One of the more challenging aspects of running a business can be keeping track of and following up with your leads.
Leads can be tricky to manage because they are often coming from multiple sources and via different mediums, both on and offline.
With everything that takes place each day in your business, it’s easy to forget about your leads and continuing to build those relationships.
Unfortunately, because leads are usually quiet and not causing fires and reactive commotion in your business, it’s easy to let them slip through the cracks. This can be very frustrating to a business owner due to the high acquisition costs of a new lead.
In this blog, I’m going to share with you five strategies to help keep your leads organized so that you can feel confident that you’re following up promptly without missing a beat!
How to Use ActiveCampaign CRM
ActiveCampaign is an email marketing and automation platform with a built-in CRM function. In the ActiveCampaign CRM, you can create a sales pipeline, track leads as they progress through stages, automate setup, and setup manual follow-up tasks.
For more information on ActiveCampaign and to sign up for a free 14-day trial, click here.
Step 1: Identify your Lead Sources
The first step to organizing your leads is to determine the different sources that they are coming from. Sources may include your website and different opt-in or contact forms, webinars, business directories, live workshops or events, or even networking events.
Once the different lead sources are identified, group them into two buckets:
- Online sources that can automatically be pushed into your CRM via automation.
- Online sources that cannot be automatically pushed into a system (due to a lack of system-to-system integration.
- Offline sources will need to be manually added to your CRM. (For example, when you meet a contact at a face-to-face event and you acquire a business card to direct contact them).
Note: Your CRM contacts and your email list contacts should be maintained independently. It is not okay to add contacts to your email lists just because they entered your CRM pipeline unless you have explicitly asked permission to do so. Adding contacts without permission may potentially increase unopened emails and spam complaints.
Create a lead source process flow, such as the example below. This will allow you to keep track of your lead flow visually, and help others on your team understand the workflow. Mapping your workflow when it’s simple, will help you as it grows more complex.
Regardless of the source, identify all potential lead sources so that they can be worked into your new process flow.
Step 2: Create a Central Collection Repository
Now that you have identified your lead sources, it is time to create a central repository where they can be stored and managed. You may choose to use a simple system, like a spreadsheet tracker, to manage your leads or use a more customized CRM system.
I recommend using a CRM (customer relationship management) software such as ActiveCampaign or Pipedrive. CRM software may increase your sales by up to 29% (Hubspot) because you can integrate email automation alongside it to support your sales process. CRM software comes in all different shapes and sizes, so be sure to evaluate your requirements before selecting a tool.
Once you have selected your tool, you will want to set it up so that any online sources can be automatically pushed to the CRM as well as create a process for manually adding in your online sources that can not automatically be pushed as well as your offline sources.
Step 3: Design a Process
Did you know it takes an average of 18 calls to actually connect with a buyer?
When moving leads through the early stages of your customer journey through their first conversion, you will want to have a clear process that each lead moves through.
Your process may include touchpoints such as direct calls, text messages, comments on social posts or blogs, and even video messages. Map out the process that your leads will move through so that it’s clear what actions you need to take with each lead when you are working on your proactive sales tasks.
I always recommend creating a workflow process chart, (using a tool such as LucidChart) to document the actions that should be taken in your system. This will allow you to know exactly what to do as you get comfortable with your new workflow and form new habits.
Sometimes, a tool such as ActiveCampaign can support your follow-up process by automating some of your follow-up tasks. The CRM can move leads to different stages in your pipeline, send you follow-up task reminders, and even send communications directly to your leads.
… Imagine ditching the sticky note strewn across your desk reminding you to make that call!
Regardless of the tool you use, design a process that is clear and consistent in order to increase your productivity (especially if you leverage automation) and ensure your leads do not get missed!
Step 4: Keep Track of Interests and Opportunities
With your CRM system, you will want to be able to keep track of your leads’ interests and potential opportunities.
Advanced CRM systems will allow you to track your contact’s actions and behaviors so that you can learn more about what specific interests your leads may have. This includes keeping track of actions on your website (such as what blog posts they read or sales pages they review) and conversions.
Tracking allows you to create more target offers towards these leads, so that you aren’t sending them content or offers that are not relevant to what they want.
Tracking will also allow you to “score” your leads so that you can understand who is most engaged (or hot) versus only somewhat engaged (warm).
If you are not using an automated system, you can still keep track of your lead’s interest and opportunities; you will just need to input the information manually.
Step 5: Develop a Daily Workflow
Once you have your lead management system in place, developing a daily workflow will ensure that you develop habits to use your system versus reverting back to your “old” ways. A process is only as good as you follow it.
Your daily workflow may include importing leads that need to be manually added, completing lead follow-up tasks, and moving leads through your sales pipeline stages.
Create a checklist for yourself and block time on your calendar to work through your daily sales tasks.
Ways to Improve Sales Performance
An organization can only be as good as its processes, and by following the suggestions in this article, you will be on your way to improving your sales performance.
Once you have created an organized lead management system, you will have added time, energy and profit back into your business!
Are you struggling with organizing your leads? Let me know what’s working, and not working in your business below!