How to Create an Effective CRM Lead Management Process

Laura Caveney
10th June 2022

Creating an effective lead management process can help you better understand what’s driving high-quality leads and result in more revenue. 

Lead management is an effective way to bridge the gap between your sales and marketing teams. 

With a lead management process in place, your teams can better understand what’s working and what isn’t. 

We found that 37% of marketers felt generating high-quality leads was one of their biggest challenges. 

And it’s no surprise. 

With 40% of marketers wanting more accurate data, it can be hard to generate consistently high-quality results. 

But effective lead management could be the missing piece to the puzzle. 

In this blog, we’ll go through: 

So, let’s get stuck in. 

🎧 Pro Tip

Listen to our complete guide to customer journey and touchpoint tracking here

What is lead management? 

Lead management is the process of acquiring and managing potential customers. 

It allows you to track all of the touchpoints that occur after your leads convert. 

That includes touchpoints like: 

Related: 8 lead tracking and management tools to try

If you effectively manage your leads, you will be able to nurture them into customers. 

The better the management process, the more likely you are to convert at a higher rate. 

And you know what that means? 

More closed revenue for your business. 

Effective lead management is essential to every business, no matter how small. 

What is the lead management process? 

The lead management process is a series of steps that captures leads, qualifies them, and nurtures them into a closed customer. 

A good lead management process usually involves some form of automation which can reduce the time spent on administrative tasks. 

Investing in a good CRM is a great way to collect data about your leads and set up a solid lead management system. 

This can allow your team to handle a higher sales volume while still nurturing leads through the funnel. 

Related: 11 key CRM integrations you need to implement

Is lead management part of a CRM? 

Lead management is a big part of a customer relationship management tool, or CRM. 

While many people track leads in a Google Sheet or Excel spreadsheet, investing in a CRM can help you automate key processes and pull through vital data.

Related: How to use Google Sheets to track leads

Only 7% of marketers don’t track lead data. 

So, no matter where you store your data, it’s clear that you need to have a process set up to help you manage them easily. 

Why is lead management important in CRM? 

If you’re a small or large business, you can easily become swamped with leads. 

Even if you’re only generating a small number of leads per month, it can become quickly difficult to manage them and understand where they’re up to in their buyer’s journey. 

Implementing lead management as part of your CRM is a vital step. 

It allows you to: 

By doing the above, you’re likely to convert more leads into customers as you and your sales teams have a better grasp of your leads and their needs. 

Steps to implement an effective lead management process 

So now we know more about the lead management process and how it all works. But how do you implement a lead management process that works for you? 

We’ve got it down to these 7 main steps:

  1. Define a qualified lead
  2. Identify your leads 
  3. Score your leads 
  4. Map out your customer journey 
  5. Establish the process for following up leads in each stage of the funnel 
  6. Don’t end lead nurturing at the point of sale 
  7. Track and measure your leads 

Let’s break them down one by one. 

Define a high-quality lead

Before you start, you need to define what a high-quality lead looks like to your business. 

Lead quality is a tricky metric to get a handle on. 

It requires the ability to link your sales back to your marketing, so you can see which leads led to sales and which never converted. 

For many marketing teams, this is impossible. 

Well, we’re telling you it isn’t. 

With marketing attribution, you can prove your lead quality as you can assign final revenue from a sale back to marketing touchpoints and channels. 

So essentially, you can prove the value of your leads. 

Read: What is lead value and how to calculate it 

With this metric under your belt, you can start to get a good sense of the qualities that make up a high-quality lead. 

Perhaps you find a particular industry resonates well, or a particular job title. 

This data is really powerful when it comes to optimising your lead management process. 

Identify your leads 

Once you know what a high-quality lead is, the next step is to identify your leads and where you’re generating leads from. 

Are users downloading eBooks? They’re leads. Are they filling in demo or contact forms on your site? They’re leads too. 

Are users engaging with you via a live chat tool? They could be leads. 

Understanding each route users can take to become a lead is the first step. 

With each route, you need to ensure you’re getting the right information. 

For example, if you have a demo form, you want to be asking qualifying questions that will help you understand if that user is a good lead. 

These would usually include questions like: 

But there’s info you can’t always get from your lead conversion points. 

Lead source is a big one. 

There are easy ways to track form submissions, but remember, you need to ensure you’re tracking the full customer journey to get a true understanding of the impact of your marketing touchpoints. 

🚀 Pro Tip 

Want to learn more about the buyer’s journey? Download our complete guide to customer journey tracking to see how you can track every touchpoint. 

With all of this information pulling through into your CRM, you’re off to a great start with better managing your leads. 

Related: How to get lead source in your CRM

Score your leads 

Now your leads are coming in and you’re scraping the relevant data, you need to start scoring them. 

Scoring should be a simple process. 

Since you’ve defined what a good lead looks like, you can use these demographics and psychographics to better qualify good and poor leads. 

Lead scoring is a key part of the lead management process as it ensures your sales team concentrate on the leads that really matter. 

For example, you don’t want sales chasing an MQL that has only downloaded an eBook, right? 

Qualifying leads properly can mean: 

Establish the process for following up leads in each stage of the funnel 

Once your leads are scored, they need to go on a journey. 

Not every lead is equal. 

Some have just downloaded a piece of content. Maybe a few users have requested a demo. Some might be asking about pricing via a consultation. 

All of these need different levels and types of activity in order to get them over the line. 

So, sit down and take time to map out your customer journey. 

For those not ready for the sales team, add them to a lead nurturing cadence or automation. 

This can help you make sure they receive relevant, and personalised content without all the legwork. 

It also means your sales team can save their time for the leads more likely to convert. 

Some tips for lead nurturing include: 

Don’t end lead nurturing at the point of sale 

The biggest mistake companies make when it comes to lead management is forgetting the user once they’ve converted. 

In actual fact, the best time to be most engaged is once they’ve converted. 

Because, if you continue to engage and nurture them, they could become advocates for your business. 

Advocates mean free advertising, usually via really relevant channels and streams, to an audience of like-minded people. 

You can build trust with your closed leads by engaging with them on social media or by sending personalised offers and content. 

For us, word of mouth and referral marketing are really important to our inbound marketing, so we work hard to ensure our customers feel valued. 

Related: How important is asking ‘how did you hear about us?’

Track and measure your leads 

The main issue marketers have with lead management is a lack of measurement. 

They measure lead count and leave it at that. 

But that’s no longer enough. 

To be relevant, cut through and truly optimise, you need to be measuring your marketing by the one metric that matters: revenue. 

While lead count can help give context to your lead funnel and management process, on its own it’s not enough. 

By applying revenue data to your marketing, you can effectively prove which channels and campaigns are driving the most bang for their buck. 

The easiest way to measure your lead management process is by implementing marketing attribution
This is the process of assigning credit to marketing touchpoints. 

And it’s pretty easy to set up too. 

🚀 Pro Tip 

Want to learn more about marketing attribution and how it all works? Book a demo of Ruler to see the data in action. 

Attribution is the missing link for marketers and teams struggling with data discrepancies. 

It can be a hard slog trying to get the data you need from one tool to another. 

Related: How Ruler Analytics attributes revenue to your marketing 

And even when you do manage it, you often end up with a lot of data discrepancies due to bias. 

With attribution in place, you can get reliable, unbiased data where you need it most. 

Optimise your lead management process using attribution 

Ready to start your own lead management process? 

Hopefully the steps we’ve shared help you get started. And remember, attribution is a key component of any successful lead management process. 

Book a demo of Ruler to see how it all works and how to tie revenue to your marketing.