Articles

Lead management for SMB

by Sathish Raghavan Marketing Analyst

Lead management is a crucial factor that businesses of all sizes should focus on. The size of the business is not directly related to the size of the customer base. In fact there are some small businesses with a wide customer base spread all over the world.

First, the businesses would have to identify potential customers and then approach them to make them notice the business. And then there is the important process of lead generation and then leads are converted to customers. There is now an increase in the popularity of the CRM software applications. And these tools are known to play a crucial role in lead generation for the small businesses. This is why most experts recommend CRM for small business.

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What is CRM?

CRM software is often confused with a lead management software. CRM software does help in generating leads. CRM or customer relationship management as the name indicates are the tools that are used to manage customer relationships on the whole. These thus proceed beyond the stages where lead management tools are used. There are also free CRM tools available. But when you choose the right one for your small business you would end up saving a lot. Besides saving time, you would get assistance in customer retention as well as in upselling and cross-selling.


How is lead management software different from CRM software?

Lead management is a more directional approach that concentrates on the leads. It aims at converting the prospects to leads and then to customers. The whole cycle is tracked and the interactions are documented. So the small business would be able to study the interactions that resulted in successful conversions and those that failed.

Once the lead is successfully converted to a customer and an order takes place then the CRM software would take over and lead management cycle ends there. The type of business is one main factor. And then comes the level of interaction with the customers. These two determine the need for the CRM software. The small business can now choose convenient SaaS CRM solutions. And in the rest of the cases where there would be no after sale service needs lead management software solutions might be sufficient.


Importance of lead management

Major businesses focus a great deal of time on lead management. It matters a lot because it helps design robust lead generation systems that actually work. Without lead management a business would not be able to identify whether the lead generation strategies that are being followed are successful or not.

Studying the interactions between the business and the customer would help understand the customer better. It would help understand whether the prospect is genuinely interested in the business. And then with suitable marketing strategies the prospect can be converted to a customer. These interactions would help businesses focus on their bottom line. Automating the whole process would be made simpler with lead management software.


For businesses to grow lead management is essential

Lead management is considered to be a worthy investment because it helps in the business’ growth. To begin with most customers look for the promptness in the response to their queries. When these are missing the prospects tend to approach the closest competitor. Losing prospects is not a good thing for a small business. Not all prospects who approach the business might end up becoming a customer but every query answered takes the business one step closer to making an impact. Once the interested prospects are sorted, businesses can ensure timely follow up processes. And these could also include mails, special promotions and other steps to actually gain the lead’s trust.


Understanding the prospects takes lead generation to the next level

Lead generation is often achieved in several ways. There are some leads people who might be interested in the business and consider it as one of the options when the need arises. But without a solid intention a business might not take place. And then there are other leads that are actually looking for an immediate solution and these are the leads that can instantly be converted to customers. It takes acute understanding of the prospects and their needs. So a good lead management strategy would never miss out a new lead. A common observation is that a majority of the new leads do not get a response from the business. To begin with the website itself should be pretty clear and informative as transparency wins the trust. And then make sure that you work on the response time. Customers would definitely give preference to a business that responds first.


Concentrate on your campaigns

Relationships with customers are often complicated. So a CRM system to manage such relationships would be a handy addition for a small business. By the time the lead becomes a customer the business would already have enough details about the customer. The business would also have a better understanding of how to enhance the transactions with the customers. But with leads about whom the business would have very little to no knowledge the interactions would get even more difficult. So businesses begin with accurately pin pointing the target audience. And then comes the design of the campaigns which are curated to draw the attention of the prospects. The effectiveness of the campaigns should also be measured periodically.

Successful campaigns are those that help nurture the leads. The way the leads are nurtured would send them a glimpse of the quality of interaction and services to expect. So the leads would be given a compelling reason about why they should pick that business over the other options. But the key is that once your small business has the attention of the leads the quality of engagement should not be ignored. Consistency is the most crucial element that makes lead management more successful.

Small businesses might have a tougher time in winning the trust of the leads. But this is an area that is worth investing in. It takes patience and persistence.


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About Sathish Raghavan Innovator   Marketing Analyst

24 connections, 0 recommendations, 93 honor points.
Joined APSense since, May 25th, 2017, From bangalore, India.

Created on Jun 13th 2018 00:08. Viewed 543 times.

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