Leads are great, but there’s a long road between a lead and a sale. Converting prospects into revenue requires marketers everywhere to manage and nurture an on-going relationship with their leads. This usually entails the long hard task of separating legitimate prospects from duds, organizing data, and consistently tracking key leads on a regular basis. Sometimes, you also need to use competitive intelligence tools to steal your competitors’ customers.
When it gets right down to it, manual lead management can be a huge, boring, and largely inefficient task. Fortunately, there are all sorts of tools that can help your company get the job done faster.
Here are some of our favorites:
Setting your sales team up for success right in the inbox is a great way to get a handle on lead management. Rapportive is a useful tool that can upgrade popular email services to help you make faster decisions about your audience. It automatically displays relevant information about contacts pulling from online sources such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
Another tool that can optimize email is Boomerang, which can schedule an unlimited number of emails to go out at a specified date and time. The app can also filter important emails you need to be reminded about so that they automatically appear at the top of your inbox.
One way to alleviate the pains of lead management is by looking for hidden sales functions. For instance, Google Groups, which is tucked away in Google Apps, is a tool that can help you efficiently share contacts and email addresses with particular groups of employees.
All you have to do is create a group within Google; for instance, everyone working on a particular sales project. Then simply forward emails or share contacts without worrying about adding each member to a new thread.
Another app that possesses surprising hidden sales functions is Apple’s Address Book. This App has a useful notes function for storing relationship statuses, company web pages, and instant message handles. This allows you to fill out various contact fields, share contacts via email, and sync everything with your other Apple devices.
Turn your smartphone into the ultimate sales tool. Smartr Contacts by the San Francisco-based Xobni is a free tool that can make your address book smarter by shifting the focus to managing relationships instead of email addresses and phone numbers. The app pulls updates from social media, recent emails, and other contact data into one place—allowing users to get immediately up to speed on their prospects.
Social media integration is an absolute must-have in any sales arsenal. You can generate customer data by monitoring your company’s social media activity with web-based tools like Sprout Social. This tool gives you a better idea of who is using or, at least, talking about your services. It’s a great way to keep track of your list of Facebook friends and Twitter followers all in one place.
Sales Genius allows you to send trackable emails through Microsoft Outlook, making it easy for current Outlook users to integrate this app into their small business. The app maintains a detailed history of sales leads’ website visits, telling you when and how often a prospect is looking at your site. It also automatically notifies you when you should contact that prospect based on how often they visit.
Continuous lead management is an important part of any healthy business. Lead management tools are a smart way to stay on top of the constantly changing market to help your company stay on top.
What’s your favorite lead management tool? Did it make the list? Tell us about it below.
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