Armed with a better understanding of the customers, businesses are now leveraging Information Technology to generate as many Leads as possible. While many businesses still rely on traditional Lead generation strategies, such as face-to-face networking or word-of-mouth referrals, recent trends have shown a rapid change in the landscape of Lead generation.
Nowadays, the most effective Lead generation strategy is one that is not aimed at short-term gains but, instead, focuses on long-term customer winning relationships. Therefore, businesses must, now, carefully invest time and resources on nurturing stronger ties with their customers. Lead generation, as a result, has become a business process that has to be structured and organized around the customers.
First things first… What is a Lead?
A Lead is someone who has shown interest in your company’s product or service but you possess very little information about that person. You do not know much about their level of interest, budget, industry vertical, company size, etc. Leads are people who are in the first stage of the sales process. If they clear the first stage, they become prospects and move on to the second stage of the process.
Why are Leads so important for a business?
No matter which industry you operate in, the competition has become extremely fierce. You need to cut through many layers to get your message across to the right audience. This makes acquiring new Leads extremely difficult and cumbersome. But you have set up your business to make a profit and without getting new Leads into the sales funnel, you run the risk of not making enough money to meet expenses, to the point that you might have to shut down.
With the advent of Information Technology (IT), businesses have discovered better ways of reaching out to their customers amidst all the noise and haste. One such way is to generate and manage Leads using a CRM.
From capturing Leads to tracking opportunities, CRM stores all the relevant internal and external data that can help boost growth, performance, and productivity. In particular, businesses can conveniently identify up-and-coming Leads that have the potential to become customers. Whether your Leads come from email marketing, business cards at industry seminars or any other source, CRM has the ability to easily identify and import them into your system.
CRM allows businesses to enhance their ability to map sales, marketing, and support processes, thus helping them maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their Lead generation efforts. By mapping out a process of when and how to use Leads, CRM provides complete support to every sales person with regards to Lead management.
How can CRM help track and manage Leads?
The Leads module plays a significant role in CRM software and is primarily responsible for boosting the sales of any organization that uses it. The Leads module automates and optimizes the customer generation process to contribute to the major functionality of CRM, which is customer relations. The initial phase of the customer generation process is managed by the Leads module, which not only identifies potential customers but also helps convert those potential customers (Leads) into Contacts, Accounts or Opportunities. The Leads module provides enables efficient Lead Management by providing capabilities such as:
- Storing leads’ details
- Tracking lead sources
- Keeping track of follow-ups
- Assigning salespeople to each lead
- Monitoring communication status
- Sending a reminder to the assignee (customizable feature)
You cannot expect to generate customers until and unless you manage your Leads intelligently. Poor management, lack of follow-ups and delayed responses can make you lose your Lead and the chance of expanding your customer base. So, customize your Leads module to make it fully conform to your needs, manage your leads efficiently, and keep following up till they convert into your Sales Opportunities.
Also check out: What is Lead Management?
Sweet Science of Leads
Through email marketing integration with Sugar, 3Dconnexion, a leading worldwide manufacturer of 3D navigation technology, increased their sales leads by 700 percent over a period of three years. The lead management capabilities of Sugar helped 3Dconnexion monitor and optimize their entire sales process, resulting in higher lead conversion.
“Once we were introduced to Sugar’s ease of use and flexibility, we were confident that we could implement a truly consistent platform with genuine innovation that would significantly improve our efficiency,” says Raik Brauns, the Online Marketing Manager of 3Dconnexion.
As businesses aim to convert Leads into revenue, Sugar tracks your new and existing business Leads, converts these Leads into opportunities and relates these new opportunities to the accounts, contacts, and employees in charge of selling to those accounts. This allows your sales team to follow up with a newly created Lead as quickly as possible.
Sugar not only rescues employees from having to maintain record information but, also, maintains separate records in the database that represent potential versus paying customers, making it convenient to identify the relevant Lead.
As Lead Management is the backbone of a sales business, Sugar, by filtering out the unqualified Leads, helps your sales team with more productive and profitable Leads. This increases the effectiveness of your sales team as they can direct their energy on qualified prospects only, resulting in better ties.
Consequently, you need a CRM software that can efficaciously handle the lead management process to ensure that you stay on top of things and have complete control over selling activities.
Harmony between Sales & Marketing team
Salespeople and marketers usually define a Lead in different ways. However, the fundamental issue is that both the departments need to be in strong agreement when it comes to defining the sales processes since both play a vital role in qualifying a lead first into a prospect and then into a deal. Marketers must ensure that they pass on quality Leads, having the potential to make large purchases, to the salespeople who, likewise, should spend their energies servicing those valuable leads to generate revenue for the business.
A few Plugins in CRM that will increase your conversion rate
Once a Lead has been generated in the CRM, the next step involves a sales representative reaching out to him/her via a phone call. This will be much easier for sales representatives if they can make the call from inside the CRM system with the click of a button and, also, take important notes during the call. Twilio is one such SugarCRM plugin that provides this functionality to users. Moreover, if a lead calls you, Twilio pulls all the information of the caller and displays it on the screen, enabling your salespeople to have an informed conversation.
Get your 30-day free trial for CRM integration with Twilio
This plugin allows you to plot all the Leads (Accounts and Contacts too) saved inside your CRM on Google Maps. The Accounts are marked by red pins, the Contacts by blue pins and the Leads by green pins. This lets you differentiate among the various record types and also lets you focus on a specific type of record. For example, the Salesmap plugin allows you to visualize all the Leads that your sales team needs to visit. Moreover, your sales representatives can plan the trip to visit Leads in advance through the route planner feature in Salesmap, which helps them discover the best possible route from their source to destination.
Get your 30-day free trial for the Salesmap plugin for Sugar
Also, learn how to integrate Google Maps with Sugar
People who land on your website are potential Leads and there must be a way to enter their details inside the CRM. CXM integrates WordPress to your CRM. As soon as the user submits the ‘Contact Us’ form containing his details, a new Lead is automatically created in your CRM with the user’s information, including his device and geo-location. Your sales team can now make more informed decisions on how to engage with the customer. In addition to all the tracking information, CXM also pulls the lead’s social information and interests, based on the email address, and stores it in your CRM for better customer insight.
Get your 30-day free trial for CXM and Sugar Integration
Also, understand the difference between CXM and CRM
4 Ways to Create a Lead in SugarCRM
In SugarCRM, you can create leads in four different ways, which are enumerated as follows:
1. From the Leads Module Tab:
- Go to the Leads module
- Click on the “Create Lead” soft button
- Enter the required information in the mandatory fields
- Click on the “Save” soft button
2. From Quick View:
- Click on the drop-down button next to “Quick View”
- Select “Create Lead” from the dropdown options
- Type in the required information in the mandatory fields marked with a red asterisk
- Click on the “Save” button
3. From Emails:
- Click on the “Quick Create” tab in the email header
- Select “Lead” from the drop-down options
- Enter all the mandatory information in the pop-up window displaying the quick create form
- Click the “Save” soft button
4. From VCard:
- Go to the “Leads module”
- Select “Create Lead From vCard” option from the dropdown menu of the “Leads” soft button
- Click on the “Choose file” button
- Browse and select the vCard file from your machine
- Click on the “Import vCard” soft button
You can always get your Leads module customized so that it mirrors your business processes. Many companies are already reaping the benefits of the leads module in their CRM for effective lead assignment. One such example is Diversitech, a technology leader in the Air Filtration industry that has seen tremendous improvement in the performance of its employees by enhancing the functionalities of their CRM.
Moreover, you can extend the functionality of your CRM system by integrating it with useful third-party apps so you need not handle multiple platforms in order to run your business. A single, consolidated CRM solution empowers you to manage leads smoothly and stay ahead of the curve.
Rolustech is a SugarCRM Certified Developer & Partner Firm. We have helped more than 600 firms with various SugarCRM Customization, Integrations, Migration, Maintenance and Support. Contact Rolustech today for your FREE consultation session. We will be happy to assist you!