In an ideal world, every potential customer captured would become a customer. However, not every potential customer is ready to make a purchase right away. To ensure that potential customers are nurtured and eventually converted into paying customers, it's essential to understand the stages of the sales funnel and adapt your sales pitch accordingly. Lead management is the process of capturing, tracking and encouraging qualified leads until they become paying customers.
It involves evaluating what makes your leads unique and directing them to the right sales representative, as well as tracking their stage in the sales funnel and the activities that drive movements. Years ago, managing leads was as simple as getting a potential customer (by phone, email or fax), making a phone call and closing the deal. Nowadays, lead management is much more complex. It involves using marketing strategies to track potential customers who are not yet ready to become customers.
If marketing-qualified leads don't take the next step to book a live demo, a consultation call or upgrade their paid subscription, you'll want to take a marketing approach to tracking. Lead management systems can help you manage leads more efficiently and increase sales. You can score your potential customers based on many attributes, such as how they interacted with your website and the sequence of emails and professional information they sent you. You can also automatically qualify potential customers based on a combination of digital behavior and demographic information.
To help you get started with lead management, let's take a look at the five major stages of lead management:
AwarenessThe awareness stage is when potential customers first become aware of your company and its products or services. At this stage, it's important to capture their attention with engaging content that will make them interested in learning more about what you have to offer. This could include email campaigns, social media posts or blog articles.
InterestOnce potential customers have become aware of your company, they may start showing interest in what you have to offer. At this stage, it's important to provide them with more detailed information about your products or services so they can make an informed decision.
This could include webinars, case studies or product demos.
EvaluationAt this stage, potential customers are evaluating whether or not your product or service is right for them. It's important to provide them with all the information they need to make an informed decision. This could include free trials, comparison charts or customer testimonials.
DecisionAt this stage, potential customers are ready to make a decision about whether or not they will purchase your product or service. It's important to provide them with all the necessary information they need to make an informed decision.
This could include pricing information, payment options or discounts.