Your leads drive your business. But not every lead can be your deal. It requires planned efforts to identify ‘QUALITY’ leads and nurture them so that they can finally become your customer or brand advocate. By quality leads I mean ‘actively engaged leads which are actually seeking your organization’s offerings.’
Now every organization has different lead qualification and processing methods and I would talk about 5 tips in this blog which everyone can follow irrespective of different processes to qualify and convert incoming leads.
Before we move on to those tips or elements, we must first understand that lead management is not the sole job of sales department. Yes, you guessed it right. Your marketing team plays a very important role here.
The key role of the team is to build buyer’s personas, create relevant marketing content as per their profile and distribute these content via various marketing channels ( e.g. social media, paid campaigns, emails, website etc. ) as per the lead’s buying stage. By creating and revisiting such buyer’s personas at a timely interval, you can reach to every key influencer from top to bottom in an organization.
Having said thar, let’s move on to our first tips; how strategically aligned sales and marketing teams can help in lead qualification and closure process.
1. Strategically align Marketing and Sales teams goals:
Determining if the lead is a good fit for your organization or not, requires team effort among your sales and marketing team. Put in place well defined strategic criteria to determine a quality lead from unqualified leads.
Companies with tightly aligned marketing and sales teams enjoy a 20% increase in annual sales while companies with poor alignment saw a decrease in annual sales of 4%.
This 20% annual sales increase is attained with help of focused strategy where both teams are in line with organization’s goals. Such understanding allows them to identify good leads as opportunities to purse.
2. Lead screening with explicit and Implicit data:
Explicit data is generally the demographics of the person or their company to indicate if that is a quality lead or not while implicit data are those which that leads might have consumed through your inbound marketing efforts e.g. white paper or a case study or a webinar. Examining these both types of data is quite important to understand in which stage your lead is and how much willing that person is to move on to buying’s final stage.
Further, let’s not forget that marketing team needs to do pre-screening of the lead before passing them to sales team.
Do not pursue every lead that you receive, rather establish a process to qualify them as a HOT lead and then pass it on to sales team.
3. Assign score and priority to leads:
CRM software can help you tremendously in lead qualification process. Sales reps need to put constant efforts in lead follow ups by setting up an appointment, providing online or on site demo, updating lead status after every follow up and then making relevant changes in buying stage of that particular lead.
Here assigning priority to leads as high, medium, low and putting up some scoring method to determine monetary value of every lead will help sales rep determine right amount of time and efforts to be put behind every HOT lead.
4. Nurture leads, re-evaluate and recycle:
79% of marketing leads never convert into sales deals because of lack of lead nurturing. And if you establish a system of lead nurturing you can witness on an average 20% increase in sales opportunities.
Nurturing leads is one of the best ways to generate quality leads. You know that not every not inquiry is going to be your HOT lead. Sometimes, people inquire about your product for acquiring knowledge or to analyze certain aspects and they make a buying decision in future. Such leads need nurturing and re-evaluation as per their buying stage so that they are not merely get categorized as ‘not interested’ or ‘lost’.
5. Pursue leads as per qualification:
Putting effort to pursue marketing qualified leads is as important as pursuing sales qualified leads. Marketing qualified leads are those which show high engagement and not necessarily have completed all the stage of sales funnel but they are surely willing to buy your offerings. Your team should actively pursue these leads for qualification and pass on to sales team.
Start practicing these 5 lead qualification tips and you are bound to get increased number of deals in short period of time.
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