The Best Guide to Understanding Lead Management
Table of contents
Sales and marketing teams need to have a clear understanding of lead management in order to be successful.
Why? Simple: Being in sales is all about leads.
Convert as many leads into paying customers as possible, and you’re on your way to a successful career in sales.
But what happens when you don’t have enough leads? Or when the ones you do have just aren’t that interested in your product or service?
That’s where lead management comes in.
What is lead management? Why do you need lead management? And how to do it properly?
In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about lead management: from acquiring new leads to converting them into customers. Let’s get started!
What is lead management?
Before dealing with the notion of lead management, it is essential to look at the term ”lead” and what it means.
The meaning of Lead:
In business, the term lead refers to an individual or organization that has already shown interest in your product or service.
A lead is not yet a customer, but it has the potential to become one.
There are two types of leads:
- Marketing-qualified leads (MQLs)
- Sales-qualified leads (SQLs)
In short, MQLs are leads that have been identified and nurtured by marketing teams as having the potential to become customers.
SQLs, on the other hand, are leads that have been handed off to the sales team by marketing and are ready to be converted into customers.
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The definition of lead management
Lead management is the process of generating, nurturing, and converting leads into customers.
The goal of lead management is to help organizations increase sales revenue by identifying and nurturing leads until they are ready to purchase a product or service.
The lead management process typically consists of four steps:
- Lead Generation: Generally practiced as part of an inbound marketing strategy, it aims to capture the interest of the lead through targeted content strategies.
- Nurturing leads: This is a whole process of developing relationships with potential customers, even if they are not yet ready to purchase a product or service. The goal of lead nurturing is to turn leads into customers.
- Converting leads into customers: This step is pretty self-explanatory, you make the sale! Nonetheless, it also includes moving the lead from MQL to SQL. The sales team then takes over and uses various techniques to close the deal.
- Post-purchase follow-up: Once a customer has been converted, it’s important to follow up with them to ensure they are satisfied with the product or service and to upsell them on other products or services that they may be interested in.
Why should you do lead management?
No need to beat around the bush, proper lead management can significantly improve your conversion rate.
In and of itself, this is quite logical. The more a lead is pampered throughout their user journey, the more they will want to call on your expertise.
If they understand that their problems can be solved by contacting your teams, they’re in the bag.
Is that it? Not quite.
By working on your lead management, you will also:
- Better understand your target market: in order to know how to properly pamper your leads, you must first get to know them.
- Improve the quality of your leads: the goal is no longer to have a lot of leads but to have qualified and quality leads.
- Get more bang for your buck: by nurturing your leads, you will get more out of your marketing campaigns.
- Reduce the cost of customer acquisition: working on the quality of your leads helps you reduce your customer acquisition costs.
- Increase customer retention and loyalty: by providing a good customer experience, you increase the chances that your customers will stay with you and even recommend you to others.
Lead management is, therefore, a crucial process for any organization that wants to increase sales and revenue.
When done properly, lead management can help you better understand your target market, improve the quality of your leads, and increase sales.
So then, how do you do it properly?
How to perform lead management properly?
If you’ve read our guide so far, you’ll have learned that successful lead management requires your teams to free up space in their schedules.
It takes place from the moment a lead arrives on your content until they become part of your customer base… and even after!
Here are the steps to follow:
Identify your leads
Without this step, your lead generation strategy is useless. It is important to get your personas straight before you start spending money.
Several characteristics will help you refine your research:
- Data on the company: How big is it? How much money can it spend on a new tool? How many people are in sales? What is their maturity stage?
- Demographics: What geographic area do they operate in? How old are they? What are their interests?
- Professional data: What company do your leads work for? What is their hierarchical level? How long have they been with the company?
- Behavioral data: how do they consume content on the web? What are their preferred channels?
Prioritize your leads
Now that you have identified your personas and started to generate leads, you need to segment them. This is an integral part of lead management.
The less your leads look like your persona, the less likely they are to convert. So you need to prioritize them.
This will prevent you from drowning in too much volume and spending time and money on profiles that don’t fit your vision.
Collect information about your leads
This is an essential step in lead nurturing. Collecting information about your leads takes place at different stages of your prospecting funnel:
- The entry point of your lead: You must be able to identify the channel through which your lead entered. Did they click on your LinkedIn publication? Read an article on your blog? Subscribe to your newsletter? Fill out a form to get access to a particular content?
- Their user journey: This is about determining their consumption habits on your website. Do they just browse your blog? Download resources? Regularly consult your price list?
Quick Tip 💡
The more information you collect about your leads, the more information you can add to your CRM.
The more your CRM is filled with data about your leads, the more anchor points you will have to support your sales processes, once sales has taken control of the lead.
Qualify your leads with lead nurturing
Getting your leads’ attention is nice. But what’s next? It’s time to build trust and affection.
This step is a key part of your lead nurturing strategy. The more you can move your prospect through the sales process, the more you will strengthen the trust between you.
Beyond maximizing your lead retention, it is also an excellent way to collect more and more information that will help you close a deal.
It’s up to you to push the right content and personalize it in the right way. The more you adapt your marketing levers to their needs, the more you will move your prospects forward in your sales cycle to turn them into customers.
It’s up to you to move them from the consideration phase to the decision phase.
Identify their pain points, define a solution, and show them that your solution is the best one to address them.
This infographic from Single Grain gives a good picture of the stages your lead can go through:
Scoring your leads
If we often talk about lead scoring at LaGrowthMachine, it is with good reason. It is the most effective way to determine the maturity of a lead.
To briefly remind you of what lead scoring is, we will simply remind you that it involves assigning a score to your prospect.
It is based on their positive or negative actions recorded during their user journey such as:
- Reading your article on the Internet
- Commenting on a LinkedIn post
- Signing up for the newsletter
- Accepting a phone appointment
- Putting your emails in spam
- Downloading a white paper
- Attending a webinar
- Purchasing a product on your website
- Abandoning a shopping cart
To put it simply:
The higher the score, the more mature a lead is. The higher their maturity level, the more they’re ready to be managed by the sales team.
Aligning marketing and sales
Do you sense that your prospect is hot and ready to make a sale? Turn on the sales alarm.
When your lead’s score is high enough to become an SQL, it’s up to sales to take over.
Thanks to the information gathered by marketing and stored in your CRM, your sales team has all the keys in hand to turn your prospects into customers by pushing them to buy.
This is where sales and marketing alignment comes into play.
Analyze your results
This is the only good way to do it. Respecting all the steps before without analyzing the resulting statistics is a waste of time.
In coordination with marketers and sales, the lead manager should always measure the efficiency of a prospecting workflow.
Here are some KPIs to consider:
- The traffic on your website
- The conversion rate
- The response rate
- Your ROI or ROAS
- Your CPL
- The bounce rate of an article
- The opening rate and the click rate of your newsletter
Automate your processes
“That’s all well and good… but it’s just not feasible and far too time-consuming on a daily basis!” you’d yell out
Yes, it’s true. But it’s also the most effective way to convert efficiently.
Your superheroes can be summed up in two words: either marketing automation or sales automation.
By automating most of the time-consuming tasks, you will be able to focus on all the most important aspects:
The best lead management tools on the market
There are many lead management solutions on the market, some of them complete, some of them dedicated to certain tasks.
Here are some of the most reputable software and solutions, categorized according to their effectiveness in their field of expertise:
- Lead Generation: LaGrowthMachine, Hubspot, Salesdorado, Sales Navigator, PhantomBuster…
- Lead Nurturing: LaGrowthMachine, PipeDrive, ActiveCampaign, SalesFlare, Hubspot…
- Customer Relationship Management: Agile, PipeDrive, Hubspot, Zoho, Zapier, SalesForce…
- Lead Scoring: ActiveCampaign, SalesForce, Act-On, Keap…
LaGrowthMachine: The best lead management solution
If only there was affordable software that guaranteed effective results… Oh, but wait!
LaGrowthMachine ticks all the boxes you would expect from a good lead automation tool.
With our platform, you can:
- Automate your multichannel workflows: work simultaneously on LinkedIn, Twitter or email to contact and enrich your leads.
- Automatically enrich your leads: simply click a button to enrich your contact lists in an unlimited way.
- Ensure an advanced follow-up of your leads: simply manage your duplicates, your blacklists, etc.
- Take advantage of an excellent Lead Management System: edit your leads and modify your audiences in real time.
- Filter your leads according to their activity.
- Analyze your performance, from the effectiveness of your entry points to the detailed performance of your campaigns.
By taking care of the customer experience from A to Z, you ensure that you maximize their retention throughout their user journey.
As a result, you will be able to generate sales much more easily.
The vast majority of tasks related to lead management can be automated.
Without marketing or sales automation, you risk drowning in tasks and miscalibrating your processes.