In order to improve your sales numbers, you need to practice lead management. This is the process of targeting, capturing and qualifying leads. It is critical to engage in this practice consistently to facilitate the growth of your business. For companies that depend on lead generation, it helps to have lead management software.
This way, you can more efficiently analyze, categorize and qualify leads before sending them to your sales funnel. Once your lead becomes a customer, you then need the software to help nurture your relationship over the complete customer lifecycle. When searching for free versions of lead management software, here is what you should look for.
Benefits of lead management software
All organizations need leads. They may not always turn into paying customers, but you will never know unless you have them. Surveys have shown that as much as 70% of marketing-generated leads never get pursued by sales teams. This equates to a large number of lost opportunities. Lead management software gives sales teams a more efficient outlet for nurturing and cultivating prospects. Here are other benefits:
- Improves marketing ROI. If your company is already spending a large portion of your budget on promotional efforts, then lead marketing software can help improve your ROI. The reason is you can eliminate forgotten or mishandled opportunities. As a result, you get optimized conversion rates. In addition, sales teams can garner in-depth insights for where the most qualified leads are coming from. Then, marketing can take that information to improve their targeted messages.
- Faster follow-up. Hot leads can turn cold if they are not pursued. They already want your product and service, why make them wait? If you take too long, they'll just head over to your competition. Lead management software can offer features such as automated responses through web, email and even social media. Plus, they may provide pre-defined lead characteristics to help sales reps follow-up more quickly. Plus, it helps to have tailored pitches based on interests, histories and behaviors of each prospect.
- Enhances productivity. You can't effectively manage leads through filtering your email client or with scattered notes. That would drive anyone crazy. Lead management is also very complex and requires heavy-duty administrative work. Even with spreadsheets, this can be confusing and time-consuming. How lead management software helps is through automating data entry to help employees spend less time on administration and more time on pursuing leads and prospects.
- Better information. You can work smarter with accurate information. No one likes to call on a lead without having the right background information. Have you ever experienced calling a prospect and addressing them incorrectly, or even making assumptions based on the wrong data? They don't usually have time for small talk and may consider you an amateur. It might also make them wonder if they can trust you with their business. Lead management software can help eliminate those types of costly mistakes by offering a fully centralized repository of lead data. This way, sales reps have access to the most accurate and comprehensive information available.
What to look for in free lead management software
You can never overestimate the importance of having the right information at your fingertips. Your memory just can't compete with a large database of leads. Without lead management software, you run the risk of forgetting a small detail that may derail your sales process.
Plus, every lead is different. Free lead management software solutions can come in all shapes and sizes. While needs may vary, there are critical features that set a few apart from the rest. These are the capabilities you should be looking for when selecting your option.
- Features support for multiple sales channels. As stated previously, not all leads are the same. The reason is they can come from varying marketing channels whether it be PPC ads, social media, eCommerce sites, landing pages, resellers and sales partners. So, they have to be treated differently. A lead that comes from a PPC ad will need a different message compared to a lead that comes from a reseller. There are just different dynamics involved. So, it helps to have lead management software that can track leads in real time--throughout all the phases. You then want software that can be routed to the appropriate sales teams.
- It offers automatic alerts. Even if you have an amazing memory, you can't be expected to remember when and how to call each and every lead that comes through your marketing channels. This is why you need software that will send you automatic alerts to remind you of your next action. You want to have the ability to set up the time, date and reason. It also helps if the reminders automatically synchronize with your calendar such as iCal, Outlook or Google Calendar.
- Access from anywhere. In our connected world, we have the ability to work from anywhere. This is especially critical for small businesses that don't have the resources to rent out large office spaces in multiple locations. As a result, you want a cloud-based solution that can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection. Why wait until you get into the office? What if you're traveling or have remote workers? You can't halt business just because you can't reach the data on your leads. So, look for a free, cloud-based system.
- Free templates. When you're busy chasing leads, you don't always have time to create multiple templates or even custom forms and landing pages. Yet, you still need a way to capture a wide variety of leads. This takes place through targeted messaging. Yet, who has the time? So, it is helpful if your lead management software platform helps you create templates, emails and even landing pages.
Lead management software is like having the best assistant with you wherever you go. It understands how and when to take care of every lead. When you're ready to nurture your lead, your platform will be one step ahead of you. Your leads will be prioritized, and you will always know when to give them your attention. By utilizing lead management software, you increase both your productivity and your ROI. There is no reason to blindly market to each and every lead. So, are you ready to start maximizing your leads?