In the glorious world of marketing and sales, leads are everywhere you look. Leads are those members of your target audience who already know that your business exists, and those members are probably at the stage of seeking out further pieces of information about your business and the products/services that you have to offer.
If you are currently running a business and you notice that your leads are going up, then you can take a sigh of relief as your marketing strategy seems to be on point. What needs to be said, however, is that not all leads are high-quality leads.
Why is tracking leads so important? In essence, it lets you focus your attention on those leads that are promising instead of dedicating your time and effort to the leads that look good, even though they have little to no value.
Think of the process that your customer goes through. He/she first has to come into contact with your business in order to end up with a closed deal. The process of monitoring this sequence of events that a potential customer has to go through is called lead tracking. Lead tracking lets you find out where the leads originated from, and whether they are inbound or outbound.
For your reference, an outbound lead is a lead that your company has contacted, and an inbound lead is a lead that has contacted your company on their own initiative. As you can see, there's quite a difference between outbound and inbound leads. Knowing how to differentiate between the two will come in handy.
The process of lead tracking also helps a company's marketing team and a company's sales team work together better and more efficiently. Through lead tracking, you can know exactly how close a prospective customer is to make a purchase and you can let the sales team know who the most promising leads are. Another important benefit of lead tracking is seeing how well your marketing strategy is working out.
If you have opted for email marketing services that Mailchimp provides, you can estimate how good of a job the service is doing for you. In case you notice that this tool helps you convert leads into sales, then you'll know you are on the right path. If not, you'll change your strategy and tactics before you suffer a significant loss.
Recommended reading: Email Marketing Strategies to improve your Audience Engagement
Some think that lead tracking is a job that is suited for the sales department. Others believe that the marketing team should be on top of lead tracking. While tracking leads is more of a job for the marketing team, the only right way to approach this task is by making sure that both the sales team and the marketing team are collaborating.
If you are a part of a marketing team, then one of the main mistakes you can make is turning over every lead to sales. The sales team only has a certain amount of time that they should dedicate to prospective and high-quality leads. If the attention gets divided, you'll lose revenue by failing to engage potentially great customers, you'll waste the time and effort of your team, and you'll miss out on a chance to build your brand.
For optimal results and a chance to turn your leads into sales, it's best to create a seamless collaboration between these two teams.
Related reading; How to align sales and marketing
Once a good relationship between the marketing and sales teams is established, the real work is yet to begin. The truth is that the entire lead tracking process is very demanding - in every sense of the word. Planning and organization are two actions that are going to be in focus.
For starters, it's a good idea to set your goals and decide what constitutes a 'good' lead. And if you are thinking about the end goal and your mind is already wandering to the volume of the leads your marketing campaign manages to attract, then you are (most likely) not headed in the right direction. Go for an increase in revenue instead of going for the volume of leads, and you won't make a mistake.
Secondly, you'll want to think about investing in a CRM. A CRM is a powerful tool that can help you gain a better insight into different areas of your business. This tool can help you manage your existing customers, track leads throughout their journey, and it can even help you identify problematic areas in your sales strategy or marketing tactic. Make sure that you define specific fields in your CRM system so that you can gain all the available pieces of information on your leads and customers.
Recommended reading; The 10 best CRM systems for SMB's
With a CRM in place, you'll need one other tool to successfully track leads - lead tracking software. A lead tracking tool can provide you with a pool of information about the origin of your leads. Did you collect them through paid ads? From the website? From organic search? You'll get first-hand information by using the right technology.
Most importantly, be aware of the importance of the thing that you are trying to measure. If you start tracking too much information, you are probably going to end up in a hectic place that's going to put a strain on your team. Instead, filter out unneeded pieces of information and focus your attention on the data that you are analyzing. Once you understand why tracking leads is so important, you'll definitely want to get the maximum advantage.
In the ideal world, all the leads that you manage to collect will purchase your products/services. However, the world is less than ideal, and the business world can be cruel. Chances are that you are not going to manage to turn all of your leads into sales. So what do you do with the leads that opt out of becoming your customers for the time being? You ought to still nurture the relationship with them.
A good idea is to create pre-made email marketing sequences. You can use them on leads that are in different stages of their buyer's journey. You'll keep yourself prepared for once you spot an opportunity to spark an interest in that lead once again. Who knows - this time, they might become a real-life customer who is going to remain connected to your business for a long time.
If you are a responsible owner of a business and you have a marketing and sales team that are already doing a great job, you ought to create the best chances of success by connecting the two departments. The lead tracking process can be a great way to monitor your leads, gain better insights into your business, as well as create a streamlined workflow between the two teams.
You started out by wondering - why is tracking leads so important for your business? Hopefully, you've ended up with a brand new perspective on the importance of lead generation and their monitoring. With the availability of lead tracking tools, your job doesn't have to be difficult and complex.