Sending unqualified leads to your sales team generates no revenue and costs time. As a marketer, if your lead qualification process isn’t optimised, you should be concerned.
A lot of the content is so focused on how to setup and gain a good lead-base that it often glosses over what makes a good lead in the first place. This is important, because without knowing what a good lead is, you could be feeding dead-ends to your sales team and wasting precious resources and time.
However, despite the high stakes, many marketers only find out whether a lead is good or not once they’ve spent time and attention on them. This blog post will show what makes a good lead, and help you discover the quality of that lead before you spend too many resources.
What makes a good lead?
Generally speaking, a good lead is any sufficiently nurtured potential customer that can be passed on to your sales team. These potential customers also have to qualify themselves through their actions in order to signal that they are a good fit for your company.
Essentially, your job as a marketer is to gather as many leads as possible, find the ones that are a good fit for your product or company, and then finally nurture them to the point where they are ready to make a purchase.
Having said that, there are four general characteristics you should look out for when identifying a good sales lead.
1. You have great data on them
In the world of digital marketing, a great lead starts with great data. You get this data from a well designed and well-positioned form.
The data in question comes in the form of validated contact information and any additional information that the lead offers up. This will help you qualify and further nurture the lead at a later stage.
Here are a few examples of the kinds of data you’ll want to uncover about your lead:
- Phone number
- Email address
- Job function
- Correct spelling of their name and title
- Goals for their business
Ultimately, any information that you can uncover that either qualifies your lead to be a good fit or allows you to continue nurturing them is valuable.
2. You know where they are in the buyer’s journey
The buyer’s journey is paramount to nurturing leads towards a sale. Thus, knowing where each lead is in that journey will help you identify whether they’re ready to take the next step or require further nurturing.
To help you understand where the lead is in the buyer’s journey, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the lead understand their problem? If not, they’re in the Awareness stage.
- Is the lead educated about the solutions to that problem? If not, they’re in the Education stage.
- Does the lead see your product as the best solution to that problem? If not, they’re in the Consideration stage.
- Is the lead familiar with the purchasing process to acquire your solution? If not, they’re in the Decision stage.
If your lead is in the decision stage, it’s safe to say that they’ve singled themselves out as a quality lead ready for sales to take it from here.
We have a great white paper to help you master the buyer’s journey if you’d like some more guidance on this topic.
3. You’ve collected qualification information
As mentioned above, your leads need to be a good fit for your company. It’s no good if a prospective client has been nurtured to the point where they want to buy your product, but ultimately can’t afford it.
In the marketing world, we call this qualification. For sales people, this means that they have to jump through less hoops and clarify less information during the sales process. The less friction in the process, the more smoothly a sale will go and the faster your company will turn a profit.
Here are some general points any company can consider for qualification information.
- Can the lead afford your solution?
- Does the lead have a problem you can solve?
- Does the lead have decision-making power in their organisation?
- Can the lead implement your solution - demographically, legally, financially or otherwise?
- Are there any other roadblocks that prevent the lead from using your company
4. The lead has demonstrated interest
The final point we have to make in relation to identifying quality leads is gauging the amount of interest they have in your solution. The strongest indicator for this is whether they have demonstrated this interest through action rather than words.
In terms of marketing automation, this is taken care of through lead scoring. We’ve written a blog on this topic, but briefly lead scoring is where your marketing automation platform assigns each unique lead a score for performing certain actions that demonstrate interest. These actions can include things like visiting your pricing page, contacting your sales team or even just interacting with a blog post on your website.
Some dead give-aways of demonstrable interest when it comes to a quality lead include:
- Visiting your pricing page
- Contacting your sales team
- Any serious email enquiry
- Repeat visitation to your website
- Telephone enquiries
By the time your lead has taken the steps themselves to contact you and ask about your solution, they’ve sent a strong signal that they’re ready to become a customer.
Get more from your leads, for less
These are just general guidelines that can be applied to almost any business and almost any product or service. Different companies will have different conditions and signals, and may even employ entirely different strategies.
Demodia is here to help with whatever challenges your business may face from moment to moment. As a digital marketing consultancy, Demodia has worked with companies around the world to improve the quality of their leads and boost their turnover.
Contact Demodia today to discover how you can take your business to the next level.