Lead Management

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Lead Management

The methods, practices and technologies used to build new potential customers for the business through various marketing processes are called lead management. The lead management is an essential part of sales management and customer relationship management or CRM. Creating a structure for organizing and managing the leads or business inquires is hat lead management principle is all about.

This allows the data at various stages of process of sales and sales-force to be organized in a proper format. With the use of various technologies and internet this method has become very effective. Lead management can allow the sales force to track down each informant of the leads and convert them to actual opportunity.

1. Lead Source

Business receives the leads from various marketing channels. It is important to follow right sales and marketing technology to collect, evaluate and then organize the lead data.  Analyzing the lead sources can help find the ideal leads and bring them to the business. There are various types of online as well as offline lead sources to find the qualified potential leads for the company. With popularity of digital world, online lead sources have gained importance. Website of the company allows the valuable information for the leads. Digital marketing like banner ads, social media ads etc. is another lead source. Social media is very popular and effective source today. Blogging, email marketing, media coverage, premium content etc. are some other important sources.

2. Lead Contact

Lead and contacts are important for your business as they allow you to create and manage high quality data in the sales-force database. Leads can be used to maintain the new the names in the database. These can be converted to accounts or opportunity with negotiations. The bad leads and leads that cannot be in the target market can be removed. Only good leads can be contacted and converted into respective account. If there is any chance of sales then they can be termed opportunity or else kept just as account.  When company finds no chances of sales immediately, they can keep the contact as just lead to avoid cluttering of the database.

3. Ideal Lead

There is always a stress for the marketing and sales team to find not only large quality of leads but more importantly finding high quality leads. There could be many leads in the pipeline but identifying few qualified leads is very important. Ideal lead is nothing but the lead which can create opportunity of sales for the business. For this the company has to define the ideal customer profile. Filtering the leads through the lens of this ideal customer profile can help finding the qualified or ideal leads. The ideal customer profile is the profile of the customers who buy your product and services. Matching to the profiles can help find the ideal or qualified leads.

4. Lead Target

Lead targets are individuals who can be a prospect for your sales. Targets are transitory and hence can be cleaned or deleted. Targets are of no importance unless and until they are identified as qualified leads. There are certain criteria based on which the targets are converted to leads and those that do not meet the criterion are sent to following campaigns or deleted. Marketing group works on collecting the list of email address and puts them as targets in target list. They are sent messages of campaigns. The targets that send response to the message are considered as leads. Leads are further converted into opportunity and account if they show interest in purchasing the product and services.

5. Import Lead

When you have the all the information of the leads in excel sheets, it is ideal to send them to sales-force. An administrator can do so by importing the leads but you can import leads too by informing the administrator. It is possible to import a lot of leads at the same time. But if you are new to the whole process, it is wise to test the import using small amount of leads at one time. Reviewing the lead records which you have brought in to ensure all the information are available or not is important too. Another important point to consider is to map or match the fields of the sales-force with the lead fields of excel sheets.

6. Assign Lead

Leads can be assigned to the users to make sure they do not fall through cracks and the sales representative make the right follow up when the lead is hot. To automatically assign the leads to the users one has to follow the lead assignment rules. These rules allow the easy and automatic assignment of leads to the CRM users. The lead assignment rules are created according to the distribution process of the company. The leads created by importing from various web sources are automatically assigned to respective member of sales team. Following some simple steps can help create the lead assignment rules.

7. Lead Address

Lead addresses can be obtained by three methods one is getting en email harvesting landing page, second method is to have a popup box on the top of the content asking users to put in the details for some action and third way is to getting email signup process. The data obtained are placed in files which are then imported to the sales-force database under different address fields. The address fields in the lead or contact or account is always a compound field which includes combination of more than one fields. It is necessary to make sure the fields of the files and the sales-force database match while importing.

8. Lead Industry

Lead management is applicable for all kind of industry. The software can be customized and to suit the CRM needs of every industry. Any industry be it healthcare, education, call centre, real estate, insurance, mortgage and debt and small and mid business can use the industry solutions available for CRM. The flow of lead process in every business is same for all industry. You receive the contact from any source which becomes lead and prospective opportunity. The lead when generated is assigned automatically to respective sales team member who performs checks and evaluate the opportunity. If opportunity is available then the lead becomes potential customer.

9. Lead Type

Leads can be termed hot, warm or cold as they go through the whole sales process. The lead when new is considered hot by many. The CRM systems do not have any area for leads and have only one database for all details. The lead when arrive are entered as hot lead and then becomes warm and finally cools down and become old over time. The hot leads must be contacted immediately for follow up. This can create new opportunities and leads may convert into opportunities. The cold leads on the other hand mix with several contacts collected over time.

10. Junk Lead

The lead obtained passes through the criteria and ideal lead or qualified lead. But the lead which cannot convert into possible opportunity then the lead is termed bad lead. Leads should not be termed disqualified but nurturing or marketing. The contacts in the database that turn cold with time and lead that can never be converted to prospective customer are junk leads. It is possible to delete the junk leads from the files. Junk files must be scrubbed out of the database to keep it from cluttering it. But disqualified leads can be reopened and possibility can be found to rewrite the reason of disqualification.