Businesses and organizations that are generating many website leads sometimes have a problem with sales teams saying that those leads are not always good quality. The fact is, not everyone is going to be ready to buy immediately, and not everyone is going to buy from your company. However, its very important to identify your best generated leads so that you know where most of your energy and strategy should be concentrated.
Create a Sales & Marketing Blood Pact
One of the first things you need to ensure within your organization is that sales and marketing are talking to each other on a regular basis. Many companies separate these departments when in fact they should be working hand in hand to improve lead quality and sales. To do this, you should have a Sales and Marketing Agreement SLA in place. The SLA (Service Level Agreement) details the marketing goals and sales activities that will support each other, improving collaboration between both departments.
Use Lead Scoring to Determine What the Good Leads Are
After you setup your agreement, the next step is to implement a lead scoring system for your incoming leads. Lead scoring is a methodology used to rank prospects against a number scale that represents the perceived value each lead represents to the organization.
For example, lets say you sell B2B software and someone fills out your web form. If the person who fills out the form is the CEO, you would assign a score of +10. If its the VP, +9, or if its a manager, it can be +2. If that same person opens an email you send to them, they would be assigned an additional value of +3, but if they open the email and click on a link to your website, the value is +6. You can assign a score for many different factors. For example, when they visit a pricing page, if they click on social media link, or if they go to your blog.
Using lead scoring helps determine who is a marketing qualified lead (MQL), someone who is interested in your services but is not yet ready to buy vs a sales qualified lead (SQL), someone who is actively shopping and considering your company.
Have Content for All Stages of Your Buyer's Journey
The content that's on your website, internal blog, and external sites can generate traffic to your business. The content that a person is reading or listening to should be tied to a stage in the buyer's journey in order to properly funnel them through your sales process.
When someone realizes they have a problem and need more information to help solve their issue with a product or service.
Example: A foreigner may want to immigrate to the United States legally but may not know how to go about this. This person will probably Google something like, "How to Immigrate to the USA."
Its usually not a good idea to contact and sell people in this stage but they are a marketing qualified lead (MQL) at this point.
- eBooks & Guides (ie. How to lose 10 pounds in 10 days without dieting!)
- Research reports
- Expert content (ie. What to Know Before Traveling into the USA as a Foreigner)
- White papers (ie. Creative Crowdsourcing and the Law: Calculating Legal Risks)
When someone defines their problem and researches options to solve it.
Example: The foreigner has determined that to immigrate to the United States legally, he must obtain a Visa. There are multiple types of Visa's and ways of obtaining Visa's, but he thinks the L1 Visa gives him the best chance of immigrating to the United States. He wants to consult with an immigration expert and looking into Loigica, P.A., a law firm who produced a series of educational videos that helped him understand the different Visa options and immigration process.
- Comparison white papers (ie. Buying a House vs Renting)
- Expert Guides (ie. What Documents You'll Need for an L1 Visa Application)
- Live interactions
- Webcast/podcast/video (ie. FAQ session with Harry Tapias, Immigration Attorney at Loigica)
When the prospect has decided on their solution strategy, method or approach.
Example: After choosing to speak to one the attorneys at Loigica, the prospect validated that the L1 Visa application is the best approach for immigrating to the United States. He decides to hire the Loigica law firm to help him with his L1 Visa application. Although he can apply himself, he feels more comfortable having an attorney do the application for him. He saw on Loigica's Facebook business page that they have many successful L1 Visa approvals and feels confident that they will deliver a strong application.
- Vendor comparisons
- Product/service comparisons
- Case studies (ie. How Using Rizen Increased our Sales by 500%!)
- Product literature (ie. Features of the Hubspot Software)
- Live demo
You need to have the content your prospects are looking for readily available throughout your website, on your blog, and even on other websites they may be using to research. You use this content to move them through the Buyers journey described above. If you don't have this done, your prospects will find this information from your competitors.
Nurture Your Leads and See them Go from Not Ready to Ready to Buy
Lead Nurturing is the process of activity moving prospects through the buying journey.
"On average, 50% of the leads in any system are not yet ready to buy." (Marketo)
"Almost 80% of new leads never becomes sales." (MarketingSherpa)
"Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost." (Marketo)
"Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads." (The Annuitas Group)
To best understand lead nurturing, let's see an example:
After reading one of our blog posts, a prospect decides to fill out one of our forms and download our Pay Per Click checklist:
Because he is the CEO, using Lead Scoring, we'll assign a +10 value.
Total lead score: +10 points
We'll automatically enroll this person in our monthly newsletter moving forward.
In addition, since they expressed an interest in Pay Per Click, we'll send them an email after 3 days for an offer for a free Pay Per Click Assessment (Value $250). Using marketing automation software, we'll know if they opened the email or not. Lets assume this person opens the email but does not book the appointment. Its +3 for opening the email, although clicking the link to book the appointment would of been +7 points.
Total lead score: 13 points
After 5 days, we'll email them the link to our Pay Per Click video series on YouTube. We notice that they opened the email and clicked on our link to go to YouTube. Thats +7 points.
Total lead score: 20 points
It's the 28th of the month and we send out our monthly newsletter. In our newsletter, we highlight a case study of one of our rapidly growing clients, Loigica. The prospect opens the newsletter email and clicks the link to the case study and reads it. Thats +7 points.
Internally, at 25+ points, the Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is converted to a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). This prospect is given to sales because he is probably ready to buy.
The original problem was poor website lead quality. The fact that your getting leads means that you're ahead of the game. Many businesses are not even generating online leads. The methodology provided in this article is proven to work but it will require a commitment of time and money. The end benefit though, are more quality leads and more sales for your business.
Need help implementing the above methodology quickly and efficiently? Contact us for a FREE Consultation.