CRM Best Practices

Effective Prospecting Through Automation

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Effective Prospecting with CRM lead management

Lead management tools in CRM, capture prospects, prioritizes and communicates automatically. Enterprise CRM applications automate these processes and quickly turn prospects into customers. This article will define and give examples of each step of the lead management process.

Capturing Leads in your CRM

There are many ways to get your leads into your CRM application. If your sales rep gets a lead as a referral, they will typically enter the information manually. But if your team goes to a tradeshow and returns with a large list of leads, you will import them directly into your CRM. Or another option is to upload directly from an outside system like your website.

Regardless of how your potential customers get into your system, it needs to be easy and thorough. This includes capturing the details, putting them in the right place so the next step of the process is in place.

Lead Scoring with Categorizing & Prioritization

Lead Scoring with Categorizing & Prioritization

After your sales leads are entered in your CRM system, you will have some basic information about them. This data is helpful, but doesn’t help you determine their intent to buy your products or services. Your sales teams won’t know which leads to focus on. They may waste a lot of time on cold calls with no results and will give up on the entire sales process. This results in loss of potential revenue and a waste of funds spent on the marketing event that generated the leads.

CRM solutions can provide lead categorization and prioritization automatically through “Lead Scoring”. Scoring prospects is a great way to gauge the interest of a prospect without any manual intervention. Scores are based on a point system that looks at many different conditions. These factors and points should be flexible so you can determine the right equation that results in the hottest leads.

Examples of Lead Scoring Factors
1. How contacts respond to email messages you’ve sent them – if they open the email or if they open and click a link
2) If they fill out a form on your company website (web lead)
3) They have the demographics that match your company’s business model

Once your conditions are set you need to assign scores and determine the type of lead (Cold, Warm or Hot) based on the final score. Scores are automatically generated and assigned to each potential customer. And then they are assigned to the appropriate salesperson when the lead is ready to buy. This process ensures that sales reps spends their time following up on the best leads first.

Lead Nurturing

After the leads are in your CRM and entered into the lead scoring process, you will begin your marketing efforts. Email marketing sends personalized information based on the interest of your lead. Their response to these emails can assign points in the lead scoring process (as mentioned earlier). It can also trigger different next steps (drip campaigns). This process can continue until a prospect meets the desired score determining a ‘hot lead.’

Some leads may take more time to qualify or the sales rep may determine they are not ready to buy. These future customers will remain in the nurturing process. The could involve more emails, phone calls or even personal visits. These activities are monitored and viewed in reports and marketing dashboards. You can quickly determine if any steps in your sales cycle need adjusting.

Lead Tracking

Throughout the CRM lead management process, you can make daily and strategic decisions. You can view sales forecasts as well as marketing campaign performance and ROI. Having these statistics provide a quick snapshot of your business allowing critical decisions.

The challenges of a competitive and dynamic marketplace make marketing a crucial component. Businesses with CRM marketing strategies have the tools to streamline their marketing processes. The result is a well-tuned machine capable of spending money in a targeted and effective manner.


CRM provides concrete, real-time data that shows where your marketing dollars are working. As a result, your business will save money by spending it where it has the most impact and NOT on wasted efforts.

Many CRM software platforms do not have an integrated marketing automation component. This is an unfortunate oversight because marketing is the lifeblood of every business. Improving marketing effectiveness gives your business a strategic advantage that goes directly to your bottom line.

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