by Todd Spear
Published on 2 June 2014
Leads are an essential part of your business. The better able your sales team is to manage the leads that come into your sales funnel , the more you'll see them convert into sales.
You and your team need only to focus on lead nurturing along the way as they traverse the sales funnel, not the relatively laborious task of keeping contacts and interaction histories organized.
But, if you're seeing a high volume of leads-and hopefully you are-you can't be expected to manage your leads without a little technological help. Fortunately, "There's an app for that," and the ones referenced in this post have the labor-intensive part of nurturing leads down to a science.
Your leads are the lifeblood of your company. That means the lead management software you choose is effectively the vascular system of your organization-it's the conduit through which your leads are nourished. If you have yet to choose a lead management app, fear not - we're here to help.
Let's take a look at some of the unique benefits lead management apps and customer relationship management software (CRM) will bring to your sales process and highlight some specific features from some of the best apps around.
Salesforce is one of the biggest names in lead management apps.
The days of keeping track of leads using a spreadsheet are thankfully over. By now you've surely heard of Salesforce.
Salesforce Sales Cloud is a popular lead management app that allows you to keep track of leads and lead engagements from your computer or smartphone, nurturing the leads on-the-fly, wherever you happen to travel.
Let's take a look at some of the features of Salesforce Sales Cloud to get an idea of just what a lead management app can do for you:
Many lead management apps will offer a similar set of features. Any app that misses on one of these core features is not worth your time, so keep that in mind if you try out different lead management apps.
Social media reaches more and more people with each new day. Yelp!, Twitter, Blogger, and YouTube give customers a voice amplified to a level on par with your brand's own voice.
And leads move through all of those channels. Just as your marketing efforts must engage your prospects through social media, the lead management app you choose has to be ready to facilitate and nourish leads entering through social media channels.
One app that is particularly adept at this is Salesformics. Salesformics integrates with Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as Constant Contact, to help you keep an eye on leads in social media, so that you can respond to them and interact with them as they engage with your brand on social media.
Salesformics makes it easy to track leads from anywhere, including social media.
The current crop of lead management apps are mobile-ready. That means they go where you do - on a plane, on a hike, on a boat, on a bike! Whether from your iPhone or Android device, sales can be made no matter where you happen to travel.
And that adds up to peace of mind. If you're a busy sales professional, you would no doubt like to know when an opportunity to close a deal arises and be able to act on it at the spur of the moment. That's the major advantage to an app like Zoho CRM, a lead management app that embodies all of the features of the other apps mentioned in this article, while adding tight integration to one of the most robust business application suites around, Zoho.
With detailed visualizations of leads as seen in Zoho CRM, you can instantly react to lead engagements to close sales quickly and easily.
It doesn't get much easier to visualize where your leads are in the sales funnel than with Zoho CRM.
Let's face it. There are good leads and there are not-so-good leads. You don't want to waste time on leads that are never going to come to fruition, so that creates the need to sort them out.
If you field a high volume of leads it can become detrimentally time consuming to have to wade through all the duds to get to the good leads.
Lead management apps make it easy to segment leads into groups based on user-definable parameters, lead behaviors, and pre-determined signals. Fortunately, lead management apps automate most of the process, making it easy to perform complex segmentation with minimal effort on your part.
This type of functionality makes one app in particular, Pipedrive CRM , very popular with aggressive sales teams which need to be able to weed out the qualified leads from the more casual prospects.
Pipedrive makes it easy to nourish qualified leads through to conversion.
Why sweat it?
Lead management apps have come a long way. It's time to ditch the Excel spreadsheet and the (yikes!) Rolodex and get with the times. Cloud-based lead management is in its full prime, and if you haven't considered making the switch, hopefully this post has shown you that now's the time.
Why not dig in and do you own research to see which lead management app is right for your business?
GetApp has a long list of all the lead management apps out right now.