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When you are a salesperson dealing with dozens—possibly hundreds—of leads, it can get difficult to keep track of each of them. You can easily forget who you were supposed to call back, email details to, or supposed to follow up with. And every lead feeling neglected is a lost opportunity for your business.
Instead of manually managing all your leads, you can use lead management software to streamline the process. The tool will help you know the position of a lead in the sales cycle. It will also help you schedule meetings and follow-ups, reducing recurring tasks in your daily operations.
To help you find the best lead management software for your business, we’ve prepared this guide. Here’s what we'll cover:
Lead management software is a tool that helps businesses gather, store, and manage information on prospective clients/customers, also known as leads. The tool captures lead details from multiple sources, such as your website, social media pages, online advertisements, and any existing database. It then consolidates all the information into a centralized database for all stakeholders in your sales process to access.
The tool helps you manage communications with leads by sending emails, messages, and notifications as well as by scheduling online and in-person meetings. The tool also enables you to set automated lead nurturing campaigns such that your leads receive emails basis their online behavior with your business. For example, if a lead had opened your email but not responded to it, you can set a lead nurturing campaign to automatically send them a follow-up email in a couple of days.
The tool also tracks leads throughout the sales life cycle, from capture to conversion, making it easier for you to determine what the next step for each lead should be.
Lead management software is typically offered in two deployment models:
Cloud-based deployment: With this type of deployment, the responsibility of hosting and maintaining the solution lies with the vendor and you can use it via a web browser or a mobile app. Such solutions are usually priced on a user/month basis. A majority of lead management solutions fall into this category.
On-premise deployment: With this type of deployment, the responsibility of hosting and maintaining the solution lies with the user. You can purchase the software with a one-time licensing fee. You might also need to pay extra for any technical support or updates you require. While a few lead management solutions do fall into this category, they are harder to find and usually suitable for enterprise clients that own servers or private cloud.
Key question to ask a vendor: Considering the time spent on implementation, personnel training, and data migration, what would be the expected time between buying the solution and rolling it out to the sales team for everyday use?
With several lead management solutions on the market, it can be a confusing process to choose one for your business. To help you out, we’ve listed some important features below:
Lead capture: Capture leads from multiple sources, such as advertisements, social media, online stores, and cold calling, and consolidate them into a centralized database.
Leads dashboard in Zoho CRM
Lead flow management: Distribute leads among different salespeople, designated as owners. Some solutions manage the lead flow automatically according to the burden on each salesperson, while other solutions allow users to do this manually.
Lead flow management in Pipedrive
Pipeline management: Track leads’ status throughout the sales life cycle and have complete visibility into the leads in the sales pipeline.
Pipeline management in Hubspot CRM
Lead scoring: Automatically score leads on different attributes to ascertain which ones are most likely to convert to clients. The scoring attributes can include job title, demographics, online behavior, and any other variable you deem important.
Lead scoring in Freshsales
Lead nurturing: Design and automate outreach campaigns for leads in different stages of the sales life cycle. Send emails, newsletters, and/or notifications based on their online behavior. Some solutions also allow users to manually run lead nurturing campaigns and send outreach emails.
Custom content workflows for lead nurturing in EngageBay
Reporting: View detailed reports on your sales and lead nurturing activities. Some solutions also allow users to generate custom reports and export them for further analyses.
Reporting in AmoCRM
Key question to ask a vendor: Will the software integrate with my email client, website, and third-party lead capturing sources such as social media and online advertising platforms?
*Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations, obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.