A lead refers to any individual or organization in your target market who wishes to learn more about the products and solutions you have to offer. Putting it very simply, it is a potential sales contact. The ability of an individual to generate, acquire, assess, nurture, and then hand off such leads to the sales team is known as his lead management skills.

Sometimes referred to as contact management or customer acquisition management, lead management’s fundamental purpose is to generate new clientele by effectively and efficiently converting the leads generated into actual sales as well as long term relationships.

Why is lead management important

Organizations and specifically marketing departments regularly devote huge amounts of their time, efforts and resources to the internet, TV, radio, and/or print advertisements. All of these and a wide variety of other methods, such as cold calling or street marketing, are undertaken solely for the purpose of generating a lead. This kind of devotion reflects the great significance of the ‘first sniff’ is for any company.

However, igniting the spark is not enough. It must be nurtured into an inferno, that is, final sale. That is the reason behind increasing demand for effective lead management skills. Business owners and marketing executives realize that losing the leads mean putting all that time, efforts, and resources to waste. Some have even gone far enough to turn to specialist softwares that allows for easy organization of overwhelming amounts of information, making it convenient to follow up a lead and convert it into sale before it goes cold.

How to improve lead management skills

Here are some simple tips that can help you improve your lead management skills and hence, your odds of making the sale:

  • Gather the right data. Develop a consensus with sales and marketing people on what kind of information is the most critical to collect, and what will be the criteria for qualifying as well as assigning leads. Then create forms and landing pages accordingly in order to ensure that the right data is collected from your leads.
  • Categorize the leads with interest and intent separately. Observing the behavior of your lead is going to help you separate the ones with intent from those with mere interest. All you have to do is look for hints. For instance, are the your leads looking at the webinars and white papers, and merely poking around on your company’s website? Or are they browsing pricing related information and signing up for product demonstrations, indicating their intent? Once you are clear about the distinction between these two, your lead management skills will show considerable improvement.
  • Don’t give up on the leads that are not sales-ready. In the process of making sales, you are often likely to encounter leads which are currently not ready to buy and may remain in that position for quite some time. If you wish to improve your lead management skills, you must learn never to give up on such leads. Rather, you should devote efforts towards nurturing them through various tactics (such as the drip campaign) and build relationship with them such that your company’s product remains top of mind.
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