Lead management software is an excellent tool for improving your inside sales team’s efficiency and productivity.  However, “tool” is the operative word in that prior statement.  Too often CRM and lead management software integrations fail to meet expectations because buyers forget that the software is merely the means to an end.

Here is another example to consider.  A car is a great tool that can help you get to work on time, but the car itself isn’t going to get you there on time.  Several things are up to you:  learning to drive, getting a license, getting insurance, ensuring your car has gas in it, setting your alarm clock, getting up instead of hitting snooze, etc.

Have you made the mistake of thinking software is the “end” rather than the “means”?  If so, here are some ways to help you ensure your lead management software will facilitate your team’s productivity and efficiency:

Document and define your lead management process.

  • Create and publish definitions for Marketing Qualified Leads or Sales Accepted Leads.  Ensure everyone on your team understands the difference and gain agreement on what is a qualified or accepted lead.
  • Define the process from lead generation through closure.  Ensure your process, as well as your software, address each of these critical lead management steps:
    • Capture/import of online web leads
    • Lead/call routing
    • Lead scoring
    • Lead nurturing
    • Standard messaging (scripting and email templates)
    • Policies for data management – when to archive/delete

Monitor for compliance and quality assurance.

  • Use a real-time lead management dashboard that can help you see calling statistics and performance broken down by each user.  This can clue you in on team members who may need additional training or monitoring.
  • Monitor sales performance in ways that help improve future sales efforts.  A recent article on Inc.com states, “Most of what is measured is outside of management’s ability to control. The research indicates that 83 percent of what is being tracked by our CRM and sales systems is just reporting, not influencing in nature.” (source: http://www.inc.com/tom-searcy/sales-metrics-that-you-should-be-focusing-on.html)  To influence outcomes, you have to look at assessing and addressing behavior that influences future sales.  Most metrics measure history.  Use a tool like VanillaSoft that can help you evaluate sales call execution through features like Intelligent Call Recording and Monitor and Eavesdrop.

Develop lead nurturing workflow.

  • Before you throw everyone into the same email drip or voicemail campaign category, take time to map out personas and messages that will be relevant to that persona.
  • Create a series of messages that will help move that prospect forward in the sales process – a generic email won’t cut it anymore.  With the right lead management software, you will be able to develop criteria to ensure the prospect receives relevant messaging based on how your sales rep results the call upon follow up.

Are you ready to put great lead management software to work in your organization? If so, I encourage you to start your VanillaSoft free trial today.