Any marketer would vouch for the fact that one of the most difficult steps in the entire realm of marketing is generating new leads. It doesn’t come as a surprise though, since the sales team entirely depends and relies on the leads generated from different sources. However, what’s even more crucial than generating leads is effectively managing them.

It is not enough to merely attract new people and invite them to check out your products and services. It’s also important to sustain their interest and urge them to make that move and become paying customers.

For this, you need to have a well thought out lead management strategy in place along with the right lead management software to augment your efforts.

Now the modern customer is intelligent, inquisitive and persistent with their needs. This means that the age-old tricks of one-sided selling do not work anymore. They need solid and transparent information, they need direct communication and above all, they need quick action. Failing to deliver on any one of these aspects pretty much guarantees a customer bounce.

This is why it is important to stay on top of lead management in every way. You need a lead management software solution that is versatile and feature-rich to deal with every step in the modern-day complex buyer journey. This is where a customer relationship management solution (CRM) finds its relevance.

Typically a CRM solution comes with dedicated features to manage and maintain new leads. From subscriber and accounts management to workflow automation to analytics and even forecasting capabilities, it offers everything you need to take care of and nurture the leads that come in. Some of the best in class lead management software solutions also offer customization capabilities in order to perfectly adapt to individual organizational structures.

lead management software

CRM.io is one such flexible, customizable cloud-based lead management software solution that offers impressive features to manage leads. It allows you to add and maintain lead records through its effective lead management features. It also has a unique lead scoring system with which you can gauge the quality of leads to pursue. Through its contact management module, you can get a single holistic view of all of your existing contacts along with their activity. With Kanban views and mapping features, you can further understand the roles of each contact and accordingly direct your marketing efforts. In addition to all of these, it also comes with sales automation tools using which you can create and customise workflows. Last but not least it also has smart analytics and reporting features for you to measure the performance of your lead generation and management efforts.

Why is it important to use a CRM to manage leads?

A Customer Relationship Management tool such as CRM-io is a comprehensive and time-saving piece of technology that will help organize and streamline the entire process of lead management.

Conventional lead management processes would require customer relationship executives to constantly follow up with leads manually, where it gets extremely overwhelming and unmanageable when the numbers of leads being generated eventually increases. It would be extremely difficult to track the progress of each lead in terms of their respective buyer journeys and implement suitable marketing tactics.

As mentioned earlier, the modern-day customer, being inquisitive and demanding of their needs, goes through quite a complex buyer journey. Especially in the B2B industry buyer cycles tend to be longer, which necessitates marketing efforts to be more solid, customised and consistent. According to the customer’s readiness to make a move, you need to constantly nurture them and keep their interest piqued so that they buy soon and buy from you.

A CRM tool is a perfect solution to help you in this regard. With its dedicated contact management and lead management features, you can carefully keep track of each customer’s buyer journey within a single platform. Its workflow automation features will also help you reach out and respond to customers quickly and exactly when the time is right. It eliminates the need for executives to wait around, test the waters and constantly check whether the customer is ready.

In addition, an efficient CRM tool would not just be limited to sales or marketing. CRM.io for example comes with smart integration tools as well, such as IMAP with which you can manage all of your emails within the platform. It also allows you to seamlessly connect with other departments like customer service and work in conjunction with them.

In short lead management software helps offer a much more proactively driven and enriched customer experience to the leads generated. After all, the ultimate goal in this day and age is to create lasting impressions in the minds of customers so that they keep coming back for more and advocate your brand to others as well.

Now here are 7 powerful tips on how you can manage leads in a better way with the help of lead management software.

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7 powerful tips for managing leads with lead management software

1. Create accurate buyer personas

One of the very first steps towards effectively generating and managing leads is understanding a lead. An age-old tried and tested method of lead generation involves creating buyer personas; to date, it remains one of the best ways to find good leads. Figure out well beforehand what your ideal prospect should be like, understand the characteristics of a person that is a good fit for what you have to offer and then start the process of lead generation. This will enable you to not only generate leads in an easier way but also generate better quality leads. This is because buyer personas are created using a combination of historical customer data, quantitative research and real-time market analysis.

Efficient lead management software like CRM.io can provide you with vital information regarding customer data, purchase patterns, market trends etc. using which accurate buyer personas can be created. This can kick start your lead management process in a good way.

2. Optimise lead capturing with personalization

There are many conventional methods of lead generation that you can use to capture leads from different sources including opt-in forms, landing pages, email campaigns, social media ads and the like. The key is to attract a prospective website visitor or social media page visitor enough to give you their contact information so that you can send them relevant content to induce interest.

Now no two leads will be the same. For the same reason, you cannot use the same lead capture mechanism for all leads. A person visiting your website from a Google search may be looking for something different from a person who attended one of your live webinars. Hence, be sure to personalise your lead capture forms and build dedicated landing pages for leads coming in from different sources. Use chatbots as well to establish a personal connection with the visitor on their very first visit. This will help optimise your process of lead capturing and set the stone rolling for better management.

3. Use an effective lead scoring mechanism to pursue leads

Lead scoring is a process by which you can gauge the quality of a particular lead and decide whether or not it is worth pursuing. It helps you eliminate the guesswork in lead management and allows you to invest your time and efforts in only those leads that are likely to convert into paying customers in the near future. This means it will help prioritise your leads based on their readiness to purchase and lets you target your marketing efforts based on the same.

Someone who is looking to purchase in the next two weeks already has a need and is almost through to the end of the sales funnel. Such a lead requires only a few follow-ups from the sales team and content relating to specific product information. On the other hand, someone who is likely to purchase after three months is yet to get warmer. They require content that will further induce interest in the products and services that you carry.

Lead scoring systems help you understand these aspects so that you can focus your efforts on the leads that are worthwhile. Lead management software solutions CRM.io come with top-notch lead scoring systems that you can rely on to assess the quality of your leads and make appropriate decisions.

4. Use an integrated lead management software solution for seamless routing

When it’s time to hand over the leads from the marketing team to the sales team, oftentimes there are confusions and delayed follow-ups. This happens when there’s a lack of coordination and proper communication between the marketing and sales teams. Above all, it becomes a daunting task following up on different leads when the number of leads is high.

All of this can be avoided with an integrated lead management software solution that connects departments and allows both teams to work on leads from a single platform. It gives a detailed overview of the progress of leads throughout their buyer journeys, which helps marketers and sales executives target their efforts in a more effective way.

5. Automate workflows to stay proactive in communication

Advanced lead management software solutions come with powerful and intelligent workflow automation tools to speed up redundant and repetitive processes. You can set up timely persuasive email drip campaigns and social media campaigns to automatically respond to customer enquiries in order to avoid delays in response. You can also make use of predefined response templates and email templates to be sent out on certain trigger events. Make sure to take full advantage of these automation tools so that you can offer prompt and proactive customer experiences, failing which you stand the risk of losing leads out to your competitors.

6. Nurture leads with targeted marketing content

According to statistics companies that focus their efforts on lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at up to 33% lower cost. That’s how powerful lead nurturing is.

CRM tools like CRM.io provide carefully developed features for contact management, lead management and workflow automation with which marketers can set up event-based triggers to send appropriate messages and induce action at the right times. In effect, this allows you to reach out to them and influence their decision at perfect timing. This is the essence of lead nurturing. The idea is to attract leads, pique their interest and sustain it until they are ready to make a purchase. And that is exactly what an efficient lead management software solution will help you achieve.

7. Implement lead list cleaning to maximise effectiveness

Prompt lead generation processes sure help generate a ton of leads. However, some of your lead generation forms and landing pages may also gather unusable contact information for leads. There may be invalid email addresses, incorrect company names, incorrect contact persons, duplicate data and many other possibilities.

It is important to clean out your email lead list and remove such incorrect information. It will help improve the effectiveness of your lead management process. Besides, sending emails to invalid addresses can drastically impact your credibility and put you at risk of being black listed.

Make use of email validation and verification tools to eliminate incorrect information. Efficient email finder tools can also help you find the right email addresses and the right people to contact. Also make sure to eliminate duplicate records lest you end up bothering the same people over and over again.

Bottom line

Generating more leads for the sales team is indeed a difficult task for marketers. However, once you start generating an increased number of leads it becomes even more difficult to manage them. Conventional lead management methods may prove to be inefficient very soon. What you need is an advanced lead management software solution – a CRM tool to effectively take care of your leads and nurture them, eventually leading them to make a purchase.

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