In order to incrIn order to increase revenue for your business and have a successful 2022, one of the most important things you can do is to get a handle on your lead management practices. 

You probably get your leads through a number of different channels, some you control, some you don’t. There’s print advertising, word-of-mouth advertising, and local advertising, to name a few. But by far the most successful and fully transparent way to get leads and know their impact on your business is through digital marketing and thorough lead management practices for your business. 

This is key to a successful business. And while you may be a master of your trade, there’s no shame in getting a little help on the business side of things. 

Table of Content:

What is a lead
What is lead management
Steps to lead management
Start getting leads

What is a lead? 

If you’ve been in business for a while, you know a thing or two about leads. They’re customers, or will be if you respond to them right. As you’ll see below they can come in the form of an email, a phone call, or a filled out form. But the important takeaway is a lead represents a person with a need and this person is willing to pay you money to fulfill that need. Lead is simply the catchall term for a customer who is contacting you about business.  

What does lead management mean? 

Lead Management is the process of acquiring and managing leads (potential customers) by tracking their source, understanding where they are in your customer journey, and maintaining communication with them until the point where they make a purchase or otherwise exit your funnel. 

What are the major steps of lead management?

  1. Generate leads
  2. Tracking
  3. Qualify & capture leads
  4. Nurture

Generating Leads

The first step is obviously getting leads. That’s where this starts. And getting leads can potentially be the trickiest part. You may or may not have heard of lead generation, which is the process of attracting an audience to your business. In the digital world, this means driving relevant traffic of potential customers to your website, social media channels, or other digital presences. 

How do you get leads?

Develop campaigns so that your name is in front of your prospective customers many times. You want them to remember you in their time of need. Not all campaigns need to have the end goal of getting customers on your phone. In fact, many campaigns will be too high level for that. Social media campaigns, for example, are most often a way of getting to know your audience and letting them get to know you. It’s about getting your name in front of them and keeping it front of them. So when the time comes that they need someone, your name is top of mind. 

Another option is email campaigns, which will be a little more direct. A well-managed and detailed contact list is the building block for success. You will use it many times: to send out coupon offerings, referral programs, or a newsletter telling of changes in your services or company. 

Tracking

Ideally, you’ll be getting a lot of business. So you’ll want to keep track of where it’s coming from so you know what tactics work, which ones you need to invest more in, and which ones you can remove from your lead sources.

Track the source of your leads

This will help you identify what advertising is effective and what is not. Lead source tracking will also help you develop an even more streamlined advertising and lead management process. There’s a few different ways you can do this. You can have different phone numbers for different leads sources so you can keep track of what calls are coming in from where. If it’s a digital lead source you can use what’s called a UTM (urchin tracking model) to track the path of users who click on a link. 

When you have a clear view on your campaigns as lead sources, it gives you insight into what prompted them to contact you in the first place. This means if someone got on your phone because they saw a specific ad, you can speak to what that ad was offering and how that meets a customer’s specific needs.

Evaluate the source of your leads

You want to know where your good leads come from and where your bad ones come from, especially if those lead sources are costing you money. As mentioned above, there are plenty of ways to track online traffic using special links or unique phone numbers. But you want to make sure you’re recording what the tracking tells you so you can make informed decisions about your lead process in the future.  

Qualify & Capture

Make sure you understand their needs and send them to the right person. The more customer information you have, the better your business will do in the long run. Data is incredibly important. And everything is data. Where someone lives, how they heard about you, their age, name, how long they’ve lived in their house. All this is important to better understand an audience of potential customers. Collect this data, but don’t be invasive. Only collect what a customer willingly discloses. With this information, you can better qualify a lead as either being right for your business or not.  

Depending on the size of your company this may be more or less important, but if you offer multiple services, the customer needs to be speaking to the right service pro or department. Sending a customer to various parts of your company is not only annoying for them but might make them feel like they’re getting the runaround. Either way, it will erode trust in your professionalism. 

Nurture

This is a tactic that should be carried out throughout the process. Nurturing a lead means helping them through the sales funnel. This can mean maintaining email communication, scheduling follow-up calls, or continuing to serve more relevant and targeted ads. The nurture process doesn’t have a concrete formula because every business and sales funnel is different. But there are some things you should keep in mind across the board.  

What do you do when you get a lead?

Leads most often come to you in the form of an email or a call. So, what do you do when you get one, or maybe more? The first thing to remember is leads represent real people with real needs. They’re reaching out to you for help because they trust you and respect your skills and experience. So you need to respond in a way that does the same.

How to answer a sales call graphic
When answering the phone for you business, be sure to make a good first impression. Instead of a gruff, “yeah” or “hello” which forces the caller to initiate the conversation, try answering, “Hello, thanks for calling [Your Business Name] this is [Your Name] how can I help?”

The importance of the follow-up

So, step 1: call them back and call them back in a timely manner. Introduce yourself, and ask about their needs. Don’t sell them right now. Only 2% of sales are made on the first contact with the customer. So, unless you’re incredibly lucky, you won’t sell them right away. And remember, they’re people with needs, talk to them that way. 

Then, step 2: is have a follow-up call scheduled after the initial call or contact, even if it’s just a casual one. Make sure to let them know you’ll call them back by a certain date if you haven’t heard back. As many as 44% of professionals will give up on trying to close a sale after the first attempt. Be patient and be persistent. 

Educate and demonstrate the value of your product/service

Since you tracked where the lead came from and relevant contact information, create campaigns that deliver marketing materials (think emails and social media ads) to your lead that demonstrate the value of your product or service. Remember, you want your name in front of your prospective customers as often as possible so they remember you in their time of need. Following up with campaigns that express what makes your business different and answer their questions before they ask can make the purchasing decision easier for the lead.

Take time to teach everyone on your staff

Your staff who deals with your customers need to know how to properly deal with leads. Everyone on your staff should know how to handle every lead as if they were already an important customer. The leads need to be treated like the people they are, so if you have someone responding to messages on your social accounts or taking in form leads and sending out requests, make sure you have some sort of training in place to ensure that all leads are responded to quickly, efficiently, and respectfully. 

The big takeaway 

The important thing is to get your work organized, have a process in place, and train your staff. Ultimately, a lead management process is about establishing relationships with your customers, from the first hello to the finished job. Being smart about spending your advertising dollars on quality leads can make your lead management smoother from the beginning.

Are you ready to increase your leads?

We can get you the leads to kick off that process. We can tackle both lead generation and capture by sending you sales-ready, local customers based on your business needs