All you hear when you are a part of marketing is, How to trigger the inflow of leads? How to increase the number of leads coming in? How to get qualified leads? These critical questions define the nature & sequence of tasks that must be designed to accomplish the final goal- Acquiring Qualified Leads & winning Sales.
Lead Generation is an important part of the business process but unaided by lead nurturing & management processes is rendered useless! When you are getting a good influx of leads, many may ask- Why is lead qualification even necessary? The answer to this can be understood by exploring the following example.
Every business has a specific target audience, and marketers try different tactics to reach out to these audiences, attract their interest & then hand them over to sales for conversion.
But what happens if many of these leads or prospects fail to show interest in your product or service or what if their problem requires a product of similar features but different dimensions? Such difficult scenarios would leave the best of sales reps clueless!
The solution- Set up a good lead qualification process to make sure the leads you are spending your energy, time & resources on nurturing are interested in your products or services & will most likely become future customers. Let us now understand what qualified leads are & how to go about lead qualification.
Qualified Leads- The Lifeline of Successful Sales
Leads are a measure of a business’s success average. But it is vital to understand that only qualified leads contribute to actual sales & hence are a true measure of success. So what exactly are qualified leads?
Qualified leads are leads that have shown a keen interest in the product or service either by a direct search on to the website or by filling in contact forms. There are three main criteria which help to ascertain whether a lead is qualified or not:
Need: Those leads that have shown interest & require your product or service for their business.
Solution: Those leads that have pain points that can be resolved with your product or service.
Budget: Those leads that have shown interest & can afford to buy your product or service.
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Mostly leads that fulfill these criteria are rightly said to be qualified. But how do you get such qualified leads?
Lead Qualification is a process that helps in the determining whether a particular lead or prospect fits the ideal buyer persona or not. This process is a major part of the sales pipeline & can be executed in a variety of methods but the most important step in this process is ‘Lead Scoring’.
Based on various criteria such as demographics, behavioral attributes, previous sales experiences – leads are assigned a score to sort them into categories basically constituting those that require further nurturing & those that are sales ready.
Once lead scoring is successfully accomplished, the decision is clear as to which leads are Qualified & can be passed on to the sales team for conversion.
Boost Your Qualified Lead Volume
Now that we understand what qualified leads are & have a clear idea of the qualification process let us now explore the ways in which you can increase you’re the number of qualified leads you get that can in turn impact your sales revenue.
1.Understand Your Prospects – Create Definitive Buyer Personas
“According to Mark W. Schaefer, 3-4 personas usually account for over 90% of a company’s sales” – Business Grow
These stats are clear proof that without a complete understanding of your target audience, marketing to achieve sales would be like trying to hit bull’s eye in the dark!
Creating a definitive Buyer persona with defined traits can help in easy identification & facilitated lead scoring to get highly qualified leads that will surely convert.
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2. A Clear Value Proposition Can Help Cut The Deal
A Strong & clear value proposition is the ideal tool to make sure you win the deal! A well drafted crisp clear value proposition conveys everything you want to tell your audience i.e. what they will get as features of the product or service; why this will help to meet their needs & solve major pain points & how you as a company will deliver value through this product or service.
A Strong Value proposition may be represented as a detailed document or in the form of infographic or videos to trigger the curiosity & interest of the target audience. This proposition can prove to be your handy tool to establish brand awareness & loyalty!
3. Sales & Marketing Alignment Assures Qualified Lead Handoffs
“Organizations with tightly aligned sales & marketing teams enjoyed 36% higher customer retention rates & 38% higher sales win rates” – Marketing Profs
Almost every company goes through the fruitless phase of less or no coordination between the sales & marketing teams & the end result usually spells disaster. So to avoid wasted marketing & sales efforts it’s best that the two teams join hands & have a good communication channel prevalent so as to facilitate an organized & efficient sales pipeline.
Moreover better aligned marketing & sales teams guarantee that only the best & sales ready leads are passed on for conversion thereby ensuring proper Lead Nurturing & avoiding lead leakage.
4. Optimized Web Forms With Attractive CTAs
Your website is the vital platform at which the prospects begin their relationship with your brand. Although not all website visitors may prove to be potential leads, a sure shot method of getting an increase inflow of qualified leads is the form on your website along with CTAs positioned at apt locations within the content.
As much as the ideal size & information obtained from a web form is important so is the creation of thought provoking Call-to-Actions! Many a times the lead may just feel intrigued by your CTA & Web Form fields & may want to know more about your product or service. This can go a long way in winning qualified leads that will affirmatively convert.
5. Value Your Customers That Assure Profits & Stay Connected
Reaching out to your past customers is like looking for your favorite flower in your own garden where there’s a greater probability of finding it.
Similarly marketing to old customers is a sure plus because it reduces the risk of lack of interest in your product or service. Moreover, these old customers could be your ticket to making new ones through their reference.
6. Content is the Key to Acquiring Qualified Leads
“Skytap, a cloud automation solutions provider, implemented a targeted content marketing strategy and saw the following results:
124% increased sales leads
55% increase in organic search traffic
97% increase in online leads
210% increase in North American site traffic.” – Hubspot