Definition: Lead Response Management is the discipline of responding to inquiries for information in timely, continual, and consistent fashion to optimize the contact and qualification rates of leads.
Lead Response Management is one of several critical subcategories that make up Lead Management.
Lead Management is the overall discipline that organizations and individuals use to contact and qualify leads that are generated by marketing efforts.
Lead Management has typically been under the responsibility of the sales department, but more and more marketing organizations are taking over the functions of capturing, routing, responding, qualifying, tracking, and reporting on leads in an effort to ensure proper return on investment on their efforts that have gone into generating the lead in the first place.
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Here is an overview of the typical flow of the lead to sales process with the all-important tracking of costs:
Lead Capture: This is the point which moves a lead from the Lead Generation process into the Lead Conversion process. It is done by a web-form on the internet, or an inbound contact from most of the other lead generation media, or an outbound call from a cold-calling process.
Lead Routing: This is the process of deciding which sales representative should be assigned to work with the Lead.
Auto Responders: Technology (usually email) that respond automatically to information inquiries.
Lead Response: Lead Response Management is the discipline of responding to inquiries for information in timely, continual, and consistent fashion to optimize the contact and qualification rates of leads.
Lead Qualification: The process of contacting and determining whether a lead should move into the sales process. Begins with setting and holding a first appointment and questioning for need. At this point a Lead usually becomes a Prospect.
Response Loop Reporting: The process of generating leads through different marketing campaigns and gathering and measuring the responses generated by these marketing efforts.
Lead Source Tracking: The process of tracking the originating source or cause of information inquiries that turn to leads.
Qualification Analytics: The ordering of response measurements, lead source tracking, with the ratio of leads that turn to prospects. The logical extension of this is to measure an ROI or Return on Investment back to the specific source or method of generating leads to improve effectiveness and efficiency in the lead generation process. This is specifically the number of leads that turn to a first appointment or a sales opportunity.