In many respects, qualified leads are the seeds of your business. Treat them with tender loving care, and they might just grow into your biggest customer. 

Unfortunately, leads can also wither and die without the right nourishment. Many businesses struggle with this problem; the most common cause is poor sales lead management.

If you would like to see more of your leads turn into valued customers, we have some valuable tips to share. 

Read on to discover how you can improve your lead management process in seven easy steps.

Why You’re Losing So Many Qualified Leads

In marketing and sales, we sometimes focus a bit too much on numbers. 

Of course, having an abundance of qualified leads is better than a drought. But when you work at scale, it’s easy to lose sight of the buyer’s journey. 

Every lead is an individual or company with a unique story. While they may have some characteristics that match your ideal customer profile, they will also have plenty that don’t. 

Trying to push leads through a “one size fits all” sales pipeline will make them feel undervalued. If your competitors offer a more personalized service, your leads might take their business elsewhere.

A Good Lead Management Process Can Fix the Problem

Of course, truly personalized selling takes time. A lot of time. But there are ways of adapting your standardized sales process to make your leads feel better about your offer.

Take email campaigns as an example. At some point, you have probably received a generic-looking pitch with your name pasted at the top. Did that make you feel like a valued potential customer? Probably not.

Now imagine that the company who sent the email had done a tiny amount of research. The same email template could have been customized to talk about your specific pain points. It could even mention shared professional history between you and the sales rep.

Suddenly, the whole thing feels much more human.

the power of personalization

The key to delivering this kind of sales experience is not extra legwork. It’s all about having an effective lead management process that allows your sales team to build human connections — the foundation for closing any deal.

How to Manage Sales Leads in 7 Steps

You may be wondering what this magical lead management process looks like. Well, we have answers. Here is your blueprint for turning more qualified leads into valued customers.

1) Understand and Track Your Leads

Selling to a complete stranger is never easy. So, the first step in effective lead management is getting to know your customers

To do this, you will need to gather data from a few sources and analyze the journey of your existing customers. The idea is to build a complete profile of what your ideal customer looks like. 

Some of the most important points include:

  • Demographics – Who is the person that is most likely to make a purchase with you? Where do they live, what budget do they have to spend, and what company do they work for?
  • Interactions – How did your existing customers find your product or service? How did they interact with your brand before making a purchase? What types of content and CTA did they respond well to?
  • Challenges – What are the most common pain points and challenges for your customers? 

If you can answer these questions, you should be able to target and nurture the most likely future customers coming out of your lead generation efforts.

2) Use a Lead Scoring System to Prioritize 

Even if your marketing team has done a great job with lead generation, some leads will always be more promising than others. 

By introducing a standardized lead scoring system, you can reduce the amount of time wasted on lower-quality leads and focus on the best sales opportunities. 

To create such a system, you need to reference those ideal buyer personas. 

Which characteristics provided the strongest hint of a hot lead? 

Any new lead who matches these criteria should be awarded big points. You can then give smaller awards for other positive signs in the data, from company size to the open-rate of emails.

lead scoring

In addition to monitoring your sales process, leads that score highly can be automatically prioritized in your sales pipeline. This alone should see your conversion rate improve — and the entire process can be automated with the right tools.

3) Gather Lead Intelligence

As mentioned earlier, a little research can do wonders for your outreach. To make the most of those high-quality leads, it’s a good idea to gather some intelligence.

Just as you previously studied your existing customers, lead intelligence is all about analyzing your potential future customers. The two processes are very similar, but they have two different purposes. 

While your existing customers should largely inform your buyer personas, lead intelligence helps you pitch to individual leads. The idea is to find any nugget of information that could break the ice or help your sales reps with delivering the right offer.

Examples of lead intelligence include:

  • Contact information
  • Company size
  • Job title
  • Industry
  • Interests
  • Alma mater
  • Professional history 
  • Connections
  • Social media activity

Using a tool like Datanyze, it’s possible to uncover some of this information with very little effort, and it can provide a significant boost for your sales drive. 

If you want to learn more about this topic, check out our in-depth lead intelligence guide.

4) Invest in Lead Nurturing

However much you target your efforts and utilize lead intelligence, one great pitch is rarely enough to make a sale. To close deals, you really need to nurture your best leads.

You see, there is a distinction between marketing-qualified leads (MQL) and sales-qualified leads (SQL). Someone might be ready to have a conversation, but not quite ready to make a purchase. It’s the job of your sales team to bridge that gap.

In a practical sense, this means touching base with your leads on a regular basis. You need to deliver relevant content, build a connection, and answer any questions your leads might have. 

the stages of lead nurturing

If a lead misses an email or call, make sure to follow up. People are busy, and spending money is not always their top priority. It’s a good idea to build this task into your workflow.

The nurturing process is one of the most important steps in lead management, so give it plenty of thought.

5) Develop a Customer Relationship Management Process

In the first four steps of lead management, we have already been through several separate processes. To keep all of that organized and accessible, you really need to have a strong customer relationship management system.

Picking the right CRM software can definitely help. You should choose something that can handle all the data you want to collect. Your CRM system should act as a central database and task management hub for your salespeople. 

If you can find something that integrates with your other tools — even better. The more you can automate, the less time your reps will have to spend on needless admin.

6) Embrace Automation

Speaking of automation — there are many other ways to give your salespeople more time.

Tools like Zapier allow you to connect various apps and push data between them, even when there is no official integration. A good CRM can automate lead-to-account matching, and lead enrichment apps can fill the gaps in your lead intelligence with zero human input.

Of course, you can also automate email marketing campaigns, use chatbots in the nurturing process, and handle lead distribution using preset rules. 

Put together, such automations allow you to deliver a much more comprehensive sales service without expanding your team.                                          

7) Measure Your Progress

In theory, implementing all the steps above should have you hitting record sales numbers. But the only way to know whether the changes are working is by tracking the entire sales cycle.

From tracking leads to measuring the average time of conversion, data is your friend when it comes to honing your lead management system.

Some CRM software can help with this. However, you might need to use specialized tools like Chorus in order to access the most valuable insights.

Bonus: Preload Your Database With the Right Prospects

Although prospects lie outside the realm of lead management, some of them will ultimately become your qualified leads. If you want to waste less time at the sales stage, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re targeting the right prospects in the first place

The best way to achieve this is by gathering information at the prospecting stage. 

If you use Datanyze, sales reps can collect company and contact information from any possible lead they encounter on LinkedIn. This data is saved automatically and made available to everyone else in the sales team. 


This really pays dividends later down the line, when your salespeople won’t have to start their research from scratch.

How to Upgrade Your Sales Lead Management Workflow

As we have seen, modern sales lead management revolves around information and human connections. 

Data is an essential part of the process, informing everything from the scoring of your leads to the pricing of your products. In fact, your whole sales funnel should be shaped by numbers.

However, human connections are just as important. No-one ever bought from a calculator, after all.

If you want to upgrade your lead management workflow, you need to prioritize both of these key ingredients. Good lead management software makes this easy.

Datanyze: Collect Data for Better Lead Management 

With a focus on lead intelligence, Datanyze is a tool that can supercharge any lead management workflow.

Instead of Googling leads individually like the bad old days, you can use our Chrome extension to unlock vital details in seconds. That includes direct dial phone numbers, accurate email addresses, social media links, company information, and much more. 

It works on any LinkedIn profile or company page, and all the data is sourced in accordance with CCPA and GDPR rules.

Want to give it a try? Sign up today to take Datanyze on a 90-day free trial.