When it comes to leads it really is a question of quality over quantity. Much better to have one lead that closes than 10 leads that don’t, in fact, poor quality leads are counter productive as they tie up expensive sales resource and damage the morale of the sales team and the relationship between sales and marketing.
So how do we ensure that the sales team are only engaging with quality leads—meaning well qualified leads who are already engaged with the brand and offerings and are ready to buy?
The quickest, easiest and most cost-effective way to improve the quality of leads is to implement a marketing automation system to add both intelligence and scalability to any lead generation activity.
So what tools do marketing automation systems provide that will improve lead quality?
Landing pages are a great way of qualifying leads around specific products or topics and provide a method of converting contacts into leads without the lead having to necessarily declare themselves as ready to buy by filling out a 'contact me' form.
Lead nurturing allows marketing to build a relationship with the lead without having to waste precious sales time until they are ready to buy.
Use the higher value content to encourage contacts to provide you with information about them during the nurturing process by gating it. The level of information required to access the content will depend on the quality and usefulness of the content itself but gated content could be in the form of white papers, how to guides, case studies, technical data, research studies or eBooks.
Lead scoring will qualify leads based on their interactions and engagement level by building a points total every time they respond to an email, access certain content or visit specific website pages. This will then help determine when is the best time to pass the lead to the sales team as a ‘qualified’ lead. Lead scoring is also a key tool for aligning the sales and marketing view of what represents a qualified lead.
Life of the lead
When leads are passed to sales it is vital that the sales team has easy access to the full history of that leads interactions with the business to date, including via email, social media and website. Not only does this increase the quality of the lead, it also allows the sales team to make a very informed first call which is much more likely to result in a successful outcome.
These are just some of the ways that marketing automation can increase the quality of leads and once the quality of leads is assured, that is the right time to start driving the quantity of leads.
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