Bridging the gap between marketing and sales

4 Lead management stages: capture assign nurture convert

Sales lead management stages

Capture to assign to nurture to convert to deal

Understanding how a sales lead goes through all the lead management stages is crucial. Sales Leads – whether from marketing efforts or from Sales efforts, are the life-blood of a sales operation. The success of your business can depend on the number of leads you are able to convert. Your aim is not only to generate a bunch of leads but to ensure that they are assigned to an appropriate person for follow up and track conversion metrics.

Leads have a very limited life-span. Customer may not be looking at you alone but at other vendors as well. So, getting back promptly is important.

Typical lead management stages are

  1. Capture the lead
  2. Assign the lead
  3. Nurture the lead
  4. Convert (or reject) to a deal: wheare-upon further follow up might help win the deal.

We are today going to discuss the first two stages of leads management – the marketing lead and the sales lead.

Marketing lead management

Marketing leads are most often nothing more than a name and a contact number- phone or email.

More information is welcome, of course. But typically, we get nothing more than the bare minimum.

Capture: Where do you get leads from? Inbound calls, existing customers giving repeat business, website forms, email, seminars, referrals.

The main idea is to get a number and start calling them to qualify their interest. So, after the leads are “captured” in the CRM, it is imperative to get it to the right sales/ telesales person as quickly as possible.

Leads can be added to Saleswah one by one.They can be also uploaded from a spreadsheet.

lead management stages

 

See the diagram above for the lead management stages. It is obvious that at each stage we need to stop leakage and maximize the movement to the next stage. Having sound CRM processes can help you maximise capture, immediate assignment of all leads to the right sales person and putting in place a lead tracking and conversion process.
Yes, you can’t convert 100% of the leads. There will be a steep fall from “Nurture” stage to “Converted” stage. But, there is really no reason to accept “leakage” at any stage of the funnel before this.

Sales lead management in Saleswah CRM

Assignment: While adding/ uploading a new lead, Saleswah checks for a match with an existing contact, based on email address and if found, it attaches the lead to the Contact record. Now, this contact may already exist in the CRM but under a different Sales Exec. So, tough luck! The assignment will happen to the person who already has the Contact ownership (and thus Account ownership).

This could be tough for the guy entering the lead but good for the company for whom the executive works.

Nurture: After the lead is entered and assigned, the responsible user can then reject it (after recording a reason), re-assign it to someone else or work on it. She will then go through the lead follow up process, provide information and clarifications to ensure the prospect is interested.

Convert: If she finds it valuable and worthy of further follow up, she “Converts” the lead to a Deal. By default all Deals start off as a Sales Lead– the earliest stage in the funnel.

At this very early stage of the funnel, the accent is very much on trying to “qualify” the lead – find the genuineness of the interest, see if there is budget, start identifying the decision makers and the purchase process.

What are your lead management stages? At what stage do you have the maximum challenge? Take a trial run of Saleswah and check it out to solve your lead management challenges.

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