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How to effectively manage contacts, leads for business?

Technology is the backbone of any business in 2018. Check out some of these tools for yourself to see how they really will benefit your business this year.

28th May 2018
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Leads are your business’ lifeblood. To thrive you must convert these to loyal customers. When you do this in a structured, systematic way you’ll increase the number of leads you generate and how many of them convert. Typically, this is a three-part process that consists of marketing, qualifying leads, and converting opportunities but it can be simplified a bit too.

Defining the Perfect Lead

Having a good CRM in place is invaluable but it still all begins with finding the perfect lead. Sales Force says you need to get to know your leads – their problems, interests, what attracts them, where they spend their time, what channels they prefer communicating through, and their role in the buying process. It’s up to you to determine what behavioral traits indicate to you that they’re ready to move on to your sales team. This is something that everyone on your sales and marketing team needs to know and understand.

Once you find these leads, it’s important to understand what information you need. You need to make sure that their basic contact information is always up-to-date. This includes their full name, company’s name, job title, full address, phone numbers (mobile and office), email address, and website’s URL. This is relatively easy when the lead comes from a contact form, but when otherwise you need to go out of your way to collect this information and any other notes you feel are pertinent to making the sale. These notes may contain things like what office branch the person you spoke with is from, when their birthday is, and any other creative information you feel is important.

It’s up to you to then decide how you want to further segment these contacts into lists. Thrive Hive suggests that there are many ways of doing this. Some of the best types of lists to create include:

• Geographical segmentation by using zip codes

• Active vs. inactive customers

• Open opportunities

• Referrals

• Vendors

• Birthdays

Work Your Leads Efficiently

Creating strong leads that are segmented into categories that are easy for your team to work with is only the beginning. You also need to be able to work these leads efficiently or they’re going to be meaningless and worthless to your business. It doesn’t matter how many of them you have, there will still be some that are hotter than others and they need to be prioritized as such. This allows your reps to focus on working the hottest leads first.

The best way to determine who your hot leads are is by using lead scoring. Using a point system here that assigns values to the characteristics that are aligned with successful sales. For instance, you may assign 10 points to a CEO but only 3 points to a manager. This is because working with a CEO results in more closed leads than when you work with a manager. Of course, you can’t just score a lead once and never revisit it. As you learn more about the characteristics of each lead you’ll understand more about what you need to do to make it successful.

Once you’ve taken the time to score your leads, you also need to categorize them into various levels of priority. The criteria that are used for these categories is something that your entire team needs to create and agree on. This isn’t something you can do once and forget about it. You’ll need to continue fine-tuning these categories so your team continually has led to work with. With these categories in place, you can then move on to nurture them into actual paying customers. It’s important to have the right people in place to nurture these leads in this way. Equally as important, you also need to have filters in place to route leads to default users in your marketing queue so that none of them ever get lost because of some unforeseen gap in your rules.

Taking the time to set all of this up may be time-consuming, but it’s definitely something that will pay off for you in the end.

Install a CRM

You work on anything else you work on your sales funnel you need to install a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Your employees need this tool so they can “perform” at their optimum level. Your CRM is responsible for capturing information about each interaction your team has with its prospects and each of the customers it already has.

Today, Gmail has over one billion active users, many of whom are businesses. These businesses depend on it to be an effective communication medium. A lot of this happens through Gmail’s messaging and collaboration capabilities that are built into the email software itself. Businesses can also integrate a CRM platform there in this same way too. Once there, everything will be completely synchronized so your sales team will have a consolidated view of all your customers, leads, and partners. LinkedIn stresses the importance of having this type of a CRM, reminding business that this is the best way for them to be able to see how everything and everyone is performing all in one place.

Understanding what CRM Gmail integration is all about, it’s important to look at what it can do for your company and how this will benefit you as well. This includes:

• Sending and acquiring messages in your CRM account makes everything happen faster

• Associating your emails with data in your CRM (including contacts, accounts, leads, partners, and tasks) allows you to better manage the relationships you have with your clients and partners.

• You can create new sales opportunities by finding new contacts, leads, and partners then opening new accounts and creating new tasks.

• Consolidating your email communication within the CRM allows you to promptly respond and follow up with them from a single platform.

• The CRM will allow everyone on your team to easily collaborate with one another because all the necessary information is right there in front of you to share as your customers proceed through the sales funnel.

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