Management is a set of methodologies, systems, and practices designed to generate new customer business potential, and is widely used through a variety of marketing campaigns or programs. Lead management facilitates business communication between its outgoing consumer advertising and the responses to that advertising. These processes are designed for business-to-business and direct-to-consumer strategies. Lead management is in many cases to precursor to sales management and customer relationship management . This critical connectivity facilitates business profitability through the acquisition of new customers, selling to existing customers, and creating a market brand. This process is referred to as customer acquisition management .
The general principles of lead management create an ordered structure for managing volumes of business inquiries, frequently termed leads. The process creates an architecture for the organization of data, distributed across the various stages of a sales process, and across a distributed sales force. With the advent of the Internet and other information systems technologies, this process has rapidly become technology-centric, as business practices lead management techniques have shifted much of the prior manual workload to automation systems .
Along with its other related business practices – marketing , brand development, advertising , and sales – the goal of an effective leadership initiative is to generate new business revenue, increase visibility, and improve the general attitudes of potential customers and the public at large. future business development.
While simple in scope, lead (or inquiry) flow process can become complex as customers, prospective customers, and sales professionals interact. Interactions and subsequent actions create a variety of potential outcomes, both productive and counter-productive to business development. This ever-increasing number of scenarios creates functional disconnects, in other words, critical opportunities to mishandle an inquiry that reduces or destroys its potential value. Appropriate management of these scenarios is the function of lead management and is the basis of software such as marketing automation.
Lead Management Architecture
Generating a lead, or lead generation can relate to myriad marketing technologies and methodologies. Regardless of how it is achieved, however, from an architectural perspective, lead generation is simply the ability to capture a customer’s interest, then contact them.
Lead acquisition and distribution
Lead acquisition is the first, and possibly the most important potential disconnect in the lead management process. With regard to revenue and expense,  in many cases, the information is not collected or distributed. The value of this process is tightly linked to a range of factors that make customers more aware of the importance of the product . Once acquired, the speed, accuracy, and relevance of a response can greatly influence a consumer’s decision to buy, or not buy, a product or service.
One relevant example of this process is the use of the Internet , online marketing , and Web analytics for high-level lead generation. A consumer Generally uses the Internet and Internet Makes inquiries for products and services out of a desire for convenience and efficiency of Their Time. Consequently, they expect a timely, relevant response to inquiries made. If the acquisition and distribution of data is collected during their inquiry is not effective, the consumer experience will be negative. No response, poor response, too-early or too late response equals negative impact on consumer attitudes and behavior.
For this particular medium, the lead acquisition architecture generally consists of a web form to collect data, a database to be maintained and the information for subsequent distribution, and a software application to distribute the data at appropriate levels.
The distribution architecture will vary depending on the objective of the lead generation. For example, XML, name-value-pairs , fax, email, and telephone are all examples of this method. In the case of a lead generated for an organization, it can easily be used as a web-based tool for a simple email or action from the Web form itself.
Marketing & Sales Process Operations
The information is collected and distributed, it is then transferred to a marketing and / or sales management department, which will continue to implement a management approach. Established lead management practices should provide the necessary connectivity and accountability between those two operational units, and when managed properly, enhance the effectiveness of both operations.
The architectural relationship is akin to the carousel in a short order diner. This carousel is the communication and accountability between the waiter and the cook. Without this simple coordination orders would be lost, prepared incorrectly, or prepared in the absence of expectations.
For management teams with a solid foundation in lead management principles, the process should create increased efficiency and accountability between marketing and sales. The term “closed loop” is used to define a “closed loop” of data, tracking the overall effectiveness of everything from lead generation, to prioritization, to distribution, to final disposition, and then back again to re-calibrate the process.
For marketing, this portion of the architecture primarily deals with the analytics of lead generation, distribution, and disposition. For sales, the architecture provides a fast, accurate method of distribution, in addition to improved management and accountability processes for sales activity.
The central hub of the lead management process The first architectures are in place is communication. Effective lead management requires intensive and accurate high-level communication, both internally within organizations, and externally to the lead inquiries.
Communications functions should include intelligent sourcing of inquiry information, and provide appropriate vehicles for contacting methods, such as phone, email, or other communication forms. In addition to overt communication methods, technologies also provide marketing systems the ability to do extensive lead nurturingactivities through automation systems, which often include opt-in email listings, automated telephone dialing systems, or hard copy mailing lists to increase visibility, touch on customer need, and increase brand visibility. In many cases, especially where there is a need for business continuity, it is crucial to maintain ongoing nurturing communications that lead to future sales practices.
The analytics architecture is the last, and the other architectures are in place, the most important part of an effective lead management system. This portion of the architecture allows for the dynamic review and analysis of lead actions, marketing channels , and sales performance . Software of this type is called marketing attribution .
For many organizations, being a pipeline marketing organization that optimizes for post lead metrics such as can be vital in making better production, return on investment , and the overall performance and cost benefits of their marketing and sales strategies .
Optimizing Lead Management
As larger vendors work with partner organisms Such As distributors (see Distribution (business) ), resellers , brokers and other channel partners, Those vendors Often distribute leads to respective Their Partner to Provide a local contact To Those prospects and aussi ‘feed’ partners with new business opportunities. Today there are two major methods for distributing sales leads to partners: Push or Pull.
Push The push method leads to specific partners. The challenge with ‘push’ is the fact that often the local field sales staff may not be able to engage with them.
Pull The pull method Was created to motivate sales staff to ‘pull’ leads from an online system available, thereby Assigning Them to a Particular person as They Are engaged. 
The lead acquisition functionality should allow for the simple and efficient acquisition of lead data in the lead management system. The acquisition functions must be able to support a variety of marketing channels and methods of capturing data. Some examples include:
- Electronic Data Transfer
This acquisition function can include the transfer of discrete lead data via technologies like name-value pairs, XML , RSS , HTTP POST , and FTP . These technologies can be used in conjunction with an organization’s own website or third party lead provider. Often lead providers will deliver leads via a standard email. These leads can be Electronically captured by parsing the email And Then Submitting the lead using one of the methods Described Above.
- Batch Imports
This method can be used by Microsoft Excel , CSV , or other formatted batch data. These technologies can be used to acquire leads from other systems, or from other sources.
- Quick Apply Web Forms
This acquisition can include Web landing pages or sales interfaces. This technology can be used to acquire discrete lead data via manual input into an application-type form.
Lead Filtering and Assessment
Every business today has to keep track of all the leads and sales leads that are generated. There are many sources from where different leads are generated. For various organizations it is very difficult to manage the search and tracking of those leads and most importantly to know the conversion from the source of various sales leads. A good inquiry management system saves a lot of time and efforts in a company. Most lead management systems will have some intelligent methodology for filtering and assessing lead data into useful categorizations. There are myriad ways to accomplish this process and some of them may be specific to industries. The following is a suggested list of possible functions:
- Data verification (ie, phone numbers, zip codes, address scrubbing)
- Device Intelligence (ie, device fingerprint , botnet proxy detection, true geo location, true ip detection)
- Lead nurturing
- Fraud screening
- Data appending (eg, third-party appending as credit, preferences, purchase history)
- Grading / Lead Scoring
- Lead Generation for the Complex Sale ( ISBN 0-07-145897-2 )
- Managing Sales Leads: How To Turn Every Prospect Into A Customer ( ISBN 978-0-8442-3599-8 )
- Managing Sales Leads: Turning Cold Prospects Into Hot Customers ( ISBN 0-324-20546-5 ) ( ISBN 978-0-324-20546-6 )
- Sales & Marketing 365 ( ISBN 0-9704515-5-5 )
- Shopper, Buyer, and Consumer Behavior ( ISBN 1-931442-08-8 )
- Sales Lead Management Association
- Jump up^ http://www.tns-mi.com/news/01082007.htm
- Jump up^ United States Patent: 7047206 – Automatic lead distribution and processing confirmation system and method , retrieved 2016-01-02