The Process Of Managing Potential Customers Using Lead Management Software
The management of customers before a sale is concluded is just as critical as the after sale process. Lead Management is the process of communicating with leads, categorizing them and transforming leads to customers. Lead Management Software systems are utilized to facilitate regular communication with leads through marketing methods. They cater for both server-based or offline systems as well as web-based or online systems. It is therefore important to understand the process and use of managing potential customers using Lead Management systems. The primary uses of these systems are as follows:
- Processing prospective clients - via Phone Calls, Emails, Walk-Ins into client leads
- Converting website traffic into client leads
- Automating the lead generation process
- Recognizing when prospects are sales ready
The Lead Management life cycle using the software has five primary stages, outlined below.
Capturing new prospects utilizing the above systems onto the lead database. There are a number of sources of customer leads, mainly:
- Phone Calls
- Walk-In Clients
- E-mail requests
- Website inquiries
- Prospects provided by specialist lead providers
- Leads referred to the company where clients have been recommended by other customers or parties who have interacted with the organization
- Advertising and marketing campaigns, whether online or offline
- Tactical marketing strategies such as mass media approaches
The above software has source integration tools that cater for the uploading of prospect data from the various sources above onto the system. These automated systems will not negate the option to upload data manually, where necessary.
Distributing leads to appropriate sales representatives in the business effectively and efficiently in real time. Specific Lead Management Software tools are employed to accomplish this process. Leads are distributed primarily by:
- Automated email distribution systems
- Web or server user access where the relevant representatives log-in, in order to view prospects allocated to them
- Cellular systems using mobile technology
Track and disposition of the prospects. As soon as sales agents receive leads they are to diligently communicate with the leads as they strive towards conversion and sales. The following forms of communication are to be logged and again the software has built-in capabilities to record and monitor all interaction and sales related discussions, namely:
- Telephone calls
- Email communication
- Preliminary documentation submitted by prospects, such as personal information
- Faxed information
Lead Management Software caters for a log of the above communication, including date and time, and storage of the above correspondences and information. Even with the benefits of automation, some information relating to the specific interaction that each sales person has with each client, needs to be registered by the agent. The software features are designed to cater for these entries. Due to the subjective aspect which differentiates each prospects particular circumstance, the system accommodates manual entry of notes. This can be disseminated or made visible to relevant employees of the organization. This software is designed around processes which maximize the systematic handling of prospects and avoiding loss of leads.
Convert or nurture, as the description of this stage suggests, relates to:
- Converting leads to customers or maintaining them until a sale is closed. Whilst not every lead can be converted immediately, a large number can ultimately be converted with perseverance and consistent follow up.
- Lead nurturing is essential to maintain regular and meaningful contact with prospects until a sale is concluded.
Analyzing Results of sales and marketing techniques. This stage entails the following aspects:
- Assessing how successful the sales and advertising tools have been
- Mapping a strategy to tap into moving unconverted leads into clients.
Lead Management Software have formidable and user-friendly recording systems and metrics to facilitate the above and evaluate the return on investment.