CRM & Lead Management

5 Ways for SMBs to Manage Leads Effectively

Posted 16 March 2017 | BY Sansan

Sales leads are the lifeline of every business. Without them, there would be no customers and, by extension, no revenue.

Most SMBs leave no stone unturned to gather leads. Whether that means mining social media, attending face-to-face networking events or using online content to drum up business, your organisation is only as strong as your lead gathering techniques.

However, once you’ve collected leads, what do you do with them?

Effective lead management can transform a list of contacts into your next wave of customers. Here are five ways to turn leads into money in the bank.

1. Define leads across your company

To maximise your sales effectiveness, your entire staff needs to be on the same page. That means clearly defining leads and ensuring your team knows the difference between leads and prospects.

A prospect is someone who fits your buyer persona and may have responded in some way to one of your marketing campaigns. To become a lead, a prospect must express interest in your product or service.

It’s your marketing team’s job to gather prospects and convert them to leads. It’s your sales team’s job to convert those leads into customers. Confuse the two and you’ll reduce your sales efficiency.

2. Use customer relationship management software

Customer relationship management (CRM) software allows your sales, marketing and customer service teams to record every customer interaction on a central platform.

This enables all your people to easily assess how each target is interacting with your brand and exactly which stage of the customer lifecycle they are in. Your entire organisation can work together to push each lead through the sales pipeline.

3. Use predictive lead scoring

All leads are not created equal. Lead scoring aims to rank leads based on their long-term value and likeliness to convert. It allows your sales team to prioritise their time and resources around the highest-value leads.

The Predictive lead scoring software uses algorithms and machine learning to improve on traditional rules-based lead scoring.

4. Capture and consolidate offline leads

Leads don’t just live online. Your team is collecting leads whenever they’re attending industry events, trade shows, conferences and networking opportunities. But offline leads are of little value if they remain business cards in a desk drawer.

A business card management system can digitally scan, tag and store your team’s collected business cards in a central database for integration into your CRM.

5. Segment your leads to nurture

Sales is not a set and forget proposition. Rather, your leads need to be constantly nurtured through the sales pipeline.

To achieve this, divide your leads into customer segments that are based on their demographics, buyer behaviour and position in the customer life cycle. This will help your sales and marketing teams to target leads more accurately, and direct the right content to the right people at the right time.

A structured and effective management of your leads will ensure your sales team is focusing on your highest-value leads, which means more business for your company.