Recently, one of our legal marketing clients was having a hard time figuring out which leads to contact from a rapidly growing database of contacts. Generating a lead is an important first step to eventually converting it into a customer but understanding which leads are hot and ready to purchase based on their behavior helps business development to focus their time and energy on the leads that are most likely to turn into customers.
96% of visitors who come to your website aren’t ready to buy (yet). (Marketo)
By using lead scoring and lead nurturing, implement a process that organizes a moves leads from not ready to purchase to hot-and-ready to close.
Below we define the journey a visitor takes to becoming a sales-ready lead:
- Visitor (V): Someone lands on your website and browses one or more pages. You have no idea who this person is.
- Repeat Visitor (RV) - Someone comes back to your website and continues to browse additional pages. You still don't know who they are but the repeated engagement shows interest.
- Lead (L) - The visitor downloaded a checklist, eBook or other offer. You now have some of their information, turning them into a lead.
- Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) - The lead has likely been to your website more than once and downloaded more than one piece of content like another checklist, white-paper, or other offer. This indicates there is a strong interest in your product or service.
- Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) - These are MQLs that have been vetted and identified as ready to go to sales. The vetting process accounts for things like, if they are the CEO or any other title that indicates a decision maker, if have interacted with key website pages like visiting your case studies, pricing, and about us page. They may have also opened and clicked through your emails and downloaded more of your website content. With enough frequency, they can be given a passing grade through a lead scoring criteria, indicating there is a strong interest in your product or service.
- Sales Accepted Leads (SAL) - This is an SQL that is accepted by the sales team as a "good lead" in accordance with the criteria set through an SLA agreement.
By using lead scoring and lead nurturing campaigns, you can identify the best leads in your database and move those prospects through the buyer's journey, preparing them for the hand-off to the sales team. Having an SLA agreement between your sales and marketing departments will create a system for the above. The goal is to ensure that your sales team puts energy into prospects that are ready and interested in your product or service vs annoying those prospects that are just beginning the buying process and may need more time.
Need help creating this process? Contact us for a free consultation.