Leads are essential for any business. The first stage of the sales cycle is the generation of leads. When a business has few leads, they can be managed by noting them on pen and paper and using excel sheets. But once the number of leads increases and each lead is on a different stage of the cycle, managing leads becomes difficult.
Salesforce, a CRM tool, assists businesses in lead management. You can create new leads, edit lead data and even automate the entire process easily in Salesforce.
Lead is any person or business interested in your product or service. Once a lead is generated, you can capture its data in your Salesforce CRM.
Stages of Lead life cycle in a business
The first stage is lead generation. A business can generate leads in many ways. Those ways can be recorded in Salesforce as campaigns. Multiple leads can be generated from one campaign. Also, one lead can be a part of multiple campaigns.
Once a lead is generated, it must be tagged to the campaign through which it was generated. This helps businesses in understanding which campaign is working and not working campaigns can be improved to generate leads.
A sales executive can tag a lead with a campaign in two ways.
From the lead page
Select the lead by checking on the box near the lead name and click add to the campaign.
From the campaign page
On the campaign page, go to related lists. Click on campaign members. Then Click on Add leads button. All leads from a particular campaign appear as campaign members.
The next stage is conversation with the lead. The sales executive contacts the lead for information exchange. He understands the requirements of the lead and tries to convert the lead by positioning the product as a problem solver to the lead. The sales executive can capture the conversation with the lead using the activity tab.
But, there is also an internal conversation between various sales executives. Salesforce allows this internal conversation with its chatter feature. Using the chatter feature, a sales executive can converse with other executives or managers within his company. The chatter feature consists of Post, Poll and Question.
A sales executive can use any of these features and tag another member of the organization. The tagged person receives notification and can reply to the chatter thread.
Note– Chatter allows you to tag only the internal members of the organization who have login access to the Salesforce CRM.
Conversion is the last stage of the lead life cycle. Sales executives work to convert the lead, but not all leads convert to customers.
If the lead is not converted, it is closed and marked not converted.
If the lead is converted to a customer, in salesforce the lead object is converted to account, contact and opportunity objects. Once a lead is converted, the lead life cycle completes, and an account, contact and opportunity lifecycle starts.
The lead information is then hidden in a lead object because the lead is no more a lead. He is a customer. The entire lead information gets divided into three parts- account, contact and opportunity.
Hope this article/video gave you an overview of the lead life cycle and lead conversion. In the next article/video, we will discuss account, contact and opportunity objects in salesforce.