This category is all about lead qualification. It covers lead scoring, lead grading, buy signals, total activities and recency – all of which are parameters for lead qualification.

Lead Liaison Press Release

Visitor Tracking Solution Integrates with Live Chat from JivoChat

Dallas, TX – This week, sales and marketing solutions provider Lead Liaison announces an integration with third-party live chat software, JivoChat. The integration is said to help businesses build a more comprehensive digital DNA of prospective customers, leading to more prosperous engagements. 

JivoChat’s solution enables businesses to engage visitors in real-time using embedded chat widgets. “Our goal is to streamline customer communication and assist companies in further strengthening their relationships with prospective customers,” says Pavel Sikachev, US Country Manager at JivoChat.

Sikachev continues, “Our integration with Lead Liaison empowers businesses to create more comprehensive buyer personas and tailor their communication accordingly.”

Lead Liaison’s integration with JivoChat enriches anonymous Prospect Profiles with key information from chat interactions. Initially, all visitors to a company’s website are anonymous. Preliminary tracking can only provide company, location, and website activity like page visits, for example.

With Lead Liaison’s JivoChat integration, visitors are converted from anonymous to known Prospects. When a chat begins, the chat system collects contact information such as name, email, and more. The contact information is added to the anonymous record to identify the individual.

In addition to enriching the Prospect record, Lead Liaison logs chat activity, such as when the chat begins and ends, along with the chat content. When a chat occurs Prospects are automatically scored, as well.

“Our software is created as a result of client needs,” says Will King, Technical Account Manager at Lead Liaison.”The integration with JivoChat’s live chat software was no different. One of our clients in Europe is a supplier for soundproofing and acoustic insulation. They’ve been using JivoChat and Lead Liaison’s visitor tracking solution for a while and needed the two systems to talk together. We built a Universal Chat Connector that supports JivoChat and any live chat software in the market. We couldn’t be more thrilled to release this enhancement to our ever-growing customer base.”

Lead Liaison also offers integration with other 3rd party chat systems, such as Drift, Intercom, Olark, LivePerson, LiveChat, and more.

About Lead Liaison
Lead Liaison provides cloud-based sales and marketing automation solutions that help businesses accelerate revenue by attracting, converting, closing and retaining more prospects. Filling a void in the small pool of automation providers that focus on marketing-centric functionality, Lead Liaison gives equal focus to sales providing sophisticated visitor tracking and sales automation to boost sales effectiveness. Additionally, Lead Liaison is the global leader in event lead management, enabling companies to capture and manage leads from trade shows and events. Lead Liaison blends ease-of-use, a flexible architecture, deep external integration, marketing across social, web, mobile, email and offline channels and powerful functionality into a single platform, called Revenue Generation Software®. Lead Liaison is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. For more information, visit http://www.leadliaison.com or call 1-800-89-LEADS (895-3237). To access our Press Kit, visit www.leadliaison.com/press-kit.

3 Steps to Drive Lead Qualification through Marketing Automation

Drive Lead Qualification through Marketing AutomationIt’s no surprise that marketing automation opens opportunities for managing your leads like never before; but how else can you use the system to benefit your business? A case study by Marketing Sherpa found that utilizing marketing automation can drive more 75% more leads. Even though you’ve got this huge flood of leads, we know they don’t qualify and convert themselves. What could be the risks involved with passing all of the new leads on to sales? How hazardous is it to prematurely qualify leads? Manage the influx of leads and drive lead qualification through marketing automation.

What qualities do “qualified leads” embody? Although this is a crucial question, it will inevitably be different for each organization that attempts to define it. It is imperative that the sales and marketing agree on some of the “static” characteristics of the ideal lead that is nearing their buying decision. Some of the static definitions of each lead will derive from pieces of their profile that are unlikely to change in the next few quarters, such as their job title, the size of their company, their geographic location, etc. Each of these items will factor into their score, and ultimately, how they’re qualified and whether or not they get pushed to sales. Here are three things that will help drive lead qualification through marketing automation:

Monitor Lead Engagement

In order to properly and completely profile each lead and potential lead, it’s necessary to have a good handle on the amount of contact they’ve had with your brand. There’s nothing worse than to scare away a prospect by pushing them to sales too early. With the right tools, marketing automation can make tracking visitor activity a breeze, with gadgets like desktop clients. Monitor your landing page traffic in real time, see which links/images are getting the most hits, and discover who’s spending the greatest amount of time on your site. With the various tools that marketing automation affords your business, it becomes less of a chore to discover and evaluate the potential buyers’ interest levels.

Prioritize and Push (only) the Hottest Leads to Sales

Shorten the sales cycle by prioritizing the prospects who have shown their readiness to make buying decisions. Understand, gauge, and encourage their readiness through effective and diligent lead nurturing practices. Utilize personalized email messages and targeted content to engage and drive lead qualification through marketing automation. By prioritizing the leads that are most ready to buy, your sales team is less likely to waste their time chasing prospects who do not feel informed enough to make a decision. Along the same thread, don’t give up on these leads. They may only require a little extra TLC and the right nurturing campaign to push them over to the qualified side.

Ensure your CRM is Synced

Chances are, your marketing automation software is equipped to automatically synch with the CRM. Be sure you’re not entering the same information in multiple platforms. Synching up the common platforms between both the sales and the marketing teams provides a greater visibility, stronger communication, and an overall clearer plan of action.

Why Marketing Automation is Essential for Lead Qualification

Why Marketing Automation is Essential for Lead QualificationB2B lead qualification is a process of determining suitability for sales engagement, right? Actually, lead qual is just the opposite: it’s determining as quickly as possible if a lead is NOT interested in you at the moment and, furthermore, if you are NOT interested in that lead enough to devote sales resources to pursuing that lead. The way provide your sales team with the highest quality, most qualified leads is to manage leads through a marketing automation platform.

In ultra-competitive industries where 80% of leads are not worth pursuing at the first touch point, an effective lead qualification strategy manages leads in a way that delivers the hottest leads to sales first, nurtures others who may be interested in your solution until they are ready to buy, and ignores leads that appear unqualified to purchase. This allows your sales team to focus on the most likely candidates.

One of the strengths of deploying marketing automation is that the application segments and nurtures leads without directly engaging the sales team. The system can quickly indicate which leads are worth pursuing and which are just curious. Traditional practices have sales determining whether a lead is suitable to be a prospect, now marketing automation enables that process.

Marketing automation platforms, including our Lead Management Automation™ application, are designed to score leads as they engage with your brand. A lead threshold can be set that marks when a lead becomes marketing-qualified and ready to migrate to a CRM for sales engagement. The process puts the most likely buyers in front of sales. During the qualification process, leads accumulate scoring based upon demographic attributes and digital behavior. A good platform will manage leads as they become qualified at different paces.

B2B qualification these days is achieved more often by inbound marketing techniques. This allows prospects to qualify themselves. The key to merging inbound marketing and automated qualification is to translate initial interest into actionable data that sales agents can use when they engage with leads. Through MA the sales team is typically more efficient because reps aren’t chasing unqualified leads.

Inbound marketing allows you to let the prospect indicate how ready to purchase he may be. Inquiries such as ad clicks, website visits, email messages, and webinar registrations qualify leads by indicating their level of interest in your solution.

But there are two important questions that must be answered that marketing automation cannot provide. These questions must be answered during sales engagements.

  • Do they NEED your solution? People search online often with the desire to buy but may not have the need. It can often be more challenging to sales to convince a prospect of need when she realizes that a purchase fulifills only a desire to acquire your solution. Typically, these cases involve frequent and repeated objections.
  • If they need your solution, can they USE it? Does yoru prospect have the capability of implementing your solution or will implementation require investment in other areas? Often, a purchase makes sense in a standalone situation but if there are capital requirements beyond the purchase, a sale may actually move the customer to hold your brand in a negative view if money was wasted because a solution cannot be implemented without costly investment.

Lead qualification can take weeks or months. Without a marketing automation platform, lead qual will continue to be costly if handled by your sales team.

Lead Scoring: When a 100 Is Not Enough

Lead scoring is among the top three strengths of B2B lead management/marketing automation platforms. Yet early adopters of marketing automation are still struggling with the nuances and changing buying habits of the digital buyer. Predefined lead scoring models make marketing automation setup easier and provideUnique Lead Scoring Model an architecture for ranking and prioritizing leads. However, we recommend establishing a unique scoring model (based upon a customer persona) that more accurately defines the quality of your leads.

It’s important to recognize that lead conversion, and ultimately close rates, are by their very nature challenging to forecast. Even within a lead management/marketing automation platform, the lead scoring functionality is only as effective as the model that has been built. Lead scoring defines the quality of a lead by its attributes and digital footprints. But even the most finely honed scoring models can leak unprepared and/or unqualified leads into your CRM.

That’s because using the total score (which is typically used to determine lead migration to a CRM) doesn’t tell the whole story. Hidden challenges can be hiding behind any automatically nurtured lead score.

Even a lead that is migrated to a CRM with a score of 100 may not be fully sales-qualified. Look at this example:

A lead enters your CRM with a overall score of 95 (out of a maximum 100). The lead achieved a A grade for intrinsic qualities like company size, revenues, and # of employees. For the behavioral scoring, the lead achieved a 98 score. This lead looks like a sure conversion based upon its overall score. But missing in that terrific score is a factor that wasn’t scored: the contact is finishing a month-long resignation and the purchasing decisions will be transferred to another position. The lead owner does not recognize this transition until first touch after migrating to the CRM.

How did the lead achieve that score? Was it primarily due to lead attributes (industry, contact title, etc.) or due to online behavior? Sales agents using integrated marketing automation platforms now have the capability to review leads as they move through the marketing funnel. Your sales reps should be advised to review the details of the lead’s score early in the engagement process. This will allow them to understand clearly how the lead got to their prospect pools, discover selling opportunities, and uncover deficiencies that may need to be overcome to convert that lead.

One tactic that helps to sharpen your scoring model is to mix in minor sales engagements along the nurturing path. Information gathered through preliminary qualification calls can provide guidance when it comes to adjusting weights or adding variables to your lead scoring model.

Sure, you can’t account for every circumstance and situation but developing an accurate, rigid yet adaptable scoring model – with as many parameters included as possible and appropriate weighting of each parameter – will help prevent ineffective measurement of the quality and interest of your B2B leads.

Out of the Box Lead Scoring

Out of the Box Lead ScoringOut of the Box Lead Scoring – Huh?

What is out of the box lead scoring? According to Wikipedia, “an out of the box feature or functionality, particularly in software, is a feature or functionality of a product that works immediately after install without any configuration or modification.” That’s exactly what we’ve brought to the table. We heard from many of our prospects and customers how other marketing automation systems had overly complex lead scoring techniques that took too long to map out and configure. When you really sit down and think about it, the majority of activities that a marketer and sales person want to capture and use in a scoring model are consistent across companies. The basic stuff like web form submissions, landing page views, email opens, etc.

We’ve introduced the industries most simplistic model – but we did that after introducing the industries most flexible model, our custom lead scoring. Our main goal was to keep things simple and get them working right away without compromising the deep customization that some companies covet. Now we’ve got the power of out of the box, instantly ready, lead scoring that marketers can harness and extend with custom lead scoring capability.

Why Should Marketers and Sales People Care about Out of the Box Lead Scoring?

Marketers come out looking like heroes when new leads are automatically qualified within minutes of implementing Lead Liaison. We’re still providing our Lead Scoring Model Designer which is a great tool to help companies put their lead scoring interests on paper. The only change now is that we’ve simplified the process. Our unique lead qualification capabilities gives marketers about five different individual parameters that get combined into a single priority rating for leads. How simple is that? What’s hot and what’s not, sales just wants to know. For marketers, what we find is that most marketers will use a fraction of the power of a marketing automation platform and often times lead scoring was de-prioritized over lead tracking, lead nurturing and other essential solutions. Our main differentiator in the marketplace is ease of use and simplicity. I think we’ve just upped the annie…brace yourself – or get back in the box 😉

How to Capture and Hold onto Qualified Leads

How to Capture and Hold onto Qualified LeadsQualified leads are passing through your website daily. The trick is being able to capture and convert these leads into sales before they move onto the next site. Marketing automation programs begin with lead generation software that will automatically capture every potential lead that crosses paths with your site. It will hold onto qualified leads as they search online and help direct them towards relevant products or services that your company is able to offer them.

Website Visitor Tracking

Each lead that the software captures is monitored and tracked as they move along your site. Website visitor tracking will tell you which pages and articles they read, how long they spent on each page, and whether or not they are a repeat visitor. This information will make it easier to determine what they are interested in and how far along they are in their buying process.

Customized Lead Nurturing

Marketers can use the information extracted by the website visitor tracking software to cater content specifically towards their unique needs and interest. This will help you hold onto more qualified leads, since consumers who are seriously interested in a product or service will appreciate helpful and personalized emails and newsletter rather than the usual pushy sales pitches and irrelevant promotional pieces.

Lead Profile & Ranking

Marketing automation software will capture more qualified leads because it take the information gathered through website visitor tracking to generate a lead profile based on each lead’s behavioral and demographic characteristics. The software will assign a value to each attribute based on relevancy and then rank the lead based on how closely they match up to a typical consumer. This ranking system will show which leads are qualified and worth contacting directly.

Automatic Notifications to Sales Professionals

The best part of using marketing automation software to capture more qualified leads is that your sales team will be immediately notified about any qualified leads. The appropriate sales personnel will receive a text or an email instantly when the software identifies a lead that has a high potential for conversion.

If you are interested in learning more about capturing and holding onto qualified leads, please read Technically Marketing’s informative article, Driving More Qualified Leads to Sales Using Marketing Automation Techniques. I can admit that my opinion is slightly biased, since I am a marketing automation expert. On the other hand, the author at Technically Marketing who wrote this article has an appreciation for marketing automation based solely on research and professional experience.

Why Do You Need Lead Scoring?

Why Do You Need Lead ScoringIf salespeople of the world know anything, they know one thing – persistence is key. When you make multiple efforts to contact and follow up with customers, you’re doing a few things in the process.

You’re showing them you want their business. Sales teams who make a few follow ups, then fall off the map lose sales that may have converted over time.

You’re showing them you care. If you care enough to follow up, customers expect the same level of persistence and service when you actually do serve them.

You’re showing them you want the sale. If you develop a rapport with customers, you’re more likely to make the connection that sells.

For many organizations, the problem is not in closing sales for qualified customers – the problem is drawing the fine line between customers who are qualified and those who you could lose if you continue to contact them. Sales tracking and lead scoring helps you make the determination as to who’s qualified and who could convert in the longer term. Let’s answer the question, why do you need lead scoring?

Deploying Lead Scoring

Many companies don’t bother to implement lead scoring because it would take time to actually come up with a system. It’s a catch 22 – you want to get your team scoring leads so you can save time and get better sales coming in, but to actually make the time to develop the system will cost time on the phones and time for you to implement.

This is why marketing automation is changing the game. With a small investment and the help of a qualified marketing automation company, lead scoring and qualification couldn’t be easier. It works like this: You explain your sales process and your thoughts on lead scoring to your marketing automation company. They’ll streamline everything, set it up with your guidance and assistance – then the system does everything for you.

Onboarding Employees

This is typically not a daunting process. With Lead Liaison, employees are typically getting the hang of new processes and managing leads better than ever in under a week. Plus, your marketing department will love the ease of accessing metrics and necessary info all in one place.

Here’s a scenario many companies face: Bob has developed a great rapport with a client, but leaves to go to another sales job. After he leaves, John (a new salesperson) is ready to take on that old client, but has little information that does him any good. The details Bob typed into the CRM are helpful, but aren’t really going to address what John needs to know at the organizational level to approach the client. He loses the sale.

With lead scoring, your sales people don’t just discuss the finer details but have a clear cut process about how likely the client is to purchase and where they’re at in the funnel. This means that regardless of who’s following up, the follow up is solid and conducted under organizational guidelines that meet what can be accurately offered to the client. This is a great way to streamline your sales team’s organizational efforts as well as better appeal to clients.

It’s time to take a look at how marketing automation can streamline your funnel. Take a look at Lead Liaison’s robust offerings today!

How to Use Lead Scoring to Land Qualified Leads

How to Use Lead Scoring to Land Qualified LeadsMarketing automation generates a significant amount of leads, but it is the lead scoring process that filters and prioritizes leads to determine which are most qualified. Not every lead has the same potential. Lead scoring determines who has the highest chance of conversion, so the sales team is only focusing their energy on landing qualified leads. We’ll show you how to use lead scoring to land qualified leads.

Compare Leads against Current Customers

A lead will have a greater chance of conversion if their behavioral and demographic characteristics are similar to existing clientele. This is usually a strong sign they will have the same needs. Marketing automation can land more qualified leads by basing their criteria on their current customers.

Uses the Sales Team to Understand Customer’s Needs

Marketers should always ask the sales team for their opinion when they are developing lead scoring criteria and lead nurturing content. The sales team works directly with the company’s existing clients and they understand what they truly want.

Rank Criteria based on Relevancy

Every characteristic of a potential leads should be weighed based on relevancy. For example, a lead that clicks on a DIY video could imply that they are just using the site as a resource for information versus a lead that clicks on a page that contains product pricing and specifications. Higher value should be put on behavior that demonstrates sincere interest, like if someone volunteers personal information in an online registry to gain access to information.

Test Different Lead Scoring Criteria

There are some criteria that will have obvious relevancy, like whether or not someone clicks on a company’s contact page while other characteristics like a person’s purchasing history may not matter as much as you originally estimated. It is important to test different lead scoring criteria by not only changing the criteria, but by also adjusting the value assigned to the criteria.

For example: Let’s say that right now lead scoring determines that leads between the age of 40 and 50 are less relevant and therefore are assigned one point and leads ranked between the age of 20 and 30 are given four points because the product appeals to a younger demographic. If marketers notice that the business is now attracting an older audience, they can test the lead scoring by boosting the age 40 to 50 criteria up to two or three points. If older clients are truly interested in the product, this change could help the business land more qualified leads.

Include Criteria to Measure Inactivity

If a lead was active for a significant period of time and then they suddenly stop visiting the site, that behavior should also be considered as part of lead scoring. It may be an indicator that the lead nurturing content is not answering their needs or that they have already chosen to go purchase elsewhere.

Marketing automation was created to capture and land more qualified leads. This will be easier to accomplish if marketers use the right lead scoring criteria by involving sales in the process, basing it on relevancy, testing various criteria, and including inactivity. Lead scoring can be a powerful tool for ranking and prioritizing leads, so sales professionals are always focused on the people who have the highest potential for conversion.

You’re Bleeding Money if You Don’t Qualify Leads

You’re Bleeding Money if You Don’t Qualify LeadsLead qualification is all about determining a particular lead’s likelihood to buy. Qualification should be based on a few scoring factors – meaning, not all leads are created equal so you shouldn’t necessarily treat them as such. You’re bleeding money if you don’t qualify leads.

In qualifying leads, one thing to look at is the likelihood that the client will buy based on your sales team’s interaction with the client or the strength of their interest during initial inquiry. The second thing to look at is how the client matches up with the rest of your sales cycle – or your anticipated time frame in which the lead will become a customer via a purchase.

Lead qualification is not lead conditioning

Qualifying leads isn’t about conditioning them. Not every lead that comes through your pipeline is going to be as good as another. So if your sales team members are instructed to treat all incoming leads equally, you’re actually losing money.

You’re losing money because…

your sales team is putting effort into a potential dead end.

your sales team could be sending your client advertising materials or forwarding them to a particular URL on your website rather than spending time interfacing with them.

you’re setting up an expectation that a client will be heavily paid attention to and courted before the sale closes.

One of the biggest complaints between sales teams and analyst or product teams is disparity in the client’s expectations when they’re being onboarded. If your sales team has spent 30 minutes a day for two weeks or more courting a client for sale – especially for low budget clients – you can bet a converted client is going to expect the same treatment from your team analysts. Does this cost the client money? No. It costs you money and resources.

Where the CRM comes in

When you come up with lead qualification criteria, that criteria has to be applied universally for your entire team. Across the board, sales people need to be rating leads using the same qualifications that are standard to everyone else. Unless you have a CRM that’s robust enough – yet easy to use – for managing your sales qualification process, you’re going to have a hot mess on your hands.

When people come to Lead Liaison looking for help implementing a lead qualification process, every company’s needs are different. Some companies don’t have developmental or advertorial materials they can send to low-interest clients for follow-up. These companies are often either spending too much time on low-interest, ill-qualified leads or just ignoring them altogether – which means when their buying interest is picqued in the future, they might turn toward another company for service. Why would you want to lose a lead you could convert just by regularly staying in touch or sending sales materials?

For some companies, simply starting a company newsletter and maintaining an email list is enough to turn these low-interest leads into buys down the line. We never really know until we can get a good look at what the company has to offer.

If you get me on the phone, I know just the right questions to ask about how to start your lead qualification process and best manage it via CRM. Bigger companies aren’t willing to spend that kind of time on you – but I know that if Lead Liaison does, your CRM implementation and use process will go quickly and easily. We want you to make the most out of our application. Talk to me today about how lead qualifying can stop you from bleeding money – and get you started with a robust CRM that works for your whole team.