# Using CRM to Nurture Your Best Leads into Sales
As a business owner, you’re probably aware that not all leads are created equal. While you may be tracking them all in your customer relationship management (CRM) software, you should be treating them differently. Determining which leads are your best can help you increase your conversion rate and boost sales. Additionally, focusing on your most likely prospects in your pipeline will save you time because you won’t be chasing dead-end leads.
So, how can you figure out which leads are the best? In this beginner’s guide, we’ll walk you through the process of categorizing your leads, scoring them, and deciding on nurturing techniques. We’ll also show you how to leverage your CRM platform to maximize your use of it.
## Categorize Your Leads
The first step in determining which leads are your best is to categorize them. Did you know that 73% of new B2B leads aren’t ready to make a purchase? That doesn’t mean they’re not worth pursuing, but you’ll want to handle them differently than you would a lead who’s ready to buy.
Create “buckets” for your contacts. These buckets might include people you’ve met in person, people who downloaded an eBook, or social media contacts. You could also categorize them by how they ended up in your lead funnel, such as “downloaded our 10 Reasons to Invest in Financial Software eBook,” which you’ve targeted at a particular audience.
## Score Your Leads
The next step is to score your leads. You can assign points to each lead to give it a score. The higher the score, the better the lead. You can give points for things like job title, location, or interactions with your brand (e.g., downloaded whitepaper, attended webinar). You can also take away points for any negative actions that a lead takes, like unsubscribing from your email list.
This part is fun and a bit like a game. You can gamify the process and encourage your sales team to compete against each other to see who can score the most points.
## Decide on Nurturing Techniques
Even if a lead ranks high on your scoring matrix, they might not be ready to buy from you right now. Therefore, it’s imperative that you invest the time and energy in nurturing them appropriately. If you can further break down your bucket of high-scoring leads into where they are on the buyer’s journey, you can give each lead what they need at the particular stage they’re in.
For example, if a lead is in the consideration stage, they’re past needing to be informed about your general category of product. Now they’re comparing you to the competition. Make it easy for them. This is the ideal time to send them a free graphic that puts you (in a favorable light without being promotional) against the other top players in your space. Remember: you want to communicate that you’re trying to help them on their buying journey, not push them into a decision, so focus on being informative, not salesy.
## Leverage Your CRM
Your CRM platform can be hugely helpful in nurturing your best leads, but only if you maximize your use of it. Take copious notes about your leads’ activities, and tag each contact with that lead scoring information. You can even move a contact from one category or stage of the buying cycle to the next so you can easily view everyone who’s at the same stage.
These days, we have so much data at our fingertips that chasing bad leads is nearly obsolete. Instead, put your efforts toward ensuring that those ideal leads grow to love and trust you and eventually become customers.
In conclusion, nurturing your best leads is crucial to increasing your conversion rate and boosting sales. By categorizing and scoring your leads, you can determine which ones are worth pursuing. Additionally, by deciding on nurturing techniques and leveraging your CRM platform, you can maximize your use of it and nurture your leads appropriately. Remember to focus on being informative, not salesy, and to provide value to your leads at every stage of the buying journey.