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.

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.