Lead Management

Updated on March 26, 2024
Article byRutan Bhattacharyya
Edited byRutan Bhattacharyya
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is Lead Management?

Lead management is the process, methodology, and software businesses use to reach potential customers and convert them into payers by implementing targeted marketing and sales strategies. It is crucial for companies aiming to expand their customer base and increase their business reach.

Lead Management

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This concept mostly applies to e-commerce platforms that create individual relationships with customers. It enables businesses to make the most of their sales team’s time by helping them focus on prospective buyers interested in their product and likely to make a purchase. In addition, it facilitates segmentation and scoring leads based on the media channel or region.

Key Takeaways

  • Lead management meaning refers to the actions taken by businesses to acquire leads and manage interactions with them until they transform them into customers.
  • This process is essential for businesses that aim to expand their customer base.
  • The primary focus of CRM is improving business relationships. On the other hand, companies use lead management software to qualify incoming leads and engage them until they buy a product or service.
  • There are various lead management benefits. For instance, it enables companies to organize incoming leads efficiently and ensure that their sales and marketing teams are in line.

How Does Lead Management Work?

Lead management meaning refers to the process of acquiring leads from multiple sources, tracking every touchpoint with the business, for example, chat, email, etc., and managing them until they become a customer. It is the backbone of a company’s sales operations. If a business cannot manage its leads efficiently, it cannot grow its customer base and maximize revenue.

The process involves categorizing leads and allocating them to different sales professionals. Moreover, this procedure involves recording and tracking offline and online engagements, including ad clicks, website visits, telephonic interactions, etc. The process also helps businesses comprehensively understand consumers’ needs and address their concerns.

Managing the leads becomes more difficult for businesses as they scale. After all, managing 100 leads is completely different from managing 10,000 or even 100,000 leads. In addition, once the leads convert into customers, companies must cultivate the relationships. This is because follow-up is crucial to ensure high customer satisfaction and sales efficiency.

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Stages

The lead management process assists companies in determining the best method for acquiring and nurturing leads. It involves six stages. Let us look at them in detail.

#1 – Lead Generation

The first phase of the procedure involves acquiring the leads’ contact details and advertising. Businesses primarily use two strategies – inbound and outbound to generate leads. The inbound tactics focus on engaging and educating the consumers through social media posts, blogs, etc.

These strategies entice consumers into contacting the organization. On the other hand, the outbound strategies involve getting in touch with prospective buyers via billboards, cold calls, advertisements, etc.

#2 – Lead Following

Once businesses get potential customers’ contact details, lead following ensures they are interested in sales communication. This step is a crucial aspect of the process as it enables companies to determine whether a lead visited a particular webpage, opened or clicked on an email, or responded to texts, calls, or any other type of communication.

#3 – Lead Qualification

All businesses must qualify their leads based on factors like purchasing capacity, intent, and product sustainability. So, in this phase, a company’s marketing department accumulates all leads’ personal and contact details to determine if they meet the buyer persona of the organization’s target demographic. Then, the marketing team tags the leads as a prospect if they qualify.

Eventually, an employee of the company schedules a call to evaluate the potential buyer’s requirements, budgetary restrictions, purchase timing, etc. Based on the assessment, the company decides whether further follow-up is necessary.

#4 – Lead Distribution

In the fourth stage of the lead management process, businesses match their chosen leads with the right sales representatives to maximize the chances of conversion. Every lead has unique requirements and objectives, while every sales executive has a one-of-a-kind combination of experience, knowledge, and abilities.

#5 – Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing involves building relationships with prospective buyers. In many cases, an essential component of this phase is the utilization of techniques, for example, drip campaigns. This technique involves sending emails to potential buyers at fixed intervals.

Lead nurturing enables the marketing and sales department employees to build longstanding relationships with customers by providing them with knowledge regarding the product and services offered by the company. Ultimately, this improves customer retention.

Example

Let us look at this lead management example to understand the concept better.

On February 7, 2023, Advantage Anywhere, an organization offering marketing technology solutions, announced the launch of an artificial intelligence-driven lead-to-client funnel. This technology will streamline the lead advancement process.

The new automated funnel can eliminate the gaps that have been the points of failure in the process of sales advancement. As a result, the company believes it will revolutionize organizations’ approach toward lead management.

Benefits

Let us look at a few lead management benefits.

  • It enables businesses to collect and organize information related to the leads efficiently. The information includes engagement and behavioral data.
  • The process helps businesses align their sales and marketing.
  • It helps organizations visualize their sales funnel and marketing in real-time. 
  • The process ensures that companies maintain effective and continuous communication.
  • This process can help companies establish instant contacts they can slowly convert into long-term relationships.

Lead Management vs CRM

Individuals new to sales and marketing are often unfamiliar with lead management software and customer relationship management. Although they have a few similarities, they are not the same. One must know their distinct characteristics to understand their meaning and purpose. So, let us find out how they differ.

Lead ManagementCustomer Relationship Management 
Lead management software helps businesses manage their leads, monitor actions, and accumulate data from multiple sources in one place. CRM technology helps companies retain customers, cross-sell, up-sell, and manage feedback. In short, it helps businesses manage customer relationships. 
Typically, marketing and sales teams use lead management software. Generally, admin, support, and customer service teams use CRM. 
Its primary objective is to generate leads. The main goal of CRM is to improve business relationships.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is lead management software?

Such software helps businesses qualify, analyze, and nurture their leads to transform them into business opportunities. Typically, leads from different sources enter the company’s lead management system in sales processes. After that, the business converts the sales-ready leads into deals.

Why is lead management important?

It enables businesses to identify and eliminate bottlenecks in sales, improves the customer experience, and assists in lead prioritization. Moreover, the process opens up opportunities for constant development in sales. A business not focusing on this process will not be able to acquire many customers. This, in turn, will not allow them to increase their revenue significantly.

Who is responsible for lead management?

This process’s foundational aspect is the alignment of a company’s marketing and sales departments. Usually, the sales team in a business is responsible for managing leads. A prudent lead management strategy establishes harmony between both departments, allowing a company to efficiently acquire, nurture, and convert the leads into loyal customers.

This article has been a guide to what is Lead Management. Here, we explain its examples, benefits, differences with CRM, and stages. You may also find some useful articles here –

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