The time and effort you’ve invested in website SEO, online advertising, social media marketing and publicity have paid off with lots of leads. But if you aren't tracking your leads carefully, you could be missing out on some of your most valuable prospects. What's more, tracking your leads properly can show you just how effective your marketing and advertising is. Here are six tips for tracking leads better.
- Create a system for organizing and managing your leads. Jotting down notes on a pad of paper or sticky note may have worked when your business was just starting out, but as your company grows, you'll need to systematize lead management or risk dropping the ball on valuable leads. Start developing your lead management system now, and you'll have a firm foundation for business expansion.
- Know where your leads are coming from. For example, if you have a leads form on your website, how are prospects getting to the form? Did they find your website via an online search, by typing in your URL or by clicking on your online advertising? It's easy to track the source of leads online using code, but you can also find out where phone calls or walk-in customers learned about your business. Just make it a habit to ask, "How did you learn about our business?" and take note of the answers.
- Set up lead notifications. A lead generation and management solution that gives you lead notifications in real time can ensure you don't lose a juicy lead to a competitor because you didn't answer fast enough. When you get alerts of new leads, respond right away. You can even set up autoresponders to leads so that when you're busy with another customer, you can still reply to the new lead with an appropriate response.
- Get as much information as you can about leads. Once you connect with a lead, get additional information to help you assess their stage in the sales funnel. Start by collecting the same basic information about each lead, such as name, business name, phone number, email, title, timeline for purchase and more. The information you need will vary depending on your industry and customer base — and you probably won't get it all at once. Some of it will come through direct conversation or email with the customer; some of it will come from website analytics that track their behavior on your site. By getting a little more data each time you connect with a customer, you will eventually have a full picture of each lead.
- Categorize your leads. After following up with the lead and gathering the information above, you will be able to segment your leads based on their stage in the sales funnel. You can determine if they are ready to buy or just starting their research process; if they are the sole decision-maker or if someone else is involved, too; if they have a budget in mind or not; and other factors that will help you make the sale. Even if the actual purchase is far in the future, staying in touch with the lead until they're closer to making a decision will help keep your business top-of-mind.
- Maintain your lead data. Clean and consistent data about leads is key to effective follow-up. At regular intervals, go through your lead database and clean out your records to eliminate duplicates, correct errors and generally keep them in good shape. A lead management solution that has an easy-to-use dashboard can speed up the process of searching and sorting through leads.
A good lead management system will pay off quickly by boosting the percentage of leads you convert to customers.