How To Organize Sales Leads In 2021: Using the Right Tools to Fill Your Funnel

Tools To Fill Your Funnel

In the pre-digital era, a salesperson had to be communicative, smart, charismatic, persuasive, persistent, consistent, and knowledgeable. 

A salesperson in 2021 has to be all of the above, in addition to being fluent in technology.

If you are wondering how to organize sales leads in the era of digital transformation to turn technology into your company’s competitive edge, stick around for practicable insights from the CRM that helps 140 thousand professionals to turn leads into prospects with ease and efficiency.

Nimble knows exactly the pains of the lead generation and management processes based on the experience of hundreds of thousands of our clients.

We strive to provide an intelligent intuitive tool that facilitates the process of moving a lead along the conversion funnel, as opposed to being yet another system to do more manual work.

Read on to learn more insightful practices from the fields!

What is a sales lead? Get your team on the same page

Sales talent is the core component in the company’s structure with a high level of revenue impact. While sales skills can be trained and polished, sales talent is what most companies hunt for when recruiting for sales agents.  

Under these circumstances, formal education is not guaranteed and agents need to be trained and aligned along with the values and vision of the brand. This is also a good time to get the entire sales crew, marketing team, and digital department on the same page as to how your company defines and processes leads.

A sales lead is a person who has shown interest in your product or some marketing materials [e.g. lead magnet] and voluntarily provided your company with personal data. A sales lead is the very first stage of the conversion funnel that suggests a general interest in the product or company with little data available on the client. Such a person is usually exposed to more marketing massaging before turning a prospect.

the stages of a sales funnel


Digital and offline methods to get a lead

In the pre-internet era, a lead was a person who approached your stand on a trade show and left their business card or made an appointment right there, or a person who saw an ad in a newspaper and dialed your phone number with a question. 

In the digital era, most of the leads are digital; that is, they will get the first exposure to your brand via social media (SMM), Google ads (SEM), or Google search (SEO), YouTube marketing, and more. 

While still existing in 2021, offline advertising is shrinking by the day. 

Affiliate marketing is another way of getting leads that is popular; it’s similar to organic search or influencer marketing in terms of execution but is based on other people doing all the work for you by promoting your product on their blog or social media in exchange for a commission for potential sales. 

The equivalent of affiliate marketing in the pre-digital era would be a referral of a business to a client based on verbal agreements of post-deal payout.

When the lead is obtained by digital means, there are multiple trackers, cookies, and pixels that pass the user’s digital identification to the business. This allows the marketing department to work with such people by retargeting them. But it’s only when people leave their explicit personal data when they become leads and are passed from marketing to sales teams.

This can happen in exchange for some form of a lead magnet – like a free webinar, a checklist, or access to gated content. Alternatively, there can be a quiz of sorts or a straight-out form with contact details to fill out on your site as a lead generation technique.

Benefits of tracking your leads

So why would you want to track your leads? Keep them nicely recorded in some excel file or a customer relationship management system?

tracking your sales leads

These are key factors why businesses have some sort of sales lead organizer in place:

Never lose another lead

The bigger your company gets the more data you will have to manage at every stage of the marketing funnel. So the question of how to organize leads, prospects, and customers is going to get bigger and bigger. 

Before cloud technology was a thing, CRM systems were pricey and mostly needed to be deployed on the premise with the company having to buy servers and maintain the software. This is why many smaller companies resorted to using excel sheets for sales lead management purposes.

With SaaS technology, a user pays $20-$50 per month to get access to the best-in-league CRM tool, like Nimble. Such a robust client management system will enable all contacts to be captured, maintained, and classified in the best manner.

Convert more leads into prospects

Conversion is such a critical step in the marketing funnel, as it is located at its most critical part; the more leads who get converted here, the more will drip down to the other stages of the funnel.

CRM features like contact management, task management, deal and pipeline management, as well as calendar features allow teams to schedule meetings and activities, makes converting a lead a highly likely, controlled, and well-orchestrated scenario.

how crm helps convert sales leads to customers


Spot the weakest stage of the funnel

When you have your leads in one list with all the filters and reporting, it’s easy to find the peaks and lows in patterns like seasonal or agent performance.

Once you analyze such bottlenecks, you can deduce the steps to improve your conversion funnel.

Identify top performers and best practices

When analyzing the trends and lead conversion process, you will have spotted your stars on a sales team.

We find that the savviest of our clients pay attention to the top performers, scrutinize it for success factors, and then try to replicate it in the form of the company-wide best practice.

Forecast sales and marketing activities

Forecasting allows us to foresee and prepare for the coming seasons by analyzing the past trends. This is when a system of well-organized lead management helps a lot. 

The director of sales and marketing can easily estimate future performance by analyzing past trends.

5 best practices on how to organize sales leads

Get yourself a customer relationship management tool

It’s 2021, people — let’s not kid around with Excel sheets anymore, please. Even a solopreneur can afford a $19 per month bill to get a system in place.

A CRM is the one tool that is essential for business growth, specifically if it’s equipped with sales intelligence capabilities and a social media insights module.

Integrate it with every element of your tech stack

The best CRM tools out there will have an easy way to connect to other fundamental business tools, like calendars, emails, Google analytics, Facebook business manager, etc.

Nimble, for example, has several ways to integrate data with 2-way sync capabilities: through third-party apps like PieSync or via API.

nimble integration with piesync

Tag for best segmentation

Nimble contact manager has about 40 fields to fill for each customer. Yet, a business may feel like adding a custom tag to best filter and target clients.

For example, you can add a tag to people who refer business to your company or have an affiliate tag going on to quickly reach out to the specific group on your database.

Enrich customer profiles with sales intelligence tool like Nimble Prospector

The better you know your leads, the more chances you get to convert them into prospects.

Nimble Prospector is one of the leading sales intelligence extensions allowing to enrich client profiles for a more granular vision.

Score leads for potential

If your CRM allows lead scoring, ensure your marketing and sales team assigns those markers, so you can spend the most time on the leads with the highest potential to convert and bring the biggest check.

Keep an eye on the pipeline

The pipeline will give an early indication of things going wrong, so keep an eye on your pipeline to be in a position to take corrective measures when needed.

nimble sales pipeline feature

Review analytics regularly

Analytics provide a plethora of answers for those actively searching for them. Nimble has compiled a set of reports that offer insights in neat visual graphs and charts that are easy to interpret for a rookie.

How to organize sales leads in Excel

We don’t mean to sound discriminative of those who prefer to keep their contact management in Excel, so we picked two of the best YouTube videos and downloadable sales lead tracking tools for you:

Nimble: user-friendly cheap way to get your sales lead tracking organized

Nimble offers every major function needed for your impeccable lead management at just $19 per user per month is you pay annually:

  •     Contact management
  •     Email marketing
  •     Social integration and insights
  •     Calendar and scheduling
  •     Task, deal, and pipeline management
  •     Sales intelligence tool
  •     Easy integration with 2000+ apps via Zapier & PieSync
  •     Microsoft 365 partner status

Are you ready to take your lead generation and conversion to a qualitatively new level yet at a cost of a few lattes a month? Try Nimble for free today and get those clients in your funnel!