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About 52% of salespeople struggle with lead generation for their companies.

But that’s not the only problem.

Only 35% of businesses have a lead nurturing program in place. That means most companies don’t have a way to manage prospects efficiently. It’s harder to convert leads to paying clients without an effective lead management system.

But what exactly is a sales lead management system? How do you manage sales lead effectively?

Keep reading to find:

Sales Lead Management

The Stages of the Sales Lead Management System

How To Manage Sales Leads

Final Thoughts: Sales Lead Management 101: 8 Tips To Manage Sales Leads

Sales Lead Management

Sales lead management refers to the steps involved in finding and managing sales leads until they make a purchase. A sales lead management system empowers businesses to build potential qualified clientele and optimize sales opportunities during the process.

Sales leads are your business’s potential customers — people or companies who could become your clients.

The Stages of the Sales Lead Management System

The sales, or lead management system, determines whether you’ll have an effective sales workflow.

There are five stages in the sales lead management system. They are:

Stages in sales lead management — lead generation, lead tracking, lead scoring, lead distribution, and lead nurturing
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Lead Generation

Collecting leads is the first step in managing sales leads. You must acquire prospects before you can convert them to customers.

Lead generation, also called lead capture, is the process of collecting new leads for a business.

To generate leads for your business, you can:

  • Compile a list of qualified prospects
  • Use gated content like e-books and webinars to get leads into your sales funnel
  • Include enticing calls-to-action (CTAs)
  • Offer incentives for sign-ups
  • Add contact information or a contact form so users can ask questions

Lead Tracking

You should keep tabs on your leads’ activities and behavioral patterns on your website. That’s necessary because knowing your leads will determine your outreach approach, marketing channels, and messaging to turn prospects into paid customers.

To manage sales leads, your marketing team should track:

  • Where your leads are coming from
  • What content they engage with
  • The kind of actions they take
  • Which pages they visit
  • What CTAs they click
  • Which stage they are in the buyer’s journey

Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is the process of rating your leads to determine the probability they’ll buy from you.

You can develop a lead scoring system based on several factors such as:

  • Job title
  • Income
  • Goals
  • Challenges
  • Interests

Lead scoring empowers you to select the best leads who qualify as strong prospects. It lets you focus on converting high-quality leads to increase sales and revenue.

Lead Distribution

After scoring your leads, the next step in managing sales leads is distributing them.

Depending on your leads’ stage in the buyer’s journey, you can:

  • Pass them to a sales representative
  • Add them to different email marketing campaigns

Qualified leads come in four categories:

  1. Information qualified leads (IQLs)
  2. Marketing qualified leads (MQLs)
  3. Sales qualified leads (SQLs)
  4. Sales-ready leads (SRLs)

IQLs and MQLs still require more information and persuasion, so you can add them to campaigns. Conversely, you can pass SQLs and SRLs along to a sales rep.

Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing for sales lead management
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Lead nurturing is an essential step in managing sales leads. According to Ascend2, 69% of businesses nurture leads through email campaigns, but you can use other means like social media, mobile automation, and paid ads.

Nurturing your leads is key — not only for increased sales but brand trust too. Your nurturing process should depend on your leads’ stages in your sales funnel and buyer’s journey.

For instance, IQLs may be interested in identifying their pain points, while MQLs may be interested in knowing how your offer can solve their pain points. And SQLs might want to know more about your product’s pricing.

How To Manage Sales Leads

  1. Define your potential leads
  2. Determine your lead generation sources
  3. Install a customer relationship management (CRM) tool
  4. Obtain necessary information through questions
  5. Segment your leads
  6. Create urgency in your sales cycle
  7. Nurture your leads
  8. Improve your sales lead management through analytics

Managing sales leads requires you to put effective measures in place. While there’s a long list of processes for sales lead management, here are the eight most effective tips on how to manage sales leads for your business.

1. Define Your Potential Leads

Be intentional about knowing who your ideal customers are. Learn about their:

  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Challenges
  • Pain points
  • Goals

Figure out their psychographics as well. Where do they hang out? What do they like doing?

That will help both your lead generation and management processes. Because you know where to find them online and what interests them, you’ll be able to collect them as leads.

And since you know what they want, you can create messaging that resonates with them.

2. Determine Your Lead Generation Sources

Identifying and evaluating your lead generation sources will help you discover the best marketing channel for your business.

It will also help you focus your resources on high-value sources so you can get the best return on investment (ROI) for your lead generation efforts. Furthermore, you can maximize and avoid wasting your marketing budget and time.

Identify lead generation sources for sales lead management
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You can use Google Analytics or similar websites to evaluate your traffic sources. Make sure to check it regularly.

3. Install a CRM Tool

Connecting your website with CRM software will help your sales lead management process. Once your lead capture tools integrate with your CRM, your company will be able to access registered leads and their contact details.

Those details will help you create personalized content your leads will find useful down the sales funnel. Your CRM will empower you to build meaningful relationships with your prospects.

4. Obtain Necessary Information Through Questions

When it comes to managing sales leads, your scoring process should involve questioning. Asking questions enables you to not only score but segment your leads efficiently.

Ask your leads questions like:

  • How can [your company] be of help to you?
  • What interests you about [your product/service]?
  • In what way would you consider [your product/service] effective for your business?
  • What problem are you looking to solve with [your product/service]?

Make it easy for prospects to get in touch with your sales reps — and for your sales reps to reach out to your core decision-makers.

5. Segment Your Leads

To manage your sales leads, use email list segmentation to improve personalization. Dynamic Yield found that over 60% of North Americans will respond favorably to a personalized email.

Segmenting a list can be done using CRM software or manually based on an opt-in source (or any other factor). HubSpot found that segmentation can improve the performance of all your email marketing key performance indicators (KPIs).

You can group your leads based on their:

  • Interests
  • Pain points
  • Stage in the buyer’s journey
  • Lead score

6. Create Urgency in Your Sales Cycle

Creating a sense of urgency is a great sales lead management tactic.

Since 60% of people make purchases within 24 hours as a reaction to FOMO (fear of missing out), you have a better chance at engaging your leads and converting them by creating a sense of urgency in your sales lead management system.

7. Nurture Your Leads

Lead nurturing is vital when managing sales leads. Ascend2 found that 36% of businesses nurture leads to improve lead quality, and 19% do so to shorten the sales cycle.

Follow up with your leads regularly to improve your bottom line. You can nurture your leads through several channels, including:

  • Emails
  • Social media posts
  • SMS messages on social channels
  • Website content

8. Improve Your Sales Lead Management Through Analytics

Ensure that your sales team tracks your sales lead management metrics. You can do that using a combination of effective tools, including a CRM system, email marketing platform, and Google Analytics.

Use your analytics to make informed decisions in every aspect of managing sales leads for your business.

Final Thoughts: Sales Lead Management 101 — 8 Tips To Manage Sales Leads

Sales lead management is a crucial process for both small businesses and large enterprises. Using our guide, you can take results-driven actions on how to manage sales leads for your business.

From lead capture to tracking, scoring, distribution, and nurturing, ensure that every action pushes a lead down your sales pipeline until they become customers of your business.

Meanwhile, having a website is crucial for lead generation. Check out Bluehost’s hosting packages today.

  • Tiffani Anderson

    Tiffani is a Content and SEO Manager for the Bluehost brand. With over 10 years experience across all facets of content and brand marketing, she strives to combine concepts from brand marketing with engaging content through the lens of SEO.

    University of North Texas
    Previous Experience
    Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media
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