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Your leads keep your business going. If you’ve got things sorted when it comes to lead generation, you should have a steady stream of inbound leads. These can come from calls, web forms, PPC ads, and many other sources. But just as important as getting those leads is being able to keep them organised, manage them, and then either convert or distribute them.
In order to do this, it’s critical to know what a sales lead is and how to use lead management.
What is a Sales Lead?
When we talk about leads, we typically mean sales leads, but there are distinctions. Some leads are marketing leads, or marketing qualified leads (MQLs). These are leads that have been educated by your brand marketing and are deemed ready to present to sales. A sales lead, or sales qualified lead (SQL), is a lead that has taken an action that suggests they are ready and eager to make a purchase.
A sales lead will have clicked a call to action with statements like “Call Now,” “Get Quotes,” “Talk to an Agent,” or something similar. A sales lead is very valuable because it is a lead that is far ahead in the sales funnel and are ready to take the plunge.
What is Lead Management?
Lead management is what happens to a lead once it enters your sales funnel as a sales qualified lead. From here, it is on a path to being converted by your sales team—unless you plan to distribute the lead to third parties for conversion. Lead management is important because it is the link between your lead generation endeavours and sales goals. If you don’t manage your leads effectively, you could be wasting all your marketing and lead generation efforts.
If you are a very small business, you may be able to manage and organise your leads using a “manual” system like an Excel spreadsheet, a digital notes app, or even notecards on a bulletin board. But for most small, medium, and enterprise-sized businesses, there is a need for lead management software.
Organising with Lead Management Software
A lead management system is useful for many reasons, most simply because it puts all your leads in one digital place: the cloud. SaaS lead management allows you and other members of your team to track how leads made it to you and where they need to go. It makes sure nothing falls through the cracks.
The best lead management software will do even more than help organise your leads—it can also illuminate ways you could earn more revenue. You can use filtering and restrictions with lead management software to improve your lead quality and only accept leads you are likely to convert.
A feature like URL tracking can give you insight into the traffic source for each lead. By tracking the marketing that is driving leads your way, you can make better decisions about where to allocate funds.
By knowing where your leads came from and effectively managing them with a lead management system, you can account for each lead, refine your approach, and pursue strategies that will lead to more conversions.