Lead management refers to the management of commercial contacts. It is a problem mainly known by marketing teams in B2B or in the industry. With the multiplication of contacts thanks to the internet and the possibility to approach customers differently – a bit like in B2C – lead management is sometimes associated with lead relationship management.
Lead management is generally situated between prospecting and the signing of the sales contract. The main steps of this process are
- lead generation
- lead scoring
- lead prioritization
- lead nurturing
- lead attribution
The notion of lead marketing is more commonly used in B2B and also calls for the notion of lead management. The notion of lead marketing or lead is an anglicism used to characterize a commercial contact, i.e. a contact with a potential customer/prospect. It can be a direct contact with a sales person – on a trade show for example – or a contact via other media – for example a visit to a website…).
The term lead marketing is mainly used in B2B marketing, but also exists in B2C when the purchase cycle is long and requires lead management.
Lead nurturing can be simplified as lead nurturing. This process consists of maintaining and strengthening a marketing relationship with prospects. Lead nurturing is applied when you have a base of prospects that are not yet hot enough, mature enough to start the sales process. Another case is when the sales action has failed because it was too early and the prospect must be “warmed up” in order to launch a similar action later on.
Mainly practiced in the B2B field, lead nurturing focuses on prospects before they are integrated into a long buying process or when they have distant projects. Lead nurturing has undergone a radical transformation with the Internet, the use of newsletters and white papers. It is also known as lead management.