19 September 2022
Lead management is about moving leads down the sales funnel so that as many signals of interest as possible would be converted into deals. You collect contacts from/about potential customers, qualify how likely they are to make a purchase, and then warm up the leads.
Lead management is sometimes confused with lead generation. Lead generation is the first stage of lead management, where you collect contacts of customers potentially interested in buying your products. In lead management, you don’t stop at getting contact lists – you keep working with the leads you have received to convert them into buyers.
Lead management also helps you build a profile of your target audience and create customized content tailored to the interests and needs of your potential customers. Statistics show that 62% of potential customers do expect personalized offers.
Stages of lead management
1. Lead generation
To manage leads, you need to attract them. This is done through online prospecting, advertising campaigns, posts via social networks and blogs, email campaigns. Lead generation helps to collect contacts of potential customers, to generate and build up a database of leads to create personalized offers.
When potential customers find your company and start communicating on their own, it is an inbound lead generation. The flow of inbound leads can be generated through SEO promotion, visibility via specialized B2B websites, communities and marketplaces, and social media posts.
When your marketing or sales department initiates communication with clients – this is an outbound lead generation. For example, a targeter generates a list of potential buyers according to his/her criteria and then starts collecting contact information or ‘capturing’ leads.
2. Lead scoring
Next, potential buyers are evaluated for their interests and engagement. This process is called lead qualification, or lead scoring. Leads are assessed by their willingness to buy and to pay. In simple terms, it’s the segmentation of leads into:
- Hot leads, who are ready to buy at the first contact.
- Warm leads, who have a specific need, ready to examine your product, but not yet ready to pay for the product.
- Cold leads, who could potentially be interested in your product, but are not ready to buy at the moment.
3. Lead distribution
The next step is to determine who will be responsible for each group of leads:
Cold leads can be warmed up with email chains (Marketing Automation).
Warm leads are usually handled by marketers: offers are prepared, and presentations are made according to the client interests.
Hot leads are handled by sales managers with the interests and preferences of potential customers in mind.
4. Lead nurturing
Lead nurturing is the process of working with the leads at various stages of the sales funnel to stimulate them to purchase.
According to Marketo, companies that do lead nurturing generate 50% more warm and hot leads at a lower cost.
On first contact, you need to offer potential customers a personalized, relevant content that takes into account their readiness to buy your product. Show them the value of the product, dispel doubts to lead them to purchase.
Two tips on how to organize lead management
1. Generate as many leads as possible
- Analyze which target audience is likely to be interested in your products.
- Use digital prospecting tools to generate lead lists.
- Create personalized messages and offers for different audience groups to drive leads through the sales funnel.
2. Use a hybrid of automated and manual touchpoints
There are manual and automated lead management processes. The former is too difficult to scale. The second is easier to scale, but it’s harder to close the deal without a personal dialogue with a potential customer.
A hybrid lead management model allows you to automate sales and marketing where it can be automated. For example, you can manually set the lead selection criteria in a B2B online prospecting system, automatically generate lead lists by trigger, export the data to a file by specified fields and start processing them using both automated email marketing and classic cold telemarketing by trained professionals.
Lead Management Tools
Effective lead management involves the use of digital solutions that help collect, classify and store business data and contact information about potential customers in order to convert them into buyers.
For example, EasyBusiness Sales Accelerator is a B2B prospecting solution All-in-one that organizes the entire lead generation process the following way:
- generates lists of leads based on your criteria and search filters
- offers multi-contact tool to email companies and executives
- stores information about conversations and contacts of sales managers
- reminds you of scheduled tasks
- offers business alert systems to notify you of any news relating to your lead definition
- exports data to a PDF or Excel file for integration into your CRM system or if you don`t have it, you can just upload your qualified prospects into your Sales Accelerator pipeline already integrated in EasyBusiness.
For successful marketing you need to focus not only on the quantity of leads, but also on their quality. EasyBusiness will help you cut your prospecting budget without sacrificing quality, so this solution is a good option all in one to improve your lead management processes and increase conversion rate and sales productivity.
Recommendations for attracting leads
There are many ways to draw attention to your product, and each company chooses the most appropriate ones based on their field of activity, channels of communication with the audience and other conditions. The key is to make consumers aware of your product or service and encourage them to take that first step down the sales funnel.
1. Search for your target audience
Finding those who are looking for your product themselves is the shortest route to a deal. To determine who is most interested in buying your product, a target audience analysis is conducted. This is one of the most effective methods of lead generation.
2. Limit your offer
Too many offers may cause the user to abandon further communication. If you have a huge range of products or services, figure out which position to offer at the first contact. This requires research into the potential buyer’s business profile.
3. Take a personalized approach
How to convert leads into sales virtuously? The effectiveness of customer acquisition actions would greatly increase if you manage to convince a potential customer that you are addressing your offer personally to him.
4. Be clearer
Don’t overload the first communication with superfluous details and technical data. Customers will find them on your site if they want to, but you won’t scare off those who like simplicity and clarity.
Many potential customers don’t take a purchasing decision immediately after the first contact. However, there’s always a chance to get those leads back and bring them to the deal stage. You can do this with reminder messages, personalized offers and other remarketing techniques.
Two tips for working with leads in 2022
Attracting quality leads is becoming increasingly difficult today. Visible results require a systematic approach, in which the entire conversion path from lead to sale needs to be closely monitored by a marketer.
Here are the most important features of lead management in 2022:
- Monitor analytics on a regular basis. You need to know which channels have brought you quality leads, at what stages leads are dropping off in order to screen out problematic ways of attracting leads and to keep the most effective ones, thereby lowering the cost of a lead.
- Apply the basics of behavioral marketing. The same techniques work differently for different audiences. Try new options for specific audience segments and compare the results.
Enrich your customer base
One of the main goals of your sales team is to effectively manage and regularly update, enrich and increase your customer database. This includes actual as well as potential customers. And the data necessary for management is not only limited to the list of companies but must also include the necessary information for the segmentation of companies, information about the executives and decision makers, their contact data and history of interaction.
The concept of lead management is key in today’s system of communication with different interest groups in business. No B2B company today would be able to achieve significant results without a toolkit that provides a long-term orientation into the needs of its customers. Every business these days is customer-centric, so businesses of all sizes and sectors need this or that element of the lead management concept.
Today’s lead management kits provide sales managers not only with the tools to manage their customer database but also with advanced analytics to help them make better strategic decisions about how to use their customer data.
Aren’t you sure you can build the right lead management for your company? Our team of experts can help you sort things out and offer the best customized solution.