When you were thinking of starting a business, you must have identified 10-15 prospects who could become your first clients. Do you remember the process of how they got converted from a lead to sales? How much research you did on them or how much did you follow up with them before some of them said yes? As your business grew, you delegated this task to your sales managers. Are they handling those leads with same passion as you used to? Do you have a handle on what is the status of all such contacts?
A Lead is any such relevant contact which may or may not lead to a sales. Lead management is not just storage of contacts in one place. It is much more than that. There is a process with which a lead converts into sales. Ofcourse the process starts with capturing the leads.
A lead in the CRM can be properly allocated for accountability. You may also set targets for lead conversion. You may setup a system in which a new lead can be allocated to a resource. It is very important since if the competition contacts the lead before you do, you lose the advantage. You may find out that after allotment, how much time was spent before the lead was contacted. Also, you may allocate difficult leads to your most experienced people.
Tracking the Lead
Once a lead is created into the CRM, there are several ways you can use it to convert it into sales. An important aspect is to keep a track on how often the lead was contacted and what was the feedback each time. It is important to keep a reasonable time frame before contacting the lead again. Once this is done for enough time, it creates a trail which gives useful insights into the behavior and preferences of the lead.
At some point, a lead has to be categorized as a qualified lead. It is often when the lead is contacted and it is established that an opportunity exists for business. For complicated leads, it may become difficult to identify when to qualify the lead. Some companies use a point system and some use tickmark system to identify the same. This may be done after each meeting with the customer to establish at which point a customer expressed intent of dealing with your company.
Since leads would be many in number and several of them would not be converted right away, you may create an email system which sends automated mails to keep recall value and engagement for your services. You may also setup a frequency in which the leads have to be contacted. At each interaction the details have to be captured for the benefit of future users.