How to Manage Leads

Many sales professionals have been in this situation: You acquire new leads from a trade show list, incoming marketing leads, or cold calling, but you have no idea how to turn your leads into sales.

What’s your first step? Move down to Step 1 to find lead management techniques that will work for you.


  1. 1
    Share the wealth. Whose responsibility is lead management? It could be marketing, sales management, or sales reps at any level. Sharing the wealth means sharing the responsibility – making sure everyone in your organization understands their contribution to lead management. Make sure you don’t forget about marketing: they have to be in the know to nurture leads along the way.
  2. 2
    Define a clear conversion path. Your lead management strategy involves moving every lead through the stages in your CRM. A critical component of your conversion path is outlining it, and then making sure the stages in your tool match the stages outlined by your business. After you've defined conversion standards, be sure your reps know where to move leads, and when – because having a path means nothing if your reps don’t understand it.
  3. 3
    Tag, filter, assign. Now that you've done the work to set up your systems and train your people, it’s time to assign leads – intelligently. You should tag, filter, and assign each lead by common characteristics: line of business, size of prospect, or whatever makes the most sense for you. Then assign them to your team to start pursuing.
  4. 4
    Target the best leads and jettison the worst. Sales teams often make the critical mistake of treating all leads equally. Every lead gets the same number of calls, the same number of emails, the same amount of nurture from marketing. But why do we do that? Part of smart lead management means picking the best leads, then calling them more, and deciding which prospects don’t fit your business, and letting them go.
  5. 5
    Analyze your methods often. Lead management best practices are ever-changing. The strategies that work well for your business today may not be best for your team in six months or a year. Make sure you’re checking in with sales and marketing to get candid feedback on the lead management processes that you have in place. Because, in sales, change is inevitable and you have to sense the change and be ready to adopt it to your advantage.

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Categories: Sales Occupations