How To: Build an Effective Lead Management Process

Lead Management

An important part of any marketing strategy is creating a process to track and monitor new sales leads, which are people who show interest in your products and services. By setting up a basic lead management process for the leads you capture through your marketing efforts, you can keep track of where your leads are coming from and accurately measure the effectiveness of your marketing. Here are a simple few tips to get started with lead management for your business.

Track the Source of Your Leads

A vital part of the process of handling your sales leads is to make sure that you track where those leads are coming from. This task will help the overall effectiveness of your online and offline advertising efforts because you’ll have a clear understanding of which marketing tactics are driving the most customers to your business. One simple way to do this is to simply ask prospects how they heard about your business once they contact you. Additionally, you can use analytics software on your website to monitor the sources of online leads. Another option for tracking leads is to use a call tracking number or tracking URL that you can place on your offline or online advertising, so when people contact you via those methods, you can track which marketing brought them to your business. Then, you can use this insight to shift your marketing investment toward the types of efforts that bring you the most customers.

Monitor & Respond to Social Media Channels

Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus have become great new sources of potential leads for your business. It’s important to monitor social media regularly and follow up with consumers who are leaving comments on your page, tweeting you publicly, or sending you direct messages. If someone expresses interest in your product or service or contacts you directly via social media, ask them to contact you via email or phone so you can get more information about what they’re interested in, and collect their contact information so you can follow up. In addition, you can use social media pages as a source of information about your target market, like their demographics, interests, and expectations from your business.

Set Up Notifications of New Leads

To take your lead management strategy to the next level, you can invest in a service that provides real-time lead notifications, such as an email or SMS message, when you receive a new lead. New leads could be generated from a  a form submission, email, voicemail, or chat lead. Notifications let you know as soon as a lead comes in, provide a record of the lead, and ensure you can respond promptly to close the sale. In fact, after the first hour, the chances of reaching a lead are reduced by 10 times.

Record Your Calls

Recording calls to your business is an easy way to track and store incoming sales leads. Many call recording technologies not only let you record the live call itself, but also capture data such as caller ID, date, and time, so you have a full picture of the call and caller. Plus, the ability to record calls can also provide additional business insight, such as whether or not your team is effectively answering the phone,  trends about what customers are calling about, and issues or feedback about your products or services, so you can make adjustments where needed.

Organize Your Database

Whether you’re entering leads into a CRM system or managing them in your own spreadsheet, it’s important to keep your lead data clean and organized. First, determine what data you want to capture, like name, email, phone, and lead source, so that you’re always recording the same type of information for each lead. In addition, you should regularly check your list and remove duplicate leads, make sure contact information is complete and up-to-date, and keep track of all interactions with the prospect so that you can pace out how often you want to reach out again  to existing customers and active leads you’ve already contacted.

Once you have a solid process in place for managing new sales leads, it’s important to tie any sales you make back to the original lead to accurately measure the ultimate ROI of your marketing investment. By documenting this process, you’ll have a better idea of which marketing investments have the biggest impact on your business.

What lead management strategies has your business implemented, and which do you plan on adding? Let us know in a comment!

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Tamara Weintraub

Tamara is a content marketing manager at ReachLocal with over 7 years experience in B2B marketing and has a nerd-level affinity for software and technology. She specializes in helping local businesses succeed online, writing and learning about Google, search advertising, SEO, and social media marketing. When she's not writing about online marketing, you can find her watching cult TV and hanging out with her Doberman.

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