Inbound marketing is a powerful strategy. When implementing it for a company, we are commonly going to see a great increase in lead generation during the first year, and even more in the future years.  It is important to keep in mind that leads generation of low quality is not a bad thing. For companies whose message and offers are appealing to a wide marketplace, and still, whose actual services and products are appealing to a small percentage of that certain market is going to experience a high percentage of low quality lead.

On the other hand, if your biggest barrier to growth is generating leads, you have a tendency of not considering what you need to do when your velocity of lead increases. You are seeing this everyday, for the reason that your clients are partially stuck as soon as the leads start developing. As you enhance or embark upon, your inbound marketing efforts along with the development of an effective process for lead management is important in maximizing the Return on Investment of your lead generation efforts.

Clearing definitions for every stage of the funnel

It is essential to clearly define every stage of your funnel. There are several minimal areas of classification.

  • Lead – We consider a lead simply as a lead. You will not find any qualification. The measurement that you are using for this are the names added to your database. It may either be the result of the download action of something on the web by someone and leave a business card at a trade show, or a referral, or other causes. One essential point here is that we are measuring leads as a person, and not as a company.
  • Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) – These are those, which do not only have the pain that we solve, but also able to meet a deeper fit analysis that determines a potential match. In addition, these are companies that we have connected with the appropriate authority level, demonstrating a defined necessity or pain, and are open to conversation.
  • Visits – You are defining a visit just as a unique visitor to your website. You have clients weaving in offline measurements to this metric, which include ad impressions, trade show visits, and more. The point is that there is no wrong or right definition, as long as there is a clear one.
  • Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) – These are organizations and companies, which have been able to determine themselves as being more engaged, and meet the partial criteria that determine that they could be a fit.

In the programs that are defined as categories in every level of the funnel, and offer a more detailed explanation, which ensures a single definition that all followed and understood.

Lead vs. Customer

Lead management is commonly mentioned as a feature when discussing CRM, so it is usually hard to figure out the difference between the terms.

  • Lead – Person in your target market and demographic, who desires to learn more about the solutions that you are offering.
  • Prospect – People in your target market and demographic
  • Customer – People who bought your solution

Even though it seems clear, even a straight forward process may become complicated when your business starts producing different sales opportunities. Lead management will make your sales team more effective by means of creating a pool of interested customers and filtering out the leads that are not qualified. After all, it is more effective for a sales representative to call 8 qualified leads as compared to the 20 unqualified ones.

Nurturing sales leads

As soon as you have defined a sales-ready lead, it is time to nurture your lead pool in order to generate as many sales-ready leads as possible. Nurturing lead is the process of delivering personalized and targeted resources, and offering to your whole lead funnel to move prospects through the purchasing process. Companies that have excellent lead nurturing programs are able to generate 50% more sales-ready leads at lower cost of around 33%.

First, identify the unique preferences of your prospects. Know the topics that interest them the most, along with the challenges that they are fighting with these days. Also, you need to know if they are responding better to social media, emails, webinars, or a combination of communication strategies. Evaluate which topic draws the most attention from personal prospects carefully. An automated lead management tool will be helpful in tracking the likes and dislikes of your customers to coordinate the sophisticated communication method that lead nurturing requires. The most essential trait of an effective lead nurturing campaign is to deliver highly relevant and valuable content consistently.

Reasons to opt for lead management

The process of lead management can help businesses understand which of the tactics are bringing in the best leads, so you will be able to optimize your sales strategy to be both efficient and effective. Aside from that, because lead management is documenting the full history of a person on the experiences and interactions with your company, you will be able to analyse exactly how a person has been converted from being a prospect, to being a lead, and eventually, to being a customer.

Other than the marketing advantages, it can have a great impact on the bottom line. This is because about half of all the leads will go with the first vendor that responds. In order to manage thee sales funnels successfully, automated databases are becoming more and more famous. The sales process needs to seamlessly integrate with managing leads, and this is the reason for more and more CRM software to offer these features. Getting the sales process automated means demos, calls, and meetings, and even revenues are not falling through the cracks.

Lead management has been the backbone of a successful sales operation. Without an effective lead, there is no need for a CRM or even a sales team in the first place. This concept is covering the first step in the sales cycle so as to build qualified opportunities, and ultimately, satisfied customers.