Lead management refers to the process by which incoming leads are profiled, nurtured, qualified, and leveraged. It’s a vital part of the sales cycle, and like any other element in that cycle, it requires careful planning and expert execution to pull off successfully. In order to help provide an outline for how this process should look at its smoothest, we’ve posted an article on our site here, that gives a good run-down of what we think are useful best practices. We’ll summarize what’s written there in this post.
The first step in the lead management process is beginning response planning. The term explains it all: Your team must formulate responses to leads in multiple media. This includes modes of communication such as email, telephone, via web presence, and by fax. The point here is to tailor your response based on how—and why—the lead came to you.
Once the planning process is set up, you’ll want to have a response capture procedure. It’s best if this procedure works synergistically with the response planning outline, so it’s a good idea to have the same team work on this. This step helps categorize the leads you get.
Once these leads are categorized, initiate inquiry fulfillment. This refers to the process of responding to the inquiries you’ve received and categorized in as rapid a manner as possible. Once additional information about the nature of these inquiries is gathered, they can be qualified, so that your sales team will focus on only the most relevant, sales-ready leads available. This process is somewhat analogous to lead nurturing.
From this point on, your sales team can work on closing sales. Follow up with lead tracking, the process by which your assembled team associates a closed sale with a particular marketing campaign. This can be used to gauge the efficacy of a particular campaign.