Lead management is a set of methodologies, systems, and practices designed to generate new potential business clientele, generally operated through a variety of marketing campaigns or programs. Lead management facilitates a business's connection 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 a 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 has also accurately been 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 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 businesses practising lead management techniques have shifted much of the prior manual workload to automation systems, though personal interaction with lead inquiries is still vital to success.