So What Exactly Is Lead follow-up Software?
Lead follow-up software is very much what it says on the tin: it’ll help you keep track of each and every one of your leads by letting you keep centralised, easily edited data, and enable you to contact leads from within the software itself. So rather than hunting through an Excel file to find an email address for a lead, checking another worksheet to see when you last got in touch with them, and then sending them an email online through Gmail, lead follow-up software lets you do all of that through one platform.
These days, the lead follow-up software (or lead management software as it’s otherwise known) that businesses use is normally part of a CRM. In a nutshell, lead follow-up software only focuses on turning leads into sales. You use it to define the process of how you turn a prospect into a lead, and to do it more efficiently. A CRM helps you to do that and then do things like cross selling and upselling, tracking sales stats, automating customer service to a certain extent, automating service emails and more. Whether you pick a CRM or standalone lead follow-up software therefore depends on how much you want to streamline and automate your sales process.
Why Use Software?
Using lead follow-up software is going to improve the way your business closes deals. Here’s a little list of some reasons why software is so great:
- Never miss a lead
You’ll never have a lead fall through the cracks, so to speak, because all the details on when you last contacted them are right there in the platform.
- Improve how efficiently your sales team works
Like we mentioned above, your team won’t have to search through long email threads or find info across multiple platforms. Everything they need is in one place.
Lead Follow-up Software Features
Not all lead follow-up tools are created equally, but they do generally have the same features. Here are the most common that you’re likely to find:
- Email Tracking
One great feature that most tools have is email tracking. This is where your follow-up tool can tell you whether a lead has opened up your email or clicked on any link that you send them. This is so simple, but so useful, because it’s going to help you figure out which one of your leads is engaged and which one of your leads isn’t.
- Contact Management/History Tracking
Lead follow-up tools let you, well, schedule follow-up contact! Once a member of your team has been in touch with their lead, they can mark their call/email in your lead management platform. If anyone else needs to know when somebody last got in touch with that lead, that information is going to be right there in their contact history. And if the lead was qualified and is worth following up, your team can use it to schedule when they should next call/email them.
Once you’re in the final stages of a deal, you can send a proposal using a ready-made template. The same goes for invoicing. Not only that, but you can keep track of who sent what, to whom and when. Again, this is going to help your team work faster: everything’s in one place. There’s also the great customer/client-facing benefit of the fact that your team can easily record and track when each proposal was accepted, and when each invoice was paid.
- Assign Leads
You can use lead management software to assign leads to certain team members. Maybe some have expertise with clients from a certain background or industry, or maybe you just need a way to fairly divide leads. Either way, all you have to do is update the lead’s record. This is also going to help you as a manager to keep track of who said what to whom if there are any failures in terms of customer service.
- Built-In Calendar
Tracking who did what and when is easy when you use the built-in calendar in your lead management software. Alternatively, you could integrate the calendar you already use with your software. Either way, you’ll be able to keep track of what’s going on and when in the same platform as everything else.
Standalone Lead Management Software vs. CRM
The question you have to answer is what do you need to achieve? It’s possible to get standalone lead management software which will do everything we’ve described above- and that’s great. But CRMs do more, and if you’re planning on growing your business, then a CRM is probalby a more sensible investment.
One of the best things about CRMs is that they let you automate big chunks of your sales process. You can automatically send out newsletters and service emails so that even after a lead has bought what you’re selling, your software is still going to be helping you. You could opt for a standalone newsletter template designer to go with your standalone lead management software, but at that point you’ll be paying more for less. Plus you’ll have to sign in and out of different platforms all day- nothing would be ‘joined up’. So it makes far more sense to opt for a full CRM.