The complete guide to lead management


You’ve done the hard work. You’ve researched your target market, personalized your prospecting and secured the leads. Hopefully you followed our tips to help you get there (you’re welcome 😇). 

You may be thinking: oh well, I’ve got the client now. Surely I don’t need to do anything else? The deal’s gone through… and that’s the most important thing, right?


Let’s put it another way. You’ve just met the person of your dreams. But once you’ve woo’d this dream boat into dating you and making things official, the hard work doesn’t stop there, does it?

You don’t stop going on date nights, showing your appreciation and start ignoring their text messages, do you? No. So why are you going to go cold turkey on your leads? That’s right, you’re not. You’re going to manage them. And here’s how.

What is lead management?

Lead management, put simply, is the process of acquiring and taking care of or, managing, your clients from prospecting right through to purchase. The primary objective of lead management is to provide the lead with adequate information right the way through that all-important sales funnel so that their experience is informed and smooth – persuading them to come back time and time again. 

Why is lead management important?

Lead management is important for several reasons:

  1. Maximizing ROI: Lead management you make sure you are getting the most out of your marketing and advertising campaigns. By tracking and analyzing leads, you can identify which campaigns are generating the most qualified leads and adjust your marketing strategies accordingly.
  1. Improving sales conversions: It helps you to prioritize leads based on their level of interest and readiness to buy. By focusing on the most qualified leads first, you can improve your sales conversions and close more deals.
  1. Enhancing customer experience: Lead management helps you to provide a better customer experience by ensuring that leads are promptly followed up and given the information and support they need to make informed purchasing decisions.
  1. Streamlining communication: It allows you to keep track of all interactions with leads, making it easier to manage communication and avoid duplicating efforts or missing opportunities.
  1. Increasing customer retention: Lead management also helps you to nurture leads who are not yet ready to buy, allowing them to stay engaged with the brand and eventually convert into paying customers.

Stages of Lead Management 

This may seem daunting at first, because honestly, there are quite a few elements to nailing lead management. So, we’re going to break this down for you into easy, measurable and manageable steps. 

Lead Capturing

Lead capturing is all about the lead generation stage. One of the main things you should be doing in this process is tracking all the details about your prospects and how you are engaging with them to enable you to make informed, personalized decisions based on their brand and company. 

One great thing about Outbase is that this is all made super simple, with your B2B conversations captured and tracked by our software. Just like that. 

Lead Enrichment

Once you’ve captured the lead, your next job is to expand on all the information you can get your hands on with regard to this lead. Through this capturing process, you’ll have the basic information on each of your prospects to hand. Again, Outbase makes this really easy with management through the storage of prospect details directly from your database.

Next, it’s time to enrich your knowledge. Using all means necessary. Here, the internet is your best friend, you need to become an expert on your client. 

  • What is their target market? 
  • What is their USP? 
  • Do they offer or sell services regionally, nationally or internationally? 

These are just some of the questions you can ask yourself to get the ball rolling with this research.

This process is extremely important and shouldn’t be skipped, inside knowledge of your client is your secret weapon and means you can personalize all communications, produce new ideas and products before they enquire, and stay one step ahead of the game. You can also use this information to guide your decisions, logistics and operations business-wide. It’s a no-brainer really. 

Lead Categorization and Lead Scoring 

Whilst lead categorization and lead scoring could be split into two sections, I think they go hand in hand. 

Lead scoring is the process of assigning numerical values to certain features of a lead, such as their age, location, business type and USP, to name a few. This is usually done on a scale of 0-100, such as assigning 10 points to a business for a certain location that provides greater opportunity, rather than 5 to one that does not, and so on. Using a metric system such as this makes it very easy to spot patterns and measure progress.

Lead categorization is a very similar concept, which also allows you to spot patterns. Using these categorization systems during lead management is the next step following your research, and it means you can allocate time and resources to the most promising leads. 

Analyzing this data ensures that you are working off of theory and strategy as opposed to trial and error, which ultimately means you will waste less time and hopefull see more results!

Lead categorization could look like this:

  • Hot or cold? 
  • Small business or large business?
  • High quality or low quality lead?
  • What is the likelihood of them making a purchase? Small, medium or large?

Yes, it really can be that simple. The main aim of this practice, basically, is scoring your leads to ensure you avoid wasting time on low-quality, ill-fitting leads for your business This is a hugely important step that you shouldn’t skip out on, as through these systems and techniques, you can clearly see which leads generate most business, making it easy to identify where to prioritise your attention.

Lead Distribution 

Now you’ve done all the hard work, it’s time to assign these leads to your best-suited sales representatives. This is key: you need to play to your team’s strengths. Do you struggle with assigning tasks and leads to your teams? Maybe we can help…

Lead distribution can be decided on factors such as:

  • Experience: what length of experience does this representative have? What kind of clients have they worked with in the past? Where do their best results lie, and can these be replicated?
  • Who has the most relevant experience to successfully manage this lead?
  • What kind of networks do my sales representatives have? Who do they already know that can bring in business? Do they have anything in common with these leads to start building an established, professional relationship?
  • What are their schedules like? Who has the most time right now to dedicate to this promising client?

Lead Nurturing 

Finally… the last step! You’ve gathered your leads, decided which one’s are going to be your top priority, and you’ve assigned the best-fitting sales reps to them. Now it’s all about maintenance. 

If you lose momentum now, you’ll probably lose those quality leads too. You’ve got to make sure you develop and reinforce these all-important relationships along every stage of the sales funnel. Here’s some quick tips on how to do it:

  1. Personalize: communications should be tailored to them, making sure they feel like it’s a genuine relationship and you have their best interests at heart. 
  2. Don’t spam: refrain from emailing them every single day, of course you want to stay fresh in their minds, but don’t drive them away with spam.
  3. Begin ASAP: just because you’ve put in some hard work and got your leads doesn’t mean it’s time to sit back and relax. Jump on it quick, start building relationships as soon as you can.
  4. Tailored content: produce quality content that’s relevant to your lead’s pain points.
  5. Don’t just rely on email: opt for different methods of communication now and then. Phone calls are much more personal and that’s crucial if you want to build long-lasting relationships. 

Not to mention, according to a report conducted by Demand Generation, nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales vs. non-nurtured leads. 

Best Practices of lead management

After running through all the steps you need to take for a successful lead management strategy, finally, we wanted to leave you with some tips for best practice. 

Firstly, ensure your sales and marketing teams are in alignment. They need to be in unison, after all, they’re all working towards the same goal. Better communication between these teams including your techniques, short and long-term goals and your progress will ensure operations and logistics run smoothly too, and trust us – you’ll see a positive influence on your results almost immediately. 

Perhaps hold weekly feedback meetings to discuss what is going well and what isn’t, and where people feel you could improve. Better communication = better efficiency. 

Secondly, ensure to monitor and optimize your sales pipeline. This kind of goes without saying after reading an entire blog post regarding lead management techniques, but ensure everything is kept up to date, work out what is working and what isn’t on a regular basis and listen to these patterns. Don’t waste time on cold leads and shift your focus where it needs to go – sales is fast-paced so don’t forget that.

Thirdly, ensure you are aware of the signs needed to identify when leads are sales-ready. Granted, this can be a tricky business, but this is when lead scoring and nurturing comes in really useful. Ensure to keep an eye on your leads behaviour – both in their direct communication with you and their online presence. Always be one step ahead of the game!

Last, but by no means least, monitor your results. Outbase reveals every detail of your campaigns so you can track what’s working and what isn’t, coming back to those all-important patterns. Lead management is made easy with Outbase. 

Find out more and try it for free today. 

Written by:
Lily Ruaah Content Writer