by Todd Spear
Published on 15 January 2015
When starting a small business, you might not think it's important to manage the few leads you have, at first. This is a common misconception. The thinking is: "I'll deal with it later." But you're hurting your fledgling business when you look at it that way.The sooner you get on top of your leads, the better off - and more profitable - you'll be.
The simple fact of the matter is that the few leads you begin with will help you grow other leads, in several key ways. Let's take a look at how lead management can help you quickly grow your small business.
A recent post from Bryce Buchanan on behalf of LeadExec sums up the need for early adoption of lead management activities by citing the classic maxim "Rome wasn't built in a day." In the same article, Buchanan cites research from Gartner showing that companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in sales within six to nine months of adoption. For your new business, that means a 10% or better boost, right out of the gate.
In starting your business, you will no doubt have some ideas about your target market. You will have probably started out with a specific customer in mind. And you will have probably conducted some market research, which will have given you more specifics about your target market.
But the only way you're ever going to really get to know your most valuable customer - the one who converts - is through lead management. Using a lead scoring app helps you understand the actions of the customers who buy, which can help you optimize your sales funnel for that type of customer going forward. And that will result in increased sales as your business ages.
Let's face it: acquiring leads costs money. And, on the Web, not all leads are equal. Some customers will inevitably enter false information because they don't want to be contacted. Some won't qualify and convert. Others will convert, beautifully. Others still will turn in to repeat customers with years-long life cycles.
The thing is: they will all cost your business money. And when you start to spend employee hours responding to incoming leads, you need a customer relationship management (CRM) tool with detailed records of lead information to know which ones are worth your time.
Salesforce Sales CRM is one such tool that bridges automated site functions (that bring in leads) with responsive, personalized customer service in a practical, profitable way.
As you can tell, lead management needs to start at day one of your business. Leads build other leads and help you grow your business. For more lead management options check out GetApp's regularly updated list of sales software for small businesses.