All businesses rely on the generation and conversion of leads. Leads represent all the potential customers that show event the mildest interest in the products/services a company has to offer. However, simply gathering leads is merely the first step in securing them as customers. A company also has to manage those leads and guide them from an interested party to a converted customer. To accomplish that, a company needs to introduce a lead management system as an essential process for growing its customer base and revenue. In this article, MoversTech explores the role of lead management software and the qualities you need to look for when choosing one for your business.

What does lead management represent?

  • Lead management is a combination of various sales techniques that a business uses to track, capture, define, and convert leads into actual customers.

As with all other business processes, digitization has brought about a new approach to lead management. Rather than relying on manual processes, companies now invest in software solutions to help them automate and monitor the entire process of gathering leads and converting them. With the use of digital platforms, companies are now able to follow the entire lifecycle of their customers, gathering data about them, categorizing them, converting them, and even retaining them afterward.

10 fundamental lead management software qualities you want to have

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What are the qualities you want to have in your lead management software?

#1: Lead capture capabilities

Before managing leads, you first need a proper way to gather them. Lead capture is a standard feature that a platform can use to identify leads across different marketing channels and collect the data necessary to start tracking them. This feature is often integrated with marketing campaign management software, allowing for omnichannel lead capturing. It is a standard among lead management software qualities that can help keep track of already engaged leads, whether for upselling, reselling, or converting tickets.

Oftentimes, this feature allows you to create forms, post-click landing pages, and other types of data harvesting tools that will let you capitalize on web traffic. With this at your disposal, it’s easier to get all sorts of information from your leads ranging from their name and contact details to their buying preferences and where they heard about your brand. After this, you can store these data for future reference or use them as a guide to improve your marketing efforts.

Lastly, this feature should provide you with a way to rapidly import and export your existing lead lists so it’s easier to merge information from different systems.

2. Tracking lead activity

Let’s face it. No matter how skilled your sales representatives may be, there is no way that they can keep tabs on all the interactions they’ve had with each client. This is especially the case for high-growth companies and large enterprises that deal with an overwhelming number of customers on a daily basis.

If you truly want to maximize your customer interactions, it is best that you have lead activity tracking tools. Usually, you can see them in CRM software. With these, you can jot down the activities that happened as your leads traverse down your sales funnel. These include everything from face-to-face meetings and other forms of correspondence to details on what they are looking for in your products and services. After this, these are saved in a database that you can look up every time you talk with them. This way, anyone from your sales team can pick up where the previous agent left off and move the conversation forward instead of asking your prospective clients to repeat themselves.

3. Lead scoring

According to research, roughly 80% of marketing professionals forward leads to sales agents without qualifying them first. Because of this, sales representatives often waste time converting leads that aren’t really that interested in what their company has to offer in the first place. Not only does this put a damper on your overall productivity; but it also delays your responses to hot leads and lessens your chances of closing deals.

To curb this problem, your lead management system should come equipped with a scoring tool. This feature is what will help you sift your pool of leads for qualified prospects—separate the grain from the chaff if you will. It will then score your hot leads according to predefined metrics so that you know which ones your sales representatives should be prioritizing. This way, you can make the entire sales process more efficient and increase your conversion rate faster. Freshsales sports an excellent example of a lead scoring tool, which uses AI to finely comb through your base of prospects.

4. Intelligent routing

Once you’ve scored your leads and figured out which prospects to bump up in your queue, you need to find a way to transfer them from your marketing department to your sales team. This is where intelligent routing features come in.

These will allow you to send qualified leads to the right sales personnel so that they can tap them at the right moment with the right message and maximize the chances for conversion. With this, you can accelerate follow-ups and instantly distribute leads without overwhelming your representatives.

But, of course, you shouldn’t simply send a lead to the first sales agent you see and hope for the best—you need to entrust them to representatives with the appropriate knowledge and skillset to help them. To do this, you can simply program the platform to route leads to representatives according to predetermined characteristics. This may include the hierarchy of agents, territories, or even product specialization. This way, you have higher chances of closing deals at a faster rate.

Keep in mind, though, that while plenty of lead management systems come with their own routing system, not all of them are automated. So, be sure to do your research when looking for software or better yet, ask the software provider if they have this feature.

5. Lead nurturing

Keeping leads interested in your brand is just as difficult as getting them to notice your company in the first place. To make sure that you’re prospective clients aren’t falling through the cracks, you will need solid lead nurturing tools. These are what will let you establish rapport with your customers from the first interaction up to the time of conversion.

First off, look for lead nurturing tools that will provide you with ways to segment your qualified leads into groups. This way, leads that belong to similar criteria like age bracket, interests, or location can easily be pooled together for targeted campaigns. Secondly, these tools should come with trigger email options so that it is easier for you to set up email marketing campaigns. Lastly, your lead nurturing tool should have a funnel reporting system that will help you know the status of each lead in your funnel. This makes it easier to know what steps you should take next in engaging them.

6. Campaign management dashboard

Another crucial feature of lead management systems is the campaign management dashboard. This is what gives you a 360-degree view of your lead generation, scoring, and nurturing efforts.

A majority, if not all, lead management SaaS products have campaign management dashboards. However, it is best to note that these dashboards are not created equal. The only rule of thumb you can follow here is that this should allow you to:

  • Pinpoint the campaigns that generate the most leads
  • Determine your most qualified leads
  • Monitor your key lead management metrics
  • Check your average customer lifecycle
  • Get a view of your agents’ overall performance and productivity

In case you want a more flexible dashboard, you should opt for software that comes with open API capabilities or, at the very least, allow you to choose from different widgets that can extend the functions of the dashboard.

7. Analytics & Reporting

Managing your lead management operations is only one part of the equation. If you want to proactively make the most out of all your sales opportunities, you need to have robust analytics and reporting tools as well.

These features will allow you to not only monitor your acquisition rates, conversion statistics, and other vital lead management metrics; it also provides you with the whats, hows, whys, and whens of your data. This way, you’ll get all the information you need to assess the progress of your efforts and understand how you can move your business forward.

8. Built-in communication options

Your marketers and sales representatives are the faces and voices of your company. This is why they should act as one entity when they interact with your leads and existing customers. For them to do that, they need to be able to communicate with each other efficiently.

Luckily, there are plenty of lead management systems out there with email integration, built-in voice communication options, SMS tools, as well as live chat functions. With these, they can speak with each other to touch base on lead management efforts as well as be able to talk to clients without having to exit the platform.

Another great thing about these built-in communication options is that they have intelligent notification systems that are programmed to alert all concerned parties regarding the progress of particular sales accounts. This makes it faster and easier to relay information across departments.

9. Improved security & protection measures

Prospective clients entrust you with their personal data, so it is your job to keep their information safe. This is especially important because of the rise of cybercrimes over the years. In fact, according to research, the annual damage of these cyber attacks is projected to reach $6 trillion by 2021.

If you want to avoid these costly security breaches, protect your confidential information by finding a lead management system that comes with its own security tools. These could include everything from two-factor authentication, single-sign-on (SSO) options, and unified password and management tools to SSL encryption, vulnerability scanning, and malware detection. You can also look for products that have garnered security certifications over the years if you want to make sure just how effective their anti-cyber attack measures are.

10. Integration with other systems

Lead management may cover everything from generation to conversion, but it is only one aspect of both the marketing and sales process. As such, you should find a lead management tool that can play well with your existing business systems. After all, there’s a good chance that you are using different software solutions for your marketing department and for your sales team.

In order to make sure that you won’t have compatibility issues along the way, try to find a lead management software that offers open API, REST API, custom application builders, or even open source solutions. Tools with these capabilities can often support an extensive range of third-party applications, add-ons, and widgets.

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