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Lead management software assists businesses in capturing and tracking sales leads throughout the sales life cycle. It automatically helps in adding edges to the sales funnel and lets monitoring and monitoring them until they are successfully converted or dropped. This type of software helps in offering a centralized platform for managing lead details, scoring and segmenting leads, analyzing and reporting performance, and recording communication between sales personnel and leads.
The disadvantage that comes with most growing businesses is when companies start getting more inquiries or leads than they can individually handle. The failure in managing all their leads equally and adequately in terms of giving them attention when they require it the most, their leads start behaving like unattended babies.
Now, lead management software comes into play. So, “Lead management is the process of managing leads, constantly and equally.” But it is an old-school approach. The modern-day lead management software performs much more than just only dealing with the leads. It provides sales directly by integrating sales and marketing. The newly found definition of lead management would read something like this:
“Lead management is the process of capturing leads, tracking their activities and behaviour, qualifying them, giving them constant attention to make them sales-ready, and then passing them on to the sales team.”
Again, this sounds easy enough. But, in truth, lead management is complicated, especially when the stakes are high.
Lead Capture Automation
Lead capture automation means the leads should get captured automatically in company’s system. In today’s world, there are infinite sources of lead generation, and when the lead volume is high, it is not realistic to enter every lead into the system manually. Lead capture automation ensures that each lead is fed into the system right at the point of origin, preventing lead leakage of any type. Another aspect of lead capture automation is the ability to automatically calculate sources were generating the most number of leads and revenue for the companies. User can quickly identify both – the high profit, and the money-draining lead generation sources. This aggregate data is essential for marketing and business intelligence teams as they can re-construct and reallocate their budget with this newfound information.
When a lead is captured, the lead management or leading tracking software will initiate tracking the activities and behaviour of that lead – the pages they are visiting, the forms they are filling, the time they are spending on the blog etc. It would give you valuable insights about the leads which user would otherwise not have got if the system had been a manual one. Modern-day lead management software also tracks conversations done on the phone or chat.
After capturing the leads, the user is required to pass them on to the relevant salespeople. Again, it will be a time-consuming job if the user does it manually. A lead distribution system auto-redirect the leads based on the logic that users define. For instance: Pass the lead to USA Team if the location is the USA or Pass on the lead to a particular company/department if they are interested in Product A. In most businesses if a company can contact the lead before their competitors, they’d get a definite advantage. Because if a lead fills up user inquiry form, in all probabilities, they have done the same for 5 more services similar to the user in question. With lead distribution, users/companies can significantly decrease the response time and make it ideal that the lead is undertaken by the most relevant salesperson, so that the lead can feel happy and well attended with a consistent experience, as soon as they make a query.
At this stage, the leads are checked to identify if they are worth pursuing or not. These qualified leads are also known as sales-ready leads. Some CRM and Lead Management systems like LeadSquared provide a score to each lead based on the chances of their closure. This scoring is called Quality Scoring. Quality score help by a customized business based on their ideal buyer persona.
There is nothing known as a dead lead. Some leads may not buy at the moment, but that can very gently change in the future. Some of them might never buy either, but if users give them a good experience in whatever they needed from the company – may be an e-book, a blog-post, or some freebies – you have a brand advocate for life. The moment the user know why a lead is not interested, the user gets an idea of how the user can get the lead interested. This category probably makes the most considerable portion of leads in company’s database. The ones who are not immediately interested. These somewhat interested leads go into the lead nurturing cycle and would come out from there and passed along to sales whenever they become ready to be sold to. Lead nurturing consists of consistently engaging the leads across multiple channels, by sharing content they’ll find interesting. Now, this multi-channel engagement can be done through email campaigns, triggered emails, SMSs or even platforms like social media utilizing re-marketing.
Filtering of high-quality leads: Automated solutions assist in the lead segmentation and scoring process to filter for quality leads. This provides sales reps for prioritizing and targeting leads that have a higher probability of converting into a sale.
Tracking of performance statistics: Lead management software can successfully be used in evaluating existing lead campaigns by analyzing and tracking key performance statistics, like lead quality score, current conversion rate, and success rate, in real-time. These indicators help companies in identifying and reporting on the performance for leading campaigns and track which sources deliver the best leads. Manually tracking and reporting these statistics is cumbersome, tedious, time-consuming, and prone to be less accurate. Lead management software automates the whole process effectively.
Stratification of marketing efforts: This type of software not only captures leads from multiple channels, like email, web, forms, social networks, and offline surveys but also helps in analyzing which channels are generating the highest number of quality leads. Such valuable information assists marketing teams better focus on high-yielding sources and strategizes marketing investments according to it.
Lead capture: Identifying and adding leads to a sales funnel that nurtures and tracking them from origin to conversion.
Lead distribution: Automatically distributing leads among sales personnel based on predetermined assignment rules.
Lead nurturing: Building relationships with prospective buyers and guiding them through each stage of the sales funnel.
Lead scoring: Ranking leads against a scale that represents the perceived value or their likelihood of conversion based on given parameters.
Lead segmentation: Categorizing and creating sub-segments of leads based on similarity in attributes and preferences.
Most products available in this market are priced on a per-user, per-month basis and can be divided into three pricing tiers based on their starting price. A premium product is rated higher and include additional features like lead scoring, mass emailing, and advanced reports.
Integration with existing software applications: If you’re looking to buy stand-alone lead management software, confirm that it’s ready to integrate with the current sales applications, like CRM and sales automation software. A solution that gets well-integrated will be helping the user seamlessly transferring client and sales data across applications, eliminating data duplication, and saving the user from repeated data entry.
Read what other users have to say: There are a whole lot of lead management solutions available; some are marketed as stand-alone software while some others are well-integrated with applications like CRM and sales automation. Before choosing software, take time to evaluate all preferable options. The best way out is by reading product reviews by existing users. As a new buyer, try reading user reviews to narrow down the list of products.
Social media integrations to play a more significant role: There are over 3.5 billion active social media users across the globe, and it is estimated that on average, every user spends over two hours per day on social media. Social media platforms have now become the largest resource of leads for all sorts of businesses and an essential part of the lead accumulation process. Lead management software with integrated social media capabilities will assist enterprises to go out to a broader audience and provide sales reps in engaging and building relationships with prospective buyers through social media platforms.
Moving towards intelligent leads: Artificial intelligence (AI) is now impacting sales and marketing procedures. AI integrated into lead generation software will assist businesses in collecting and analyzing pre-existing leads and sales data, developing intelligent marketing strategies, recording customer engagement, providing valuable insights, and successfully converting more leads. Shortly, software sellers are expected that they will be starting to add AI and machine learning capabilities to the lead management solutions for making them more reliable and resourceful.