Leads are generally referred as contacts. These are the people who have shown some form of interest in your business products and services. Leads are very important in generating revenue to the organization and considered as lifeblood of the business. There are no shades of business without leads.
But how do businesses generate leads? Businesses can generate leads from multiple sources such as marketing campaigns, social media, existing customer referrals, Google search engine, via web forms, through word of mouth advertisement, social media, direct referrals etc.
There are the various stages involved in lead management process:
1st stage – Lead generation
Lead generation is the first step in lead management process. Whenever a new lead is generated, it should automatically capture into the CRM system via lead capture automation mechanism. It ensures that each lead is fed and recorded in CRM software for future references and prevents the lead linkage or duplication.
2nd stage – Tracking lead details
After the successful capture of lead details in the centralized CRM data base, then it’s time to track lead online activities such as number of times the lead has visited your website, type of the web pages they are visiting, how much time they are spending on your blog, what kind of content they are looking on search engines, do they visit competitor websites etc. This kind of analysis provides valuable insights on lead’s online activities.
3rd stage – Lead segmentation
In earlier stages, we have successfully captured as well as recorded the lead’s online activities in CRM system. Based on lead’s online activities, behavior patterns and current lead interests needs, and preferences; it’s time for businesses to segment leads into various targeted groups. It is an effective method for the sales and marketing teams to send customizable, relevant and personalized content to the targeted audience groups.
4th stage – Lead scoring
In this stage, the leads are checked whether they can be qualified to pass on to sales department. Using the lead scoring technique method and based on pre-defined parameters, each lead is given a score as well as distributes the leads to the most relevant sales team. This way, you can reduce the response time as well as the lead can experience the best sales conversion. The lead’s scoring and pre-defined logics are customizable and vary with buying persona.
For example: Imagine in CRM system, there are three leads – A, B and C. The lead’s A profession is CEO, B’s is student and C’s is marketing manager. According to the criteria, the lead A should be given the first priority as the lead’s profession is CEO. The lead’s quality score technique helps the sales team to prioritize their tasks and reach out the most relevant lead first.
5th stage – Lead nurturing
Every lead is important for business. There are no junk or waste leads in CRM system. Generally, in a CRM system, the leads are categorized into three types such as:
Interested leads: This kind of leads show immediate response to buy company products and services.
Interested but not now: In this category, the leads are not interested right at the moment due to various factors such as budge, internal issues etc, but they might purchase in the future.
Disinterested leads: These leads are not interested to purchase any products from the business until and unless if the company takes a special interest to nurture the disinterested leads. They need to provide them with good experiences such as offering interested and relevant content according to lead’s interest, and provide them with freebies, blog posts and discount coupons. This might help the disinterested lead to convert into a customer and maybe in the future as a brand advocate.
Streamline all disinterested leads under a single group and use CRM system to nurture and further convert the leads into prospects’ and pass on to the sales team. Lead nurturing is a process of consistently engaging and establishing meaningful relationships with leads through various channels such as social media, email marketing, automated newsletter campaigns, triggered emails, remarketing, SMS etc.
Emma James is a freelance content writer at SutiCRM, who frequently blogs on business, marketing, sales, ERP and SaaS trends.