The Full Guide to an Effective Lead Management Process
It can be incredibly overwhelming when you first introduce an inbound marketing strategy and begin generating interest. Potential customers are now pouring onto your site, but you have no plan in place to try to push them along to a sale.
That's where lead management comes in.
Creating an effective lead management process is the key to turning all of those website visitors into paying customers.
In this post, we’ll go over why implementing a lead management process is important and show you how to do it.
Why is it important to implement a lead management process?
It's quite simple. Without a lead management process, you're just waiting for someone to decide to make a purchase instead of actively pushing them toward one.
Combining personal attention with automated solutions like Hunter Campaigns, which can handle the outreach for you, gives you a leg up on the competition.
The biggest reasons why a lead management process is important are:
- It allows you to track and score each prospect as they move through your sales funnel. This information can be used to improve your sales and marketing strategies over time.
- It enables you to nurture potential customers who may not be ready to buy yet. By providing them with valuable content, you can convert them into paying customers down the road.
- It helps ensure that no leads fall through the cracks. With a well-defined system in place, you'll know exactly what steps need to be taken for a prospect to become a customer.
- Finally, it improves your bottom line. The more effectively you can convert leads into customers, the more money you'll make.
As you can see, there are a lot of benefits to implementing a lead management process. It's not something that should be taken lightly, though. Time and effort are required to get it up and running correctly, but it will pay off in the long run.
How to create a lead management process
Now that you understand the importance of having a proper system in place to manage leads, let’s walk through a step-by-step guide on how to create a lead management process.
1. Research and capture leads
When you're starting, it can be tough to know where to begin when it comes to sales prospecting. Luckily, there are a few key places to start looking.
The first place you should look is your website. Most people land on your site through a web search or a referral from another site. You can track this information using Google Analytics or other similar tools.
Once you know where your visitors are coming from, you can tailor your content and offers to match their interests.
Another great place to capture leads is at trade shows and conferences. If you're attending an event, set up a booth and have someone collect visitor information. You can also offer visitors a giveaway or a discount in exchange for the information.
Finally, you can capture leads through email marketing. When someone subscribes to your list, they're permitting you to contact them with offers and content related to your business.
Make sure you provide an easy way for people to unsubscribe if they no longer want to receive emails from you, though.
2. Score leads
Once you have their basic information, you need to score your leads. This will help you determine how interested they are in what you have to offer and whether or not they’re ready to buy.
There are several factors you can consider when scoring leads, such as:
- Lead source
- Level of engagement (page views, time on site, etc.)
- The content they consumed
- Demographic information (location, age, and gender)
- Company size
- What stage of the buying cycle they're in
One way to score leads is using a 1-10 scale, with 1 being uninterested and 10 being ready to buy. However, you might find it more beneficial to use a different scale or system that works better for your business.
Lead scoring is an important step because it allows you to focus your efforts on the leads that are most likely to convert to customers.
There are several lead scoring software solutions available (more on these later), but if you're on a tight budget, you can create yours using something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet.
The ones scoring the highest should get your immediate attention, or if they are high enough, handed off to the sales team as a new SQL.
3. Nurture leads
It can be tempting to try and close a deal with anyone that comes through the door. However, if you're not taking the time to nurture your leads, you're doing yourself a disservice.
This allows you to establish trust and credibility with them, which can result in more closed deals down the road.
There are many ways to nurture leads, but some of the most effective methods include:
- Sending automated emails containing content relevant to their interests
- Offering free trials or demos of your product/service
- Contacting them by phone or in person to answer any questions they may have
The key is to be consistent with your messaging and, most of all, to provide value. If you can do that, you'll be well on your way to turning leads into paying customers.
4. Track leads
Once you've captured, scored, and started to nurture your leads, it’s important to track their progress. By doing this, you can determine which leads are most likely to convert into customers and which ones need more attention.
There are a variety of ways to track leads, but the most common one is through a CRM or lead management system.
These systems allow you to see all of your leads in one place and track their progress from start to finish. This information is essential in determining which marketing strategies are working and which ones need to be tweaked or abandoned altogether.
5. Transfer leads to sales
At some point, it will be time to start transferring leads over to a department that can turn them into customers.
Sales should be notified as soon as a lead becomes qualified. The sooner they’re contacted, the more likely it is that they will convert and start generating revenue.
The best way to transfer leads is through a CRM or lead management system. These systems allow you to automatically transfer leads that meet certain criteria from marketing to sales.
Importantly, they also allow you to track the progress of each lead, so you can see how they move through the sales funnel and use that data to improve your processes.
6. Analyze and improve on your process
Like anything else in business, a project isn't worth anything if it isn't monitored and improved. A lead management system is not a static set of rules, but rather a fluid set of practices that should be tweaked and improved as you go.
The first step is to analyze your current process.
- What's working well?
- What's not working well?
- Where are the bottlenecks in your system?
This analysis will help you identify where you need to make changes.
Don't forget to also look at your customer's journey. Map out how they interact with your company from start to finish, and identify any points where they might fall off or get confused.
Once you have a complete picture of the customer journey, you can start filling in the gaps in your lead management process.
The worst thing a business can do is ignore its leads. By implementing an effective lead management process, you can ensure that no opportunity is missed and that potential customers are nurtured to a sale.
It may take some time to get it just right, but the results are well worth the effort.