LEAD MANAGEMENT: Guide And Best Practices


Without the correct lead management process in place, your salespeople may waste time on prospects who do not convert. That means they’re ignoring the potential clients who need it the most—those who will convert.
To ensure that your sales efforts are directed at the proper target, you’ll need a lead management process that eliminates tire kickers in your sales cycle and prioritizes the leads who matter most. In this quick guide, we’ll review the fundamentals of the lead management system and split it down into stages so you can start designing your own process.

What is Lead Management?

Lead management is a systematic process in which incoming leads are qualified, examined, and nurtured into new business prospects. In a typical sales process, leads from different channels enter your lead management system, and sales-ready leads are converted into deals. If you want to make the most of prospects that are interested in your product or service, you must have a lead management platform in place.

What is the Lead Management Process?

The lead management process consists of capturing leads, assessing their information to estimate their likelihood of purchasing, and tracking the conversion of leads to consumers. A strong process also includes sales force automation, which lowers time spent on time-consuming administrative duties. This enables teams to handle a higher sales volume while still taking the appropriate measures at the appropriate time to nurture leads farther down the funnel.

Remember that the top lead management tools capture and analyze data to provide additional visibility into client likes and dislikes, in addition to assisting you in prioritizing the best leads. The data you collect about leads can be quite beneficial in offering deeper insight into the business processes that contribute to lucrative outcomes (and which ones might be driving business away).

Why is Lead Management Important?

Your company survives thanks to leads. Nevertheless, not every lead is serious, and not all leads are equally valuable to your company. To constantly develop your business, you need a solution to populate and manage your sales pipeline with relevant leads while weeding out those who aren’t yet ready to buy.

There are various elements to take into account when picking which leads to focus on. As tempting as it may be to simply sell as much as possible, it is vital to be careful about who you target. If you sell to a customer whose problem your product cannot answer, the buyer may blame your product rather than blame themselves for not knowing the solution they required in the first place. Moreover, depending on their influence, their negative impression may sway others away from you as well.

Lead management is a crucial tool for keeping your sales team from wasting time on unqualified leads. With the correct lead management system and sales process in place, you can ensure that your team’s efforts are directed toward prospects who actually require your solution and are in the greatest position to purchase it.

Steps To The Lead Management Process

Step #1. Creating Leads

The initial step in the lead management process is to advertise and acquire leads. Nothing can be done before potential clients are identified.

Step #2. Consumer Inquiry

When customers respond in some way, indicating that they are interested in whatever is being given, the management process actually begins. In most cases, this occurs when a customer clicks on a link.

Step #3. Identity Capture

Understanding the customer is the next step. Some of this data is available through Google Analytics, while others can be collected by having the consumer give it to the company.

Step #4. Screening of Inquiries

Once IDs have been acquired, they must be confirmed for accuracy. This aspect of lead management assists the organization in gaining a better understanding of the reality behind any information entered.

Step #5. Lead Grading

Leads should be sorted based on their anticipated worth to the firm once their unique identity has been determined. Leads that are more likely to convert into sales or provide more value to the organization should be prioritized above casual consumers.

Step #6. Lead Distribution

Qualified leads are given to the company’s marketing and salespeople, frequently with specific instructions and information. In general, customers with the highest potential value should be offered to the sales professionals most likely to turn them into a customer.

Step #7. Sales Contact

This is when the sales process truly gets begun. Salespeople must arrange their interaction in a way that encourages the lead to respond, and how that happens should be determined by the lead’s prior conduct.

Step #8. Nurturing Leads

Leads who reply to the Sales Contact should be enrolled in the Lead Nurturing process, which employs both automated and personal follow-ups to persuade them of the need of making a purchase.

Step #9. Sales Outcome

After a lead makes a purchase, the management process is complete. Return to Step Seven if repeat sales are required.

Five Lead Management Best Practices

There are various best practices you can follow to ensure good lead management. They contribute to two long-term goals: first, capturing and converting the greatest number of leads possible, and second, minimizing the quantity of ‘poor leads’ in your sales and marketing funnel.
The five recommended techniques for managing leads are as follows:

#1. Use targeted content to capture leads.

Tailored content is a critical component of your lead management strategy. Especially in the B2B market, it defines your brand as a thought leader and a product specialist in addition to being a seller. In the case of lifestyle and cosmetics, for example, how-to tips and product reviews can go a long way toward encouraging client confidence and reinforcing interest.

#2. Always use cleared lead data.

The data stored in your sales and marketing system is ultimately responsible for the success of your initiatives. The “Garbage-in-Garbage-out” theory applies here — if your sales and CRM funnel is overflowing with bad leads, your team will be spending excessive efforts on irrelevant campaigns and low-yielding follow-ups.

#3. Assess the effectiveness of lead management initiatives.

This is a no-brainer – tracking which lead-generation initiatives are producing the best outcomes is a crucial best practice. Investments in these areas can be strengthened to increase profitability.

#4. Place a large net at the funnel’s top.

It is not a good idea to start the lead management process with hot leads. Odds are, your initial lead database will feature a mix of prospects at different phases of the purchase path. If you simply look for hot leads, you may miss out on possible ‘warm’ prospects that can be nurtured into conversion.

Techniques such as clearly displayed contact forms, social media presence, and sponsored display advertising can help you reach a wide audience at the top of the funnel.

#5. Work together with the sales staff

We cannot emphasize this enough: a successful lead management strategy depends on the partnership of marketing and sales. While marketers are responsible for generating leads, it is the sales executive’s responsibility to follow up, handhold, and convert the prospect. By collaborating, these two functions can improve conversion rates and reinvent consumer experiences.

Lack of Lead Management Issues

Manually searching for leads, maintaining your database, drafting out emails, and following up can be time-consuming, especially if you want to grow your business. You won’t be able to detect lead leaking without an effective lead management system.

#1. Inadequate lead visibility

Consumers frequently have negative experiences because sales and marketing teams are unable to view customers as a sum of their touchpoints.

#2. Manual lead qualification

Your team lacks a process or methodology, such as ranks and scores, to qualify and disqualify leads, resulting in lost productivity.

#3. No knowledge of the activities of the lead

You aren’t tracking the prospect’s activities on your website, product, and email; losing your potential buyers.

#4. Tough to convert leads

Your sales and marketing teams miss follow-ups, respond to inquiries late, and put prospects to the test.

#5. Lead nurturing is lacking.

Because your staff does not grasp the prospects’ needs, they are unable to send timely emails and create long-term partnerships.

#6. Lead duplication

Duplicate lead entries in your CRM or spreadsheet could cause important leads to falling between the cracks.

What are Modern Lead Management Solutions?

While some software companies offer stand-alone solutions, the majority of lead management products are integrated into larger customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
These end-to-end management tools make understanding the customer connection, from the moment a lead enters the sales funnel to the end of the customer journey, easier, clearer, and more information-rich.

Top Tools for Lead Management

Salesforce, Marketo, and many more digital tools are available to help automate and enhance the lead-creation process. They also serve as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems in many aspects, facilitating interactions between your organization and prospective customers. Thus, if you’re determined you need lead management, here are five platforms to consider:

#1. Salesforce

Salesforce is a global leader in CRM and related operations, and its sales cloud platform includes a robust management function. You can track your active leads, automatically score and route them to the right team, and even link your marketing efforts to track their influence on lead generation with Salesforce lead management.

#2. Marketo

Marketo is another well-known name in the martech world, supported by Adobe’s customer experience management skills. Marketo’s lead management solution is a wonderful alternative to Salesforce as it offers practically every capability, in addition to combining your inbound and outbound marketing activities. There’s also a useful analytics section that connects marketing efforts to ROI.

#3. Fresh Sales

Another Salesforce alternative is Fresh Sales. It provides a 360-degree customer dashboard that categorizes and lists winning, open, and closed lead opportunities. There is a built-in lead scoring system, similar to Salesforce so that your sales leaders only follow up on the most promising prospects. With an integrated calendar, file management tool, and note-taking functionality, the platform facilitates communication between sales and marketing.

#4. Hubspot Lead Management

HubSpot, a provider of marketing solutions, has its own CRM automation tool that may be used to manage leads. To maximize the lead capture and follow-up process, you can send emails, record calls, and exchange notes automatically. HubSpot provides an innovative range of lead generation features that set it apart from Salesforce. You may increase your lead outreach by using live bots, social media ads, website forms, and other tools.

#5. Zoho CRM

Zoho’s AI-powered lead management solution is popular with both large and small enterprises. It supports multi-source lead generation, automates distribution and scoring, and integrates with your marketing campaigns to provide end-to-end statistics. In 2018, Gartner Peer Insights rated Zoho CRM ‘The Best CRM Lead Management Software’.

Lead Management Technology: Benefits and Drawbacks

There are three ways that competent lead management tools or CRM systems can significantly impact your overall sales. It may:

  • Minimize marketing waste as more consumers become marketing-qualified prospects and eventually sales-qualified leads.
  • Increase conversion rates by supporting better lead nurturing.
  • Accelerate the sales cycle by using lead management software to remind you to re-engage prospects at the appropriate point in their purchasing journey.

What Can You Anticipate From a Lead Management System?

The platform you select should fulfill a number of basic duties. It should, in particular:

  • Avoid lead leakage at a source or at another point in the sales pipeline management process.
  • Handle leads from the time they enter the funnel through to the close of the sale
  • Delegate leads to the appropriate salesperson based on defined criteria
  • Notify users when it is time to fulfill appointments or complete other duties related to their designated lead.
  • Inform the user when they failed to complete a specific job, such as calling a prospect.
  • Provide qualified leads to boost sales potential.
  • By giving sales personnel important contextual information, you can help them have more meaningful conversations with prospects.
  • Minimize the time it takes the organization to provide prospects with the information they need to go forward in the process.
  • Create reports to enhance accountability at each stage of the management process.

When Should You Invest in Lead Management Solutions?

Good lead management enables firms to maximize the value of their hard-won sales leads. It assists marketing and sales teams in aligning their efforts and reporting on important operational performance measures.

With the correct lead management system, sales reps and managers can examine leads, engage with prospects, amend files, run reports, and manage and optimize the sales pipeline while on the road. This enables small-to-medium-sized firms to automate their lead management capabilities and effectively compete with their bigger competitors.

Of course, the bulk of leads may not convert into paying customers right away. But, your lead management system will ease the way you communicate with consumers who merely want to learn more about your company’s products or services, even if they are not yet ready to convert. Proper management of such inquiries helps your company’s good reputation and even word-of-mouth marketing.

When you invest in a proper lead management solution, you make it easy for all of your brilliant salespeople to improve their interactions with every prospect. Good lead management software empowers your reps with the information and task management resources they need to boost their conversion rates and shorten the sales cycle.


Lead management software will become an important and vital tool to automate the sales process as your organization grows. As the technology centerpiece for scaling your sales approach, install a CRM system for the best outcomes. As you get more usage out of your selected lead management solution, you’ll find that your overall sales process gets both easier and more productive.


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