Acquiring customers starts with lead generation. The more leads you have in your pipeline, the more customers you’re likely to land. Managing leads becomes easier when you have the right software to assist you. But which one is right for your business – customer relationship management (CRM) or lead management software? And what’s the difference?
Software solutions for CRM and lead management are sometimes seen as the same or similar. That’s because both can be used to manage leads. There are, however, some notable differences between the two. Let’s look at where they differ.
Lead management software is primarily the tool of sales teams, and focuses on capturing, storing, and tracking leads. Once a lead becomes a customer, the function of lead management software essentially ends.
CRM is a broader system used by both sales and marketing people to manage the customer’s journey from lead generation through to customer retention.
A lead management system helps you acquire customers. A CRM system, however, helps you increase your customers’ lifetime value. The two systems can complement each other. Let’s say you use both a lead management system and CRM system: The leads that turn into customers can be moved over to your CRM system.
Both are designed to support sales and marketing teams. As such, they both simplify processes with dashboards that provide a 360-degree view of a prospect profile so agents can quickly see where leads are in the sales pipeline.
Both systems are designed for easy access to information and optimized communication between agents. Features include omnichannel support, call and appointment scheduling, notifications that alert agents to follow up on outstanding action, and reporting and analytics capabilities.
The one you choose depends on the size of your business, your goals, and the structure of your sales and marketing teams.
If you want to cut the clutter and keep your sales team focused, lead management software is more action oriented, pushing salespeople to take the next step.
CRM systems are ideal for businesses that want the convenience of an all-in-one customer relationship management system. CRM systems are also the best option if you want to integrate with other business systems such as accounting and inventory systems.
For small businesses, a lead management system may be a good starting point. As your business grows, you can consider investing in a more robust CRM system if necessary.
If you decide to have both, make sure your lead generation software can integrate with your CRM system for easy transfer of data so your marketing team can seamlessly take over the management of new customers.
When choosing a sales software solution, remember: Not all lead management and CRM software systems are created equal. To find the right one to fit the needs of your business, do some research and take advantage of trial periods to test the product.
October 12 at 1:00 p.m. ET
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