So, you’ve built up a solid based of inquiries. But now that you’ve got your leads, what are you supposed to do with them? Believe it or not, this is a question that plagues many small business owners, time and time again.
Getting prospects are important to building your new client list, but unless you know what to do with them, you’re doomed to fail. To make it worse, you could have completely avoided it with the right lead management system in place.
Lead Tracking and Management may sound tricky, but there are many solutions available to help your lead management responsibilities move as smoothly as possible. Lead management software is by far the most effective solution available, and it’s easy to implement.
And, the lead management software options for your small business are astounding. Knowing what you want out of your lead management software, and knowing how to use the technology you purchase, will have a huge impact on how well the software system helps your business perform.
Hosted Lead Management Solutions
Software solutions are now available as hosted solutions and hence no need to invest in server hardware and special software. These solutions are also known as subscription based services or on-demand solutions. You can subscribe to lead administration solutions, accessible via internet for as low as $50 a month. You can start using the software in a day or two, if not in a few hours.
The learning curve is not as steep as it used to be. Your administrator and sales personnel can manage the leads centrally and access it any time, anywhere. The pricing varies with the number of users / sales persons accessing the system and volume of your inquiries and drip / sequential emails sent for nurturing and follow-up.
When choosing a software system for managing leads and prospects, there are a few key features to look for: database management, charting, and client management options. Database management will allow you and your employees to keep track of new client leads, manage current leads, and keep status reports for each track. Charting will enable you to create graphical depictions of your leads, and show you what areas are succeeding and where your company may need improvement. Client management can track individual leads, let you and your employees know if a client has an outstanding question to answered, and track previous orders and future interests.
These three aspects of the software can boost your company’s productivity. You and your employees can easily track and manage many different streams of leads, and break each lead down to a single entity to focus on client relations. This is imperative for one-on-one client interaction, which encourages new clients to purchase from your company and increases repeat client business.
Components of the Software
Sales Leads can be captured and aggregated from multiple sources such as web forms, third party solutions via API, and emails using an email parser solution. The leads can also be manually entered manually so that all leads can be managed in one place.
Software can automatically distribute or route sales leads to your sales team based on various criteria such as geographical area, lead profile, etc.
The lead administrator can qualify the prospects and rank them (ex. hot, warm and cold) based on the conversion possibility. This would help your sales agents to focus on top priority leads first.
The prospects can be nurtured using drip email messages (or sequential emails or autoresponders) and future conversion. Latest prospect management solutions incorporates in-built email marketing solutions for this purpose.
The leads can be followed up and tracked using the email management solution in order to provide full visibility to all concerned.
Lead management software should also allow you to effortlessly import your existing data and data from external sources, and allow for merging of other important data along with the information your software stores. Reports will be a breeze to create with the right type of lead management software, which will both cut down on time spent analyzing your information and allow you to see in real time where your lead management skills need improvement. This is an invaluable tool for your client management practices.
By John Hester