Lead management is the process of tracking and managing prospective customers. Sometimes referred to as customer acquisition management or contact management, it generally encompasses the following processes:
Lead generation: Businesses create consumer interest and inquiry into products or services through a range of marketing tactics. These often include blog posts, advertisements, white papers, social media, events, and PR campaigns.
Customer inquiry and capture: Consumers of marketing respond with interest and their data is recorded. This creates a sales lead.
Filtering, grading, distribution, and contact: Leads are sorted by the validity of the request, prioritized based on likelihood of becoming a customer, and then dispersed to sales reps to be contacted. Depending on the size of your marketing program, a lot of work can go into defining how to accurately categorize and sort individual leads.
Lead nurturing: Leads are sorted by contacted or uncontacted and scheduled for follow-up processes. They may be put into drip-marketing campaigns, or followed-up with on the phone by a company rep. If the process ends with a sale, the lead has successfully traveled down the sales funnel and emerged as a customer. But the work doesn’t end there.
Lead management becomes more complex as companies scale – managing 200 leads is a lot different than managing 2,000 or 20,000 or even 200,000. And when those leads turn into customers, businesses must continue to nurture those relationships. In short, follow up is critical to maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction and sales efficiency.