What Do You Mean by Lead Management?

Updated: April 12, 2010

So, what exactly is lead management? In short, it's the PROCESS of receiving, qualifying, routing, and closing sales leads. Companies looking to develop and implement a holistic lead management practice must include the following elements to ensure a fully developed process:

  • Data: Marketing and sales data should be appropriately segmented. Data should be managed effectively to ensure integrity.
  • Lead Planning: Questions such as "How many responses, leads and qualified leads are needed from marketing in order to allow sales to meet their revenue goals?" should be asked, answered and documented.
  • Lead Qualification: A written definition of a qualified lead should be developed. And marketing and sales should come to agreement with this definition, as well as other terms used in the lead management practice.
  • Lead Routing: Process mapping to determine how qualified leads will be routed to sales and how sales will send not-ready-to-buy leads back to marketing must be developed.
  • Lead Scoring: A numerical ranking system must be developed to aid in determining the point at which leads will be sent to sales.
  • Lead Nurturing: A documented plan for all leads that don't immediately go to sales must be enacted. This included processes for what will be done at both the marketing and sales level to engage and build a relationship with prospects and customers.
  • Metrics: Determine what to measure and why it should be measured. From there, implement a plan on how to utilize these metrics for shaping future marketing and sales planning.
  • Automation: All of the above should be automated as much as possible to ensure there are no cracks in the process.
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