List of Top Lead Management Tools
Marketing and sales is actually a lot more complicated now given the array of online and offline channels you have to be on. The challenge is to generate leads online from your website, social media, email marketing, PPC, SEM, etc. and then manage and track progress as these potential buyers move forward through your sales funnel.
You need a strong sales process, and a skilled and experienced sales team to make this work. But even that’s not enough because it’s hard, if not impossible, to manually manage it. What you really need is a CRM or other lead management tool.
Desired Features in Lead Management Tools
Everybody knows about CRMs, or has at least heard of CRM platforms such as Salesforce, Hubspot, etc. It’s less likely that you know about any other lead management tool, or even any other sales tool, for that matter.
CRM is not just about lead management – it’s just one of the features in a CRM, along with sales analytics and reports, forecasting, collaboration, team performance, gamification, etc. The point is that there are benefits to getting a tool that is a dedicated lead management platform, as opposed to a CRM that has some features.
To make it simple for you, here’s a list of the features you need:
1. Marketing Automation – This is the part where you generate leads and feed them into the lead management system. If you don’t have marketing automation, 95% of your time will be spent generating leads and adding them manually into the database.
For example, a website visitor fills in a feedback form asking for more information, or downloads a product brochure by giving you an email. Now if your form or mailing list isn’t automated, the data comes to your email and sits there, waiting to be discovered by you.
But if you make good use of MailChimp and an email autoresponder, you can initiate an instant response, and also automatically enter the lead data into your system. Meaning that you have now generated a lead and fed it into your lead management tool with zero effort.
2. Lead Scoring – Lead scoring ensures that the leads that are most likely to convert get fed to your sales team before the other leads.
3. Lead Qualification – Lead qualification ensures that only interested buyers are pushed forward through the funnel.
4. Segmentation – Segmentation makes it possible to respond to each segment in a custom manner that will increase the conversion rate of each segment, and your overall lead conversion rate too.
5. Lead Distribution – This is one of the biggest headaches for sales managers. You need to ensure that each lead is distributed to the right sales team member who is qualified to handle that lead, and is available.
6. Lead Nurturing – Most buyers don’t agree to buy in the first call or meeting. On average, it needs 6-8 followups to close sales leads. Even then, there are leads who will not commit to anything. These leads go into a nurture track, where you keep them informed and stay in touch without trying to close the deal.
7. CRM Integration – Without CRM integration, your leads are stuck in a silo that can’t be a part of the sales cycle. It’s essential that your tool should offer the ability to integrate with Salesforce, Hubspot and other popular CRMs.
8. Lead Response – If not responsed to in time, leads will be lost or taken by the competition. Studies show that responding to a lead within 5 minutes makes you 7 times more likely to qualify the lead than someone who responds in an hour. Did you know that over 50% of buyers choose the business that responds first, before anyone else?
9. Analytics & Reports – The analytics should show you everything from the lead generation rate to conversions and the conversion rate.
Salesforce, Hubspot and Other Lead Management Tools
I know I asked you to exclude CRMs, but you can’t keep Salesforce and Hubspot out of the fray. Salesforce is a powerful CRM, and offers a huge amount of functionality through third-party sales tools integration. Hubspot is free, and also provides a powerful array of features for managing leads and integrating the data with other sales tools.
So here’s the full list, including these two and 8 more tools that will do the job for you:
One last tip – Select 3 of these as a shortlist, and then take a free trial for each one. Use them for a couple of weeks and see which one you are more comfortable with. If you’re not happy with it, then you won’t be able to use it. It’s vitally important that you feel it’s easy to use and actually helps you.