, and other pieces of information about the individuals who interact with a business. The data collected can be used to generate reports and analyze lead management strategies.
CRM tools work to simplify the sales process, marketing development, customer care, budgetary tracking and profits, and growth projections. It’s especially useful in managing leads because it tracks every step of every individual’s journey along the sales funnel, whether they’re still currently a lead or a repeat customer.
From the moment a potential lead keys their contact information into a form or landing page on your company’s website, CRM tools will track and help manage the entire process that follows. As sales professionals reach out to these prospective leads, new information can be added and saved to the individual’s customer journey timeline. With this, every member of the sales team is informed about where exactly this individual resides within the sales funnel. This helps sales professionals adjust the way they interact with this individual, making it much easier to use the right approach every time.
Not only does CRM software simplify and streamline lead management, but it also reduces paper clutter, lost information, and delays in communication. These features work together to improve customer satisfaction and lead conversion rates.
Streamlining your lead management processes is beneficial for several reasons. For one, technology has developed in such a way that it has perfected a massive amount of human processes, including the elimination of human errors. Furthermore, streamlining lead management processes with the help of a CRM tool saves your team time, money, and the need to experiment with strategies and techniques through trial and error. These tools are designed to not only elevate the work your team does, but to fill in and provide greater focus in areas where additional emphasis is needed.
If you’re considering a CRM tool to help your team track and manage your leads, there are an array of advantages you can count on. Let’s cover a few of them.
CRM tools that streamline lead management processes not only automate certain functions, but these tools collect and organize data that pertains to your leads and their various segments. This means that when your team attempts to review the way you approach your leads and the methods you use in your strategies, you’ll have reliable data to examine.
A collection of clear, concise information makes the process of discussing your lead management strategy much easier than it would be without a CRM tool. Being able to review specific information and refer to the data that either supports or refutes certain points made can make the process of implementing changes to your strategy much easier.
A CRM tool will organize the correspondence between your team and the leads you’re trying to convert. As such, these tools can determine who has been contacted and who hasn’t. They’ll also track the timelines of each contact attempt so that you’re not going to accidentally bother your leads with too many contacts.
Not to mention, a CRM tool will automate certain responses to leads. This way, the time period in which a lead is at its warmest doesn’t pass your team by. As soon as a lead is generated, a CRM tool can determine a few details about the individual and respond accordingly to start the nurturing process as soon as reasonably possible.
Because the correspondence between your team and your leads are all clearly documented, scheduling the contacts you’re going to attempt can be done with confidence. You won’t have to worry about whether you’ve already sent a specific email to this individual, or whether too much or too little time has passed between one contact attempt and the next.
Streamlining lead management processes with the help of a CRM tool not only ensures timely responses for initial lead interactions but the follow-up correspondences as well. Depending on the settings designed for each segment you have your leads in, you can schedule follow-ups in the most appropriate and convenient way possible. Each of your leads in specific groups will experience consistent interactions with your team, and with this, no lead gets left behind along the funnel.
In wrapping up, understanding how to manage sales leads effectively is not just a skill but an art that can make or break your business. As you’ve learned, effective lead management goes beyond just collecting names and email addresses. It’s about nurturing these leads through a well-thought-out process that turns them into loyal customers.
By now, you should be well-equipped with the knowledge and tools to refine your lead management strategy. Whether it’s improving your team’s organizational skills or optimizing your conversion techniques, every step counts towards enhancing the quality of your lead nurturing efforts.
Don’t underestimate the power of advanced tools like CRM software, which can elevate your entire marketing strategy. From email sequencing to targeted content development, these tools ensure your message reaches the right audience at the right time.
So, what’s next? Take action. Implement these strategies and watch your business grow. If you find yourself in need of expert advice or specialized tools, remember that David Taylor Digital is just a call or message away. Our team of marketing professionals is ready to assist you in supercharging your company’s growth, increasing sales, and enhancing your customer experience.
For more personalized guidance on creating an effective lead management strategy, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help you succeed in every aspect of lead management.