Lead management is an essential step between driving traffic to your brand’s channels and generating conversions.
In digital marketing, there is a lot of talk about lead generation strategies. But in this article, we are going to take the next step: how to manage those leads to make sure they become customers. We will talk about the essential techniques to manage and qualify leads, the types of leads that exist, the best lead management practices, and how to use the software to facilitate this work. Go for it!
What is Lead management?
Lead management is a stage of the inbound marketing process that consists of a series of coordinated marketing actions on the leads that we have generated in order to convert them into customers. To facilitate this process, companies often turn to specific software solutions, such as CRMs.
Efficient lead management must be based on these 3 keys:
- Help and add value to customers. Lead generation acquisition strategies are based on offering valuable content to potential customers in exchange for their data. To advance in the process of managing leads, we must continue adding value to them. And for this, we must focus on helping them with their problems, not on selling them our products and services.
- Hit the right time. According to a Harvard Business Review study, companies that communicate with a potential customer within the first hour of the interaction were 7 times more likely to qualify than those that did so within the next hour. As you can see, it is not just about generating leads, but about being able to accompany them from the first moment. And for this, marketing automation is essential.
- Personalize marketing messages. Nobody likes to feel like a number. The best lead management is the one that generates authentic relationships, and for this, it is essential to offer personalized treatment to each client. Once again, CRM software can be a great help in managing communication flows for different segments and needs.
Essential techniques to manage and qualify leads in marketing:
Lead scoring is a marketing automation technique that consists of assigning a score to leads based on their correspondence with the buyer persona, the moment of the purchase process in which they are and their level of interest in the company.
This score is assigned based on a lead scoring algorithm that adapts to the situation and needs of each company, and that can be created manually or automatically.
Lead nurturing is the process by which we prepare and accompany leads throughout the customer journey until they become loyal customers.
Normally, this process is carried out through a series of workflows or communication flows, in which the lead is sent a series of messages spaced out over time.
During the lead management process, we will configure different workflows based on the customer’s profile and the point in the purchase process they are in, and we will assign the leads to one or the other based on the score obtained in the lead scoring.
What types of leads exist?
As we can deduct from the previous point, correctly classifying contacts is an essential step in lead management. Depending on the type of lead we find, we will carry out different actions to accompany you on the path to conversion.
One of the most used classifications in marketing is the one that distinguishes leads based on their “temperature”:
- Cold leads: these are those users who have become part of our database, for example, by leaving their data in a form in exchange for downloading content, but they are still a long way from conversion. This phase of the purchase process is called TOFU or “top of the funnel”.
- Marketing Tempered or Qualified Leads (MQLs): These users have gone a step further and have shown repeated interest in the brand’s products and services. Therefore, we consider that they are ready to receive marketing communications from the company. This phase is called MOFU or the “middle of the funnel”.
- Hot or Sales Qualified Leads (SQL): In this last phase, users are already familiar with our brand and have a clear purchase intent. Therefore, it is time to take the step from the marketing team to the sales team and close the conversion. This is the BOFU or “bottom of the funnel” phase.
Best practices for good lead management
Let’s see some recommended practices to carry out effective lead management:
- Align the marketing and sales process. Marketing and sales teams must be aligned throughout the lead management process, from the acquisition of new users for the database to the final conversion. Both teams must be clear about what characteristics a quality lead should have, what channels to use, what tactics to use, and what procedure to follow.
- Encourage communication between both teams. To accompany a lead seamlessly from start to finish, marketing and sales teams need to be constantly in touch and able to communicate quickly and accurately. To do this, it is necessary to have lead management software suited to the needs of the company, establish good communication practices and hold joint meetings.
- Identify the leads with the most purchase intent. To get the most out of leads, you need to be able to identify and filter those that are most aligned with your buyer persona and most likely to convert in the long run. To achieve this, it is important to have a well-defined lead scoring algorithm and periodically evaluate its effectiveness.
- Measure the results of lead management. Measurement is one of the pillars of digital marketing since it allows us to know if our actions are working and optimize them whenever necessary. It is essential to define a series of key performance indicators or KPIs for our lead management and to monitor them regularly.
- Use lead management software. To reach the optimal level of optimization and personalization, it is essential to have lead management software that allows you to optimize processes such as lead scoring, sending marketing messages, or communication between the marketing and sales departments. Below we will see the benefits of this type of solution and some of the top tools available on the market.
Why implement lead management software?
- Because it helps convert leads into customers. Lead management software helps marketing and sales teams properly track potential customers, respond quickly to their questions, and offer them the content they need at each stage of the conversion funnel.
- Because it helps to correctly classify leads. With lead management software we can design and implement complex lead scoring algorithms and automatically classify each lead.
- Because it makes leads much more visible. Lead management software makes it possible to see all contacts in one place and identify their activities within brand channels.
- Because it helps offer leads what they need. Thanks to this visibility, marketing, and sales teams can better always understand what each lead needs and offer them personalized communication to encourage long-term loyalty.
- Because it avoids the problem of duplicate leads. A very common problem in lead management is poorly refined databases, with duplicate contacts, inactive or not interested in the brand. By unifying all data in one place, lead management software helps keep your database clean and drive more conversions.