Freespee Guides

The Ultimate Guide To Lead Management

Why is lead management important?

Without lead management, companies who require customers to survive would simply have no customers, the process keeps the sales pipeline alive. Managing leads also shines a bright light on how customers interact with brand services – it generates, captures, distributes and nurtures leads until they become a sale. Let’s dive in!


of leads received are never followed up by vendors of a Marketplace client.


more leads are generated when phone numbers are based on geolocation.


of customers say contextualised engagement is important to winning their business.


of all mobile searches are related to location.


of marketers say half or more of their budget is allocated to lead generation.


of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is important to winning their business

The Ultimate Guide To Lead Management: Chapter 1

The basics of lead management

A large portion of buyer touchpoints occur digitally, facilitating these interactions is down to precise management.

Lead management is a system built for B2C and B2B industries, aimed at driving customer demand to the right place, from the top of the funnel to the bottom. In layman’s terms, it is a way to organise all the queries coming into a business, through their various channels, allowing marketing teams to send the warmest prospects to sales.

The process uses lead scoring, nurturing and prioritisation to examine customer interactions with advertising campaigns. Data is gathered to use in acquiring and upselling customers as well as brand optimisation. While technology has pushed lead management into automation, connecting with customers still requires more human collaboration.
Effective lead management harnesses both.

The right system has the ability to weed out the bad from the good and find leads from stones yet unturned – all in real time. The end game of lead management is to produce as many qualified leads as possible.

The Ultimate Guide To Lead Management​: Chapter 2

The difference between lead management and lead generation

Both of these are vital to increasing sales and getting them both right can mean a healthier bottom line. What’s the difference between the two?

Lead generation comes before lead management and is about finding new business leads and initiating customer interest. There are two different kinds of lead generation; inbound and outbound. Inbound lead generation is when brand campaigns bring in leads, outbound involves cold calling, email marketing and is the active pursuit of new customers using targeted information.

Lead management differs from lead generation in that it organises the leads brought in by inbound and outbound efforts to ready them for sales. See above.

Balancing both these processes arguably lays on the shoulders of lead management, creating a consistent system of receiving and relaying leads to the right teams can clear the way for new inbound leads.

Notably, the best inbound leads are usually phone calls, and missing high-value calls due to a disconnected strategy is a waste of lead generation resources and more than anything, money.

The Ultimate Guide To Lead Management​: Chapter 3

How to generate new leads using call data

Call data used correctly can contribute significantly to brand growth in multiple ways. Including helping agents preempt every conversation with information pertaining to that customer, this kind of intelligence also contributes to both better up-selling post call and future inbound strategies.

Stats show that 94% of adults use their phone to connect with businesses — this influx in mobile usage means brands should be seeing the data springing from these calls as gold dust.

How can they take advantage? Capturing call data for generating leads means an awareness of some key variables. Pay attention to things like lead response time, which determines how long it takes for sales teams to follow up with prospects.

A study by Harvard Business Review discovered that “firms that tried to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving a query were nearly seven times as likely to qualify the lead,” as compared to companies that waited 24 hours or longer.

Geolocation is another aspect of call data that is highly useful when it comes to generating new leads. Call routing based on customer location can target the most fruitful areas for pushing campaigns and producing qualified leads.

Call data goes hand in hand with lead generation and is proven to produce higher conversion rates than any other channel. 

The Ultimate Guide To Lead Management: Chapter 4​

What is the difference between a lead source and a campaign source?

Sourcing leads for marketers manifests in two different ways, paid and organic. Lead sourcing is arguably the cheaper of the two and focuses on organic inbound traffic, meaning those leads that come in from customers without the prompting or targeting of a campaign. Sources from paid initiatives (campaigns) are those business queries that originate from specific marketing efforts.

Lead sourcing identifies the first point of contact between brand and customer and comes in different forms; social media, web, speaking engagement, phone enquiry, referral, purchased lists and more.

It’s never connected to a digital campaign or any targeted process, it’s an offset of marketing efforts. Knowing the lead source is vital to understanding the entire purchase journey.

Campaign sourcing reveals the granular impact of targeted campaigns throughout different channels, knowing these sources can help identify which campaigns are the most successful and which need a little work.

This form of sourcing leads is more in line with lead generation and focuses on ROI (return on investment) since campaigns are both funded and managed by brands.

The Ultimate Guide To Lead Management: Chapter 5

A few ways to qualify inbound leads

Sales and marketing teams have opposing views when it comes to what a qualified lead looks like. An MQL (marketing qualified lead) is scored based on a customer’s interaction with inbound content produced by marketing, meanwhile, a SQL (sales qualified lead) is the result of vetting by both teams, with final approval from sales.

At this point, the customer is past the engagement stage and is ready to convert, according to sales. Sometimes marketing differs in opinion at this stage of the cycle, though they may consider the lead ready, sales may require a more nurtured prospect.

Streamlining the handoff between marketing and sales is the key to creating a unified system of lead management. The best way to have a steady flow of qualified leads coming is agreeing on an inbound model that works for both parties. We have a few ideas.

Keep an eye on context

Determining whether a lead is a prospect or suspect is the first step in qualification. If they’re just going to waste precious resources and never convert, it’s not worth it. But being sure is important.

That’s where digital profiling comes in handy. Digital profiles are collections of customer data plugged into a CRM using third-party tech. These systems are capable of creating individual profiles for each person that enters a brand’s domain, following and noting every step of their interaction. From these profiles, it’s much easier for both marketing and sales teams to confidently qualify them and optimise time to better nurture the warmest leads.

Develop lead scoring

Lead scoring is necessary when the leads are constant, and in large quantities, it’s especially useful when sales and marketing teams can’t decide on the definition of a qualified lead. Setting up automated processes based on criteria put forth by both sides of the pipeline creates a more structured environment for leads to enter and prevents bottlenecks from happening.

A good lead scoring system can be used to determine which leads need more nurturing, measure customer engagement and naturally align sales/marketing once they have a common tool for qualification.

The Ultimate Guide To Lead Management: Chapter 6

Lead scoring for calls in Salesforce

Phone calls are vital to sales, call scoring measures this data against KPIs and other standards within a company. Since calls are a valuable lead, integrating their data into your inbound strategy is highly useful. Salesforce is a CRM system that facilitates relationships between sales, marketing and support systems. It considers every lead source, including calls.

Call scoring in Salesforce is dependent on which platform you’re using to collect your call data, and how it integrates with Salesforce. Usually, it means creating a new page layout separate from the standard Salesforce tasks.

The benefits of call scoring in Salesforce include:

  • The ability to follow and analyse the caller journey from the moment the conversation begins until it ends
  • Understand call status and whether the call was answered or missed
  • A gathering of accurate caller information for persona mapping
  • Discover which campaigns are influencing the most calls
  • Create scores based on the most successful campaigns
  • Learn more about how Freespee integrates call data with Salesforce here.

The Ultimate Guide To Lead Management: Chapter 7

What is lead management software?

Lead management software is a tool that creates a space to turn leads into customers by aligning its solutions with the sales and marketing teams. This software is usually integrated into existing CRM and sales systems to create a universal process that doesn’t require switching back and forth from application to application. It can also stand alone in a ready-to-use format.

The kind of lead management software you need depends on the size of the company. Start-ups and smaller businesses with compact sales teams won’t need to manage leads in huge quantities or across a vendor network – while larger enterprises need a lead management system that is adaptive to their existing stack and comes with multiple features, like lead distribution.

The differences between simple versus complex lead management software are as follows:


Lead management software for small businesses come in many user-friendly (and affordable) forms. Some offerings can be accessed from mobile via an app, usually, it syncs with existing calendars, contacts, deals, events, tasks and analytics already on the phone, making it easy for a sales-person or marketing on the go to keep on top of enquiries.

One drawback, simpler systems don’t have the analytical capability of larger platforms and they usually rely on contact lists as opposed to separating leads from existing contacts.


The more multi-faceted lead management systems cost a pretty penny, but if a company is managing a large network of inbound leads, they are worth every cent. Usually, these packages can be customised and integrated into an established structure, it does require a certain amount of training for staff but if it’s a good system, adaptation won’t take that long.

Features of these packages include automated lead distribution, analytics per campaign or channel, lead scoring, lead capture ( Including calls), and more.

Find out more about lead management features here.

The Ultimate Guide To Lead Management: Chapter 8

Achieving closed-loop lead management

Closed loop management is still a fairly recent term in the industry. It means preempting problems in the sales cycle before they happen. This is achieved by sales teams reporting their lead experiences back to marketing so that future leads are nurtured better and mistakes are rectified. Closing the loop also translates to creating a smoother line of communication between sales and marketing.

How do you do this?

By optimising the qualification process. Qualifying leads is markedly easier with tools like closed-loop reporting because it considers every step of the sales cycle, beginning, middle and end.

From the start, compiling reports on the impact of channels most likely to convert can create a better-nurturing program. This helps push leads down to sales faster, smoothing out the midpoint or consideration stage of the customer journey. Why? This point will be informed with accurate data that helps marketers understand what customers need.

The Ultimate Guide To Lead Management: Chapter 9

Lead nurturing with GDPR

It’s clear that lead nurturing has been affected by the new general data protection regulations. GDPR was launched on May 25th 2018 by the European Parliament and aims to protect the online information of its citizens. Lead nurturing is an automation process that collects potential customer information using targeted methods such as email collection via free downloads and tracking codes on websites.

Since GDPR means companies can no longer store this customer data in perpetuity or collect without explicit consent given, marketers have to develop new ways to nurture leads within legal bounds.

Embracing GDPR is the best way to handle it and there are benefits to tighter regulations, one being an opportunity to target even more finitely. Instead of a campaign sweep, now marketers can tailor campaigns to narrow in on specific leads within the buying cycle. No more mass emails to multiple contacts now is the chance to give valuable customers the information they actually want while staying compliant.

Marketers have to do what they do best, get creative and start leaning on this value-based model. Focusing on requesting personal data and interacting with higher value leads can quicken the qualification process, shortening the buying cycle so that sales can close even faster.

The Ultimate Guide To Lead Management: Chapter 10

Lead management and segmentation

Segmentation is a tool that compartmentalises customer data into groups with similar characteristics. Lead segmentation uses this method to organise leads based on qualification characteristics agreed upon by sales and marketing teams (once aligned). If lead segmentation isn’t a part of a management system, it should be. Here’s why:

Devices used

The paths customers take to get to a brand are more complex than ever, now digital gateways come in the form of phones, tablets, desktops, etc. Segmenting based on devices used can offer insight into how customers are accessing brands.


Segmenting customers based on their location is essential. Why? Because it can help brand target ads based on the most fruitful locations. Focusing on areas more likely to convert saves time and money.

Media source

Where are they coming from in the online space? There are now multiple sources thanks to social media. Are more leads arriving from Facebook? If so, ads can be optimised to suit a Facebook audience.

Be open to segments you may not have considered before.

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