How to Manage Your Leads
Every business owner understands the importance of lead generation. It is the foundation for a successful marketing campaign that brings clients into a business. According to a HubSpot report, 63% of marketers say that leads generation is their top marketing priority.
Not undermining the importance of lead generation, lead management is critical if any marketing campaign is going to be successful. When leads are generated, what do you do with them? How do you handle the leads your marketing campaign generates?
Managing leads require planning and a great strategy. When you put a great lead management system in place, then you increase your chances of converting them to paying clients.
Here are ways you can effectively manage your leads.
1. Have a Clear-Cut Definition of a Lead
Every industry have their jargon and terminologies that if not properly understood could create a huge disconnect among the players in that industry. The business world is not an exemption. There are terms that are used to talk about certain things in business that need to be properly understood. There are some that are used interchangeably, though by proper definition they have different meanings.
Most business owners do not have a clear definition of who a lead is. They sometimes confuse a lead for a prospect, or even a visitor. A lead is a potential client who has not been qualified based on the parameters outlined in your client avatar, but has shown interest in what you offer.
When a potential client comes to your landing page, they are tagged as visitors. It is possible that they came and browsed through your website and find nothing that interest them. They are not a lead, they are mere visitors to your site.
When a visitor shows interest in what you offer, maybe by downloading content or watching a video, they can be defined as a lead. They form the outermost part of your sales funnel.
It is important to define a lead so as to know the exact stage a potential client is on their journey to becoming a client. A clear definition of your lead helps you map out workable strategies to qualify and convert them. Most times, when a lead is confused for a prospect, it leads to a waste of time and resources trying to close a potential customer who has not been qualified and nurtured.
As a matter of fact, it is estimated that 90% of the leads that are sent to sales teams unqualified end up jumping out of the funnel. It is important to define who a lead is, so as to know how to follow them up and convert them to clients.
2. Employ an Effective CRM Tool
The main aim of managing leads is to eventually qualify them (if they meet the criteria) and in turn convert them to your clients. This process can be tedious if there is no good tool in place to make it seamless and easy.
A good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is your sure path to a better and more efficient lead management. A good CRM software can help you in the following ways:
- Access to Vital Lead-Related Data: With a CRM, you can gather lead generation data from so many sources – direct entries, surveys, social networks, referrals and so on. All these data are channeled into a single place where you can have a unified view of them. This way, you can have a comprehensive history on every single lead. If there is data that is no longer needed, the software makes it easy for you to delete it from the database.
- Lead Tracking: With a CRM tool in place, you will be able to have detailed insight on your leads – their behavior and buying patterns. You can have access to related services that your leads are interested in, their location and so on. With the information available, you can track and analyze your leads, know which ones are most likely to convert, and the strategy you need to convert them.
- Data Entry Automation: Having a good CRM system in place means you don’t have to spend time collecting and inputting data manually. The CRM automates these processes and helps you focus on what’s important – conversion and sales.
There’s quite a number of good CRM software out there. However, at Clients Oasis, we use Kartra and it has helped us a lot in lead management. We have used a couple of others though, but they seem not to take care of our entire lead management needs. With that said, you need to be sure that the CRM system meets the requirements for your business needs.
You can always test a CRM system with a trial version to see if it meets your lead management objectives. The price of the software isn’t important, neither is the hype it has in the industry. What’s important is that it has all you need to effectively manage your leads.
3. Segment Your Leads
The leads you generate in your marketing come from a variety of sources. Additionally, they have different demographics, needs and interests. In managing your leads, it will be ineffective to feed them the same kind of content. Hence there is need to segment your leads according to common criteria. According to eMarketer, about 40% of marketers who segment their leads saw better email open rates and another 24% had increased ROI on email marketing.
There are a number of ways you can do this. However, the most effective way is lead tagging.
In your CRM system, create tags that automatically put your leads in different categories. It makes it easy to know what content to send to a particular set of leads. This is based on the following:
- Interests: You tag leads that have downloaded a cheat list, watched a video, or attended a seminar. Leads that fall into any of these categories can be grouped to receive related content.
- Source: Here, you tag leads based on where they were generated from – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or any of your marketing sources. You can also have a tag for leads generated during your webinar.
All these can be done in the CRM system. It makes your lead management process easy as you know the common interests of your generated leads.
4. Develop a Working Lead Nurturing System
At this point, I will remind you again that the purpose of managing your leads is to guide them to the point of conversion. The truth is that not all leads are ready to be converted. According to Gleanster Research, 73% of leads are not ready to buy when they are first generated. This is where lead nurturing comes into play.
You have to put a structure in place to systematically feed your leads with content that is relevant to their needs. This helps to guide them through your sales funnel and warms them up to be signed up as clients.
The importance of a smart and consistent lead nurturing system cannot be underscored. When leads are nurtured with targeted content, they produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities according to DemandGen. Also, from a Forrester Research, it was seen that lead nurturing generates 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost.
Your lead conversion rate is mostly dependent on the effectiveness of your nurturing system. If you get it right, you are well on your way to converting more leads than you can handle.
To Wrap This Up…
The whole marketing process is a circle of connected dots with every dot as important as the other. The endgame of a marketing system is to get your ideal client to enroll with you. For this to happen, you must manage your generated leads well. You must be able to guide them through the sales funnel till they enroll.
Granted, all generated leads may not end up as clients. But with proper management, you can have an amazing conversion rate in your hands.
Manage your leads well, and you will have a consistent flow of clients at the bottom of your funnel.
I know you have been doing all you can to get it right at this stage. However, if you need help implementing this in your business, schedule a breakthrough strategy session with someone on our term.
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