Lead management is one of, if not the most important thing any fledgling business needs to figure out as this is the process of turning interested parties into paying customers or clients.
Sales can be tough but one thing is for certain – you cannot leave it to chance. Your business survives on bringing in new business consistently and these potential clients need to be nurtured through a dedicate cycle to ensure this happens.
In an ideal world it would be simple and easy to determine where your leads were coming from, who they were, what they were interested in and how you could turn them all into paying customers. Although this isn’t the case, technology allows us to vastly improve this area through dedicated lead management.
What is lead management?
Lead management, sometimes referred to as customer acquisition or contact management, is simply the process of tracking and nurturing potential customers and clients. Broken down, it generally looks a little like this:
Generating leads – Through your marketing activities you generate interest with customers via marketing tactics like SEO, paid advertising, word of mouth or social media.
Potential clients get in touch – Your target audience connects with your marketing and gets in touch to register an interest in your products or services
Qualifying your leads – It is then common to sort and qualify incoming leads to ensure investment is made in instances whereby the lead is likely to become a customer. Depending on the scale of your operations and the number of leads coming in, this can be quite a mammoth part of the process.
Nurturing qualified leads – The final step is to nurture a lead to become a client. This may be through telephone outreach, a drip-feed email campaign or other mechanism.
If you successful convert a lead into a sale then this customer has then travelled through your sales funnel successfully. As you scale your business this process becomes more complex as you handle more and more leads. You should also consider your lead management as an ongoing process as once you secure a client, you want them to stick around.
Understanding the terminology
You’ll most commonly hear the terms leads, customers and prospect when discussing customer relationship management systems (CRMs) like Microsoft Dynamics. Sometimes these terms are used interchangeably but they do refer to different instances of your lead management process.
A prospect is a person within your target audience and is somebody that would be interested in your services or products.
A lead is somebody that has expressed an interest in your products or services.
A customer is a person that has enquired and ended up buying your products or services.
Understanding these terms is helpful when developing your lead management processes, as it’s a lot more effective to be contacting a smaller number of “qualified” leads than it would be to approach a larger number of “unqualified” ones.
Why invest in better lead management?
Being able to collect data on which marketing strategies are proving most effective allows you to optimise your sales strategies based on real data.
Equally since all CRM systems create a log of multi-channel interactions over time, it’s also quite simple to understand at which points your new clients were converted. This is perfect to fine-tuning your customer service experience as well as training your sales team.
Besides these two fantastic benefits, it is also well documented that providing a timely lead sales response creates more sales opportunities. Up to 50% of sales go to the organisation or business that provides the first response when leads are shopping around. Alongside this, 75% of your competition have no formal process for engaging, managing or nurturing leads after sales and 80% of all generated leads are lost or ignored.
Choosing a CRM
To successfully develop your lead management process a good quality CRM system is essential. As you grow they become even more valuable. At Mansys we are specialists at developing tailor made Microsoft Dynamics solutions made just for you and your business.
Microsoft’s flagship solution, Dynamics, enables you to track all customer interactions, manage your lead management process and more. Get in touch today to discuss the possibilities.
23rd February 2024
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