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CRM vs Lead Management Software: Which One Should I Choose?

CRM vs lead management software isn't quite Batman v Superman levels, but it's close. Which one should you choose to support your sales team?

CRM vs Lead Management Software: Which One Should I Choose?

If you're wondering why it's CRM v lead management software when they're both essentially the same thing, this article is definitely for you. CRM software and lead management software are two different animals. Yet, they're frequently mentioned interchangeably to describe software capable of managing leads and customers.

One of the reasons for this is because many of the features seem similar in terms of what they do. But take a closer look and you’ll see what separates them and why their differences should matter to your business and sales activities.

Lead Management Software

Lead management software is a system for storing your leads in one place, no matter where they came from. It allows you to track leads in the sales tracker so that none go missing and all the information about every interaction at each touch-point is stored right from capture to conversion.

CRM Software

A CRM is an all-in-one system capable of doing the same things as lead management software, and more. While that might seem beneficial, more often than not it causes confusion. Essentially, it depends on what your business needs from sales software, but companies focused solely on converting leads often run into trouble with CRM software.

Here, we pit CRM software and lead management software up against each other to see the benefits, drawbacks and who needs what.

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How can they benefit your sales process and business goals?

Lead management software, as the name suggests, comes at the beginning of your sales process. Leads are captured, assessed and qualified before being distributed to the correct sales rep who helps the lead progress and evolve it to maximize their chances of converting into sales.

One might argue that CRM software could do the same, but no. CRM Software is the next step to this and comes at the end of the sales process. As the name suggests, customer relationship management helps with guiding and encouraging customers so that they don’t choose your competitor over you. It also pushes them to make repeated purchases and return to your business and increase customer life-time-value.

It's clear that lead management software specializes in prioritizing leads and turning them into customers. Therefore it would be more useful to salespeople for managing their sales process.

What are the main differences between the two?

Lead Management Software can:

  • Capture and manage leads from various sources
  • Assign a value to leads
  • Filter leads and passes them to the right sales reps
  • Track lead progress
  • Prioritise leads
  • Apply automated workflows to nurture leads through the sales process
  • Allow agents to contact the lead at the click of a button

CRM Software can:

  • Offer a typical company/employee type hierarchy
  • Focus on long-term sales
  • Be used beyond the initial sale for customer retention and contact while providing ongoing customer service.

It's important to emphasis that lead management software comes earlier in the sales process and is designed for salespeople. It's not a tool made for everyone; it specified to sales people and was created to meet their demands when moving leads through the pipeline.

CRM Software, on the other hand, comes in the latter part of the sales process, often after a deal is won. Imposing a CRM on your sales team only hampers their productivity because salespeople see it as a tool they need to keep updating in case senior management asks for it. They think it’s nothing more than a digitalized way of reporting to the hierarchy. This means they are already against the idea of using one on a daily basis. Being forced to enter administrative data for a prospect that might never convert is a time-consuming activity that could be better spent cold calling prospects.

Also, imposing a CRM could result in vital information going missing if details aren't filled in correctly. And even when they are updated with the right information, a CRM consumes too much of a salesperson’s time. Having the wrong information is even worse than having none at all.

On the contrary, adopting a dedicated lead management software will help you raise revenue. Salespeople need a system they can use with minimum fuss so they can focus on what's most important: Converting leads.

If, however, your focus is on support and operations, choose a CRM. But if sales is the core of your business operations, lead management software is your best solution.

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Think of sales lead management software as a pre-CRM. The salesperson uses it for lead capturing and closing deals before moving customers over to the CRM.

For salespeople, using a CRM is a bit like trying to swat a fly with a hammer. It’s massively over-engineered with features they don't need. Place yourself in a rep’s shoes: all you want is convert the lead into a customer as quickly as possible.

The best lead management software is driven by prospects and sales reps having the next action for a lead or opportunity, such as letting you know when a call needs making, the time of your meeting, and if you should send a demo.

It also allows managers to track the process as their reps move through the pipeline and step in if needed. As there is always, a ‘next step’ means that both sales reps and managers have complete visibility over the process.

Moving your lead through the pipeline needs to be recorded with minimal effort. It should allow the salesperson to get on with their job. Entering loads of unnecessary data doesn’t aid the process; it only slows it down.

Track and Prioritize Leads Effectively with’s customized and specialized lead management software helps make the lead management process easier, which, in turn, means your sales team can focus their efforts on the best possible leads to track and follow.

As a salesperson, you want to know your next step and when you have to make it. Filling out information in software should be a simple part of your job. From a sales perspective, a CRM doesn’t allow you to streamline the process.

Do you focus on managing all aspects of a customer or do you want to concentrate on closing more deals? If remaining sales-focused is your business objective you’re in the right place and when it comes to CRM v lead management software, there's only one clear winner.

Why not start with a trial and see what you’ve been missing?

Lead Management Software; CRM Software Lead Management Software vs CRM
Author: simon Simon
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