Our previous blog post discussed the core CRM features for sales automation. In this blog post, we’ll touch on the key features of lead management within a CRM. Although, traditionally, lead management is associated with lead generation, this blog post will mainly focus on how lead management features inside a CRM can break down siloes and create marketing and sales alignment within an organization.
So, let’s dive into the lead management features that can make or break a CRM.
1. Campaign Management
At a minimum, all CRM tools should include the basic features of lead management. This includes simple execution and tracking features. For example, many organizations use core lead management tools to check in with existing customers in their CRMs when running promotions. Dedicated tools should allow your company to quickly create campaigns (campaign builder tools), target and segment distribution lists, and schedule and run the desired email campaigns. They should also enable Marketing departments to track the success of their campaigns—open email rates, click-through rates, and so forth are valuable metrics that offer deeper insights into your campaigns’ success.
For more complex demand generation tasks, your CRM should empower your Marketing department to run multi-channel, multi-phase drip nurture campaigns. Still, usually, these are included in dedicated Marketing Automation software. Thus, look into CRMs that seamlessly integrate with your go-to marketing automation platform.
2. Web Forms
Web forms are the easiest and most effective way to capture prospect or customer information. More often than not, your marketing communications will include a CTA linking to a marketing asset (whitepaper, case study, guide, demo, etc.). Prospects or customers must fill out a form with critical information for further communications to access company assets. Such tools enable salespeople and marketing employees to nurture captured leads and generate opportunities.
Depending on the type of campaign you run, forms can vary in complexity: from capturing the name, title, and email address of a lead, to additional information, for better lead-scoring logic.
3. Lead Routing
Once leads are captured by your CRM, they are distributed to marketing and sales professionals for further nurturing. Depending on the size and complexity of your organigram, you need proper lead routing protocols. These can be as simple as “round robin” logic, where leads are equally distributed to your sales reps, to more complex distribution protocols, depending on hierarchies, product lines, and territories. Lead routing protocols are, thus, essential when looking into new CRM solutions to streamline your operations. Look into software that can automate this process. This way, the system can scan a lead to identify information like state or region, products of interest, etc., and automatically route them to the appropriate sales rep or team. This can save critical time and allow your reps to work more effectively.
4. Lead Conversion
In many CRMs, lead conversion is a daunting task, many carried out manually by sales reps. As you would guess, this is no longer an option since we need to accelerate and streamline manual tasks now more than ever. Modern-day CRMs allow lead conversion to be possible with a few clicks or taps. Here’s what you should look into when searching for dedicated solutions: automatic creation of related records in the CRM (such as accounts and contacts) and an automated duplicate search of lead records to secure data integrity and system usefulness.
5. Lead Reporting
In all CRM processes, reporting tools are the golden standard. In terms of lead management, both marketing and sales need full transparency into how leads move along the funnel. By leveraging the robust core workflow tools to better identify and establish lead flow business rules (such as the path from a prospect lead, to a marketing-qualified lead, to a sales accepted lead to a sales-ready lead, etc.), reporting and dashboard tools can provide “at a glance” insight into the lead pipeline, and allow management to take action where necessary.
Additional lead-related reports can provide visibility into the top-performing campaigns, so marketing heads can spend to optimize return on dollars invested. Also, lead-to-opportunity conversion reports can help identify the length of the sales cycle and help teams better understand what marketing events or assets lead to faster conversions.