Offline lead management has one main purpose – to organize the inquiries your business gets from leads. Your leads are prospects that could become customers. By organizing them, you make the sales process smoother and more effective. Lead management creates a company infrastructure that organizes customer data and unifies your sales and advertising strategies. It puts everybody in your sales force on the same page and maximizes your ability to turn these leads into paying customers.
Get Your Guidelines Straight
An effective lead management system starts with clear guidelines and a complete outline. The entire sales process, from identifying potential prospects to following up with customers after the deal is done, should be outlined completely. For any company with a sales force, lead generation is handled by agents who work under a lead manager. However, even if you are the only salesperson, everyone needs a thorough roadmap to follow.
Know Your Agents
Each of your lead managers has to fully understand the overall ability and special skills of each sales agent. They’ll be assigning these agents to appropriate targeted prospects, and they need to know which agents will be the right match. It’s important to know the skill level of your agents so that your less skilled or new agents don’t get assigned to bigger and more important projects.
Qualify Your Leads
Before a sales representative meets with any of your leads, those prospects should be fully qualified. This means that your lead generation process has already determined that they’re good prospects for your company. If you have cold or unqualified leads that get all the way to the sales stage, this is a major waste of time and money. Before the sale is made, the focus should be on qualifying and finding out, with as much certainty possible, if they’re likely to buy.
Tracking Your Leads
After you invest your time and energy in securing leads and closing sales, it’s important to keep your customers happy and stay in touch. Soon after closing each sale, you need to follow up with your customers and let them know that you appreciate their business. There are many ways to do this – by phone, newsletter, email, face-to-face visit – but it’s important to make sure it gets done. It lets your customer know you care. For you, it increases your future sales opportunities with that lead along with the chance to ask for referrals. You can also use your follow-ups to gather more data about them and assess additional wants and needs.
Automating Your Lead Management
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are essential for managing customer leads. These tools automate much of the data gathering and analysis, making it much faster and easier for you. However, it’s a mistake to put all of your trust in a software program. You still need experienced lead managers and agents to qualify prospects. CRM systems are just tools to help you do that more effectively. To maintain good relationships with your customers, you need to have a personal touch.