Definition of Lead
A lead in the sales cycle is an unqualified opportunity, or an idea that there may be an opportunity but further research is required to find out or to qualify that lead. A lead is composed generally of a company or contact and idea of a need that can be met by the company who sees it as a potential opportunity to fill that need.
If you open a list of leads in most CRM systems, it gives you a list of people and their contact information. Leads in many CRM systems in fact really are a lists of people, names and numbers and notes about them. Perhaps it may also include a way to prioritize them and reminders to call them back, or even a campaign managment tool to contact them automatically via e-mail, phone or fax. By and large notes on a desk, e-mail, spreadsheets and an exhausted memory are what most small businesses use for lead management.
In PrimeAgile CRM, a Lead is not an individual person or a contact, it is more of an implied opportunity. It may contain one or more persons or a company. It may also include the qualifying requirements to convert that lead or to know for sure that a lead is an opportunity.
An example lead may be "contact Fed Ex about our faster breed delivery pidgeon". In this case we don't know who to contact, it is only an idea that this company may have some use of this product. Over time as the lead is worked, people, proposals, contracts and full company information can be added to that lead as it hopefully evolves into a profitable customer.
Another example lead might be "Gentle Dental needs a website".
A Lead is not a list - it is a tree, because good prospectors can navigate throug a lead to another lead.
A few clarifications on leads
- Leads are ideas, or porposes - ie to close sale.
- They are supported with todo items, they are not to do items.
- A lead without a todo item at some point in the future should be closed because there is nothing left to do with it.
- The todo list for a lead could be a template which can be duplicated for each lead, similar to duplicating a task list for a project.
Lead Data Elements
Leads can have any number of data elements. Leads can be customized to add any data elements. The following are common elements available for all leads.
The lead title is a required filled. It is the name of the idea "Gentle Dental - Website Proposal". Lead titles are plain text, untranslated in the lead root object.
The lead source is filled in automatically when data is imported from another list. The lead source is also automatically added if the lead came from an online form or other campaign. If the lead is entered manually then the lead source can be manuall added. Lead Sources are a subset of translateable text phrases available for each individual client. Lead sources can be added similar to how key phrases work.
The description field is a place to put more details about the lead.
The assigned to field has a list of all representatives within the company who are have a role wich contains the group lead-user.
A lead may optionally be assoicated with one company or entity. If there is more than one company then a separate lead should be created.
More than lead can be created for the same company.
A lead may be associated with any number of persons. The person and their relationship or role in the lead can be created - ie influencer, decision maker, gatekeeper, etc.
The resolutions for a lead are controlled by the lead_resolutions component list which may be modified. A Lead may be Open, Qualified, Closed, Won by default.
In any sales process to convert a lead to an opportunity requires qualifying that lead. It is especially important that new sales persons know how to qualify a lead. The qualifiers may be different for different product types and the potential customer may not even recognize their need. Helping the potential cusotmer recognize the need may be part of the qualifying process. Feedback from the potential customer may also help the sales person or marketing team better recognize and qualify future leads more quickly and guide the selection of future leads.
Sometimes the qualifying questions can be written down and diologed for the sales person to help them qualify a customer. This can help improve the success of the sales person not only in turning leads into opportunities, but also turning those opportunities into sales.
Lead qualifiers can be attached to the lead by associating them with a product. This is an add on and is not in the default imlementation.
Assigning of a Lead
By default leads are assigned to the person who created them. They can however be assigned to another person or to a group. Any users who have a role which has permission to view leads ie serviced lead service action select_lead for their logged in client can be assigned leads.
Closing a Lead
A lead can be closed automatically by the workflow associated with a lead, it may be automatically closed when the lead becomes a sale and is then managed as a customer rather than a lead, or it may be closed manually when the lead is not longer seen as an opportunity.
Deleting a Lead
Lead information is of historic importants. It can be used for reports, to compensate employees, to do employee evaluations and to filter though leads. At this time leads are not deleted but made in active. Inactive leads will be archiveable in a future release.