Do you ever find yourself with an influx of inbound leads only to realize that none of them are qualified? This problem has plagued almost every marketer at some point or another. As a general rule, 25 percent of your leads should be ready to make a purchase at any given time. However, if your sales numbers are regularly coming up short, it may be time to reexamine your lead qualification methods. The following are a few ways you can improve the lead qualification protocols at your organization.
Data collection is one of the most important considerations when nurturing leads into sales. Sixty-seven percent of the buyer journey takes place online, so many marketers choose to use online forms to secure this information. When beginning your lead generation campaign, figure out the most important prospect fields you need to plan a comprehensive campaign. This is key to segmenting your database later on. Strategize what data will be the most valuable for your campaign, keeping in mind that the more fields you request, the less likely a prospect will be to fill out the form. We aim to keep forms around 3 to 5 fields, which leads to a 20 percent conversion rate.
Setting realistic lead scoring for your prospects is also key to improving your lead qualification processes. We’ve written before about the basics of lead scoring: assigning a numerical value to every action a lead takes. Lead scoring helps match a prospect to your ideal buyer profile through data like industry, company and job title. But without standardization between marketing and sales, this data means very little. Collaborate with your sales team to decide how heavily your campaign should weigh each option. Is clicking an email link more important than downloading a content piece? Is watching a demo the most important? Making these scoring decisions will give your sales team the tools they need to best sell to marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and provide you with the framework for content strategy.
Simply identifying quality leads should not be the last phase in your lead generation campaign. Once leads have earned the required score to become a MQL, your entire campaign’s success will hinge on the ability to convert these MQLs into sales. Marketing and sales alignment will be key here, as you must together decide how these MQLs should be nurtured to sales. Should leads stop receiving all marketing content and only hear from sales once becoming a MQL? Or will a mix of marketing and sales content be exactly the push they need to drive them to purchase? Remember, 79 percent of marketing leads never convert into sales. Every message and decision during this lead routing process should focus on strategically providing leads with the best resources they will need to convert.
Are you ready to improve your lead qualification methods? For a more in-depth look at the process, read our e-book, Lead generation: Learn how to build highly effective lead generation campaigns.