All companies that are engaged in sales and use Salesforce as the main tool want to know how to build effective Salesforce lead management and transform their Leads into Opportunities. It becomes clear that simple regular sales monitoring is not enough. So, companies should close the gap between the sales department and marketing and establish a good-working process of how sales reps can convert leads into closed deals.

Let’s consider how Salesforce lead management can facilitate this process.

What is included in Salesforce lead management?

Salesforce lead management system covers all stages of work with leads:

  • Capturing leads
  • Estimation of leads and prioritizing (needed to understand what leads are ready to buy)
  • Assigning leads to sales reps
  • Converting leads into opportunities
  • Nurturing not sales-ready leads
  • Evaluating the lead management progress

The Leads tab appears to be much more useful than Contacts. You can store comprehensive information about new leads in a special place. Usual record of lead interests can include about 25 different fields, but the most important of them are the following ones.

#1. Lead Owner

A Lead Owner is a person who works with the lead. As a rule, a sales manager can make one employee responsible for a lead or create a lead queue and let the sales team pick leads themselves.

#2. Lead Status

The status shows at what stage a lead is now. According to this information, sales reps can plan their actions. You can create your own statuses that will meet your company’s requirements or use ready-made statuses:

  • New;
  • Working;
  • Nurturing;
  • Unqualified;
  • Qualified.

#3. Lead Source

With the help of this field, you can know where your leads come from and analyze what sources work better or worse. This information is essential for the marketing department. You can customize basic kinds of sources or use Salesforce listing provided by default:

  • Advertisement;
  • Customer event;
  • Employee referral;
  • Purchased list;
  • Trade show;
  • Webinar;
  • Website;
  • Other.

Lead statuses illustrate that the key goal of a sales rep is to turn new lead into qualified ones. The transformation process in the Salesforce system looks like this: a lead becomes a contact, the contact becomes an account, and it turns into an opportunity. In case you don’t wait for any revenue from this lead, it can become a contact and an account, but not an opportunity.

So, it’s time to move on and see tips that will help your company achieve excellent results. 

How to create an effective Salesforce lead management process in 7 steps?

#1. Get more leads

You should think about increasing the number of your leads: more leads mean higher chances to win deals. Salesforce offers several ways to enhance the database of your leads:

  • Automatic lead capturing

You can use in-built Salesforce features or Salesforce AppExchange. For example, it can be a web-to-lead feature that automatically gathers information from the website, or Toucan, a Twitter Salesforce client that does the same on Twitter and promotes your products to your followers. If you need professional help with setting up Salesforce products, you can turn to our dedicated specialists. They’ll pick appropriate tools and customize them according to your requirements. 

  • Lead import 

You can do a mass import with Salesforce Data Import Wizard. With its help, you can process information from Excel spreadsheets or emailing services, Outlook, or Gmail. 

  • Manual input

Also, you can always write down information about the lead manually.

#2. Check the uniqueness of leads

Your list of contacts shouldn’t have duplicates; it needs to be clear and structured. Identical leads can appear for various reasons:

  • Different marketing campaigns can attract the same leads;
  • The same person can interact with your website in different ways (for example, via downloaded materials and subscription);
  • Several sales reps can contact the same company;
  • You can get a database with contacts, and there is some coincidence with your contacts, etc. 

So, to avoid confusion, you should check your contacts with the help of special Salesforce tools or partner applications from AppExchange. Another way is to use rules that will not allow converting leads with incomplete information.

#3. Create lead qualification criteria

It will be more productive to check the company’s commitments before adding it as a lead. This way, you will see if you can make a deal with this company in the future or not. So, you should find a conversion point for your lead and understand if it is possible to make a deal or not. Let’s consider when you can convert a lead into an opportunity with the highest efficiency:

  • When leads show their interest in your company.
  • When you have made an appointment between the sales rep and the prospective customer.
  • When you have filled all the needed information in the company’s profile.
  • When the sales rep has identified the deal’s price.

If you choose early conversions, you will have a large opportunity pipeline with a small percentage of closed deals. On the other hand, if you pick late conversions and a small opportunity pipeline, you will have more chances to win.

It will be good advice to convert a lead into opportunity when you can fill the information below:

  • business challenge
  • closing date
  • size of revenue
  • competitors
  • the name of the final decision maker 

#4. Prioritize leads and distribute them between sales reps

You can group your leads by priority based on their location, business domain, or other factors. So, you can have a different lineup for your California and Texas sales teams if you customize leads by territory.

Also, you can automatize the lead sharing process and use special rules for lead assignment. With this feature, the administrator can define who and when will get the lead.

#5. Move your leads to the conversion point

There are two ways of lead development: a sales rep can turn a lead into an opportunity or disqualify it if the lead isn’t interested in your offer. So, sales reps should make sure that leads don’t stay in the same status for a long time. Your queue should include only new leads for coordinated work. 

You can use this rule in your practice: you should convert leads in two weeks (or another period of time that meets the requirements of your company) or should mark them as not qualified and delete from your list.

#6. Care about your leads

In case a lead isn’t ready to be your customer, you can nurture it. Caring about your leads is not as simple as emailing with promotional offerings or regular calls. Your conversations should be informative and useful; you can send your customers tutorials, sets of tips, or researches that introduce your company as a reliable and responsible partner. Salesforce can offer you several tools that can help you to manage your nurturing tasks, for example, Salesforce Pardot drip. This instrument allows you to dynamically prepare content for each customer, taking into account their individual characteristics.

#7. Monitor the efficiency of lead management 

You should check the results of your marketing campaigns to upgrade some ideas or try something new. Salesforce has different tools that can track the results of your lead management. 

So, you can use Salesforce lead history reports to monitor various information, for example, the lead’s source, the opportunity size, your annual revenue, etc.

Monitoring dashboards let you see the number of leads, the number of converted leads, and the pipeline size.

Salesforce can give you different instruments to improve your lead management, automate your company’s processes, and enhance your results. But at first, you should figure out your strategy of lead management and decide what your workflows will look like.