Lead management software not only helps businesses generate and nurture leads, but manage the leads through the entire sales funnel until purchase. You can use this software to collect, update and segment lead data, view a lead’s position in the sales funnel, track and analyze interactions with a lead and find out which marketing strategies or channels are bringing in quality leads for your business. Key features include the ability to create, segment and distribute lead data, capture identity and manage customer inquiries. More advanced products also help manage lead filtering, lead grading, lead nurturing and sales contract management. Read the full software guide...
Lead management software helps automate the process of monitoring and managing sales leads until they make a purchase. Products in this category usually have a CRM database that stores a prospect’s complete history of interactions with your company.
Most products let your sales team view the customer communication history in one place, helping them to upsell or cross-sell. You can also analyze this data to find out how a prospect turned into your customer and what marketing channels or techniques are bringing in quality leads to your sales funnel.
Often, lead management software features the ability to collect, organize and segment lead data. Most products also help in lead nurturing, lead scoring and assigning the right leads to the right employees. For instance, you can filter leads on the basis of their online behavior or demographic, and set up lead scoring to help your sales team identify the most promising leads.
Products with more advanced analytics, reporting, and pipeline management capabilities are also available. Some products even allow you to track sales activity across your team to make sure your sales calls, meetings and follow-up activities are not falling through the cracks.
The following are some of the benefits you can expect from implementing a good lead management software solution in your business.
Enhanced lead prioritization – With lead scoring and nurturing capabilities, your sales team will have a much easier time figuring out which leads they need to work on first to close the deal faster.
Boost productivity and efficiency – Capturing leads using a good marketing automation software solution is a significant improvement from the old technique of cold calling, not to mention the fact that it can yield better ROI.
Better customer service and experience – Sales and marketing is more than just capturing and converting leads. It’s also about sustaining them and making sure they come back. With that said, top-notch customer service ensures a better customer experience, which then promotes trust and customer loyalty.
Choosing the right lead management software can be a tough nut to crack for those who don’t really know what to look for in such a platform. With that said, you need to have a clear understanding of what you need to help improve your sales pipeline, from the lead capturing process all the way to a successful conversion.
You can begin your selection process by taking into account a few key requirements that might help you decide on the best lead management solution for your business. First of all, make sure it offers some of the most advanced features in the market, while minding the cost of course. Think of all the features and tools that you would want in a lead management software solution and try to look for them in every product you encounter.
Another deciding factor is ease-of-use. How user-friendly is the management software? You need to remember that one of the main reasons you decided to opt for a lead management platform is to save time on your lead capturing, nurturing and conversion processes. You want to be able to streamline your sales funnel to help maximize your conversion rate and ROI. The last thing you want is to waste time on training your sales reps on how to properly use the software.
Process optimization is also a crucial factor to consider when choosing a suitable software program for your company’s lead management efforts. Just like ease-of-use, one of the main reasons for getting a lead management platform is to optimize your core processes, which include sales and marketing. You want every stage—from the lead capture and nurture stages all the way to lead distribution and conversion—to be optimized for efficiency and success.
Marketing automation is an important feature that you have to consider when selecting a good lead management platform for your business. Automation technology plays a significant role in the day-to-day operations of a lot of companies, big and small. It can help keep things moving forward, streamline workflows, optimize key processes and help your sales reps focus on more important aspects of lead management.
Integration support is the final deciding factor you have to take into account when buying lead management software. For any software solution to be effective and highly functional, it has to support seamless integration with third-party systems. For instance, you may already be using a CRM software solution in your company. In this case, you will want a lead management platform that can easily integrate with your existing CRM.
Lead management solutions come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from free versions and basic integrated platforms to the more advanced marketing automation and fully integrated sales and marketing suites where lead management is offered as one of its main modules. As such, the features included in these solutions can vary, since there are lead management products out there that focus only on summarizing leads, while other solutions are more inclusive and robust when it comes to their features and capabilities.
When it comes to features, some lead management platforms allow businesses and their sales reps to delve deeper into their sales process. For instance, some solutions allow users to keep track of their entire sales lifecycle, closely monitor prospect behavior, utilize custom branding and provide top-level customer service all from a single unified platform.
The following are some of the more important features you need to look at, regardless of the type of lead management solution you might be interested in.
This is an integral feature in any type of lead management platform. The software solution is equipped with a number of nurturing tools that automate particular sales and marketing processes involving following up with leads and providing them with relevant and engaging content. This is important as it helps to strengthen your relationship with the prospect until they are ready to purchase your product or acquire your service.
Another important feature that allows you to effectively rank your leads based on a set of criteria. These criteria generally include demographics, job position/title, online behavior and a few other industry-specific variables that might reveal more information regarding a particular prospect’s background, interests and purchasing behavior. All of which can be useful to your sales team as they try to convert these prospects.
Lead management solutions allow businesses to efficiently manage a vast amount of leads collected from various sources/channels like web forms, email marketing and other successful campaigns. All this data can then be organized and stored in a secure database for proper evaluation (this is where lead scoring comes in), after which they can be distributed to the appropriate sales reps who are most qualified to make that conversion and close the deal.
Top-tier lead management tools allow teams to easily generate lead reports and then perform comprehensive analyses on them. This will help provide users with a complete overview of sales and marketing performance, future trends and other relevant insights. Such features give marketing and sales teams a more profound understanding of their leads and how they might respond to specific marketing campaigns.
In addition to the fundamental features you can expect from different types of lead management platforms, they can also be classified based on their deployment method. Different types of lead management software follow different deployment approaches. There are three main types of software deployment commonly used today:
On-premise or premise-based deployment refers to software products that are effectively hosted on the client’s in-house local servers. This type of lead management solution is typically covered with a single license and is considered as having the highest initial cost of the three deployment options. This is mainly because premise-based solutions are more difficult to set up and sometimes require additional hardware installation.
Cloud-based or SaaS refers to software solutions and services that are delivered to customers via the cloud. The majority of cloud-hosted lead management tools offer free basic plans and they are considered as one of the least costly options for any small to medium business or solo entrepreneur looking to implement a good lead management platform for their sales and marketing process. Cloud-based platforms have universal access through mobile apps and the vendor shoulders the maintenance and future updates for the platform.
|API||Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.|
|Audience Targeting||Allows for audience segmentation, generally to tailor marketing or advertising messages to target specific user groups.|
|Calendar Management||Manage and update calendars for scheduling or consolidation of events across teams, departments or business functions.|
|Call Disposition||Track the result of calls within call center software.|
|Call Tracking||Track which of your online and offline marketing efforts are successfully generating calls.|
|Click-to-Dial||Dial telephone numbers with one click.|
|Contact Management||Manage large amounts of personal or business contacts in a centralized system.|
|Contact Sharing||Share contacts across teams or platforms to give access to others or to migrate address books across different systems.|
|Custom Data Forms||Create custom forms to collect data and feed it into the database.|
|Customer Management||Manage customer databases and/or track outstanding shipments, payments and more.|
|Dashboard||Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.|
|Data Export||Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.|
|Data Import||Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.|
|Data Visualization||Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.|
|Email Integration||Integration with email clients or providers to create and send emails as well as view received emails within an application.|
|External Integrations||Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.|
|Forecasting||Forecast upcoming expenses, sales, revenue, user levels, etc. through the use of predictive methods and past data.|
|Google Apps Integration||Integration with the G Suite, including Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Calendar, etc.|
|Inventory Tracking||Stay on top of inventory levels, to manage the storing, reordering or production of stock items.|
|Lead Management||Manage business leads to improve sales outreach processes or stay on top of prospect inquiries.|
|Lead Scoring||Manually or automatically assign quality scores to business leads to target / segment sales outreach efforts.|
|Marketing Automation||Automate marketing processes, such as outreach emails, customer engagement, chat replies through the use of chatbots and others.|
|Multi-Currency||Support of different currencies for payments, accounting purposes, taxes, reports and more.|
|Multi-User||Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.|
|Notifications||Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.|
|Referral Tracking||Track contact-, user- or visitor- referrals from advertising networks, other websites, business partners and other channels for intelligence, revenue sharing or similar purposes.|
|Sales Motivator||Gamification or motivation features within sales and CRM software to increase sales performance.|
|Scheduling||Schedule tasks, resources, appointments, payments, communications, etc.|
|Social-Media Integration||Integration support with social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and others.|
|Softphone||Similarly to VOIP, Softphone features allow you to make calls via the internet.|
|Third-Party Plugins/Add-Ons||Offers additional features or integrations built by third-party developers in form of plugins or add-ons.|
|Travel Management||Manage travel plans and expenses for employees, prospects or potential recruits through a central environment.|
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