Last month, a miracle happened. Your company’s video went viral. Lead volume shot up by 500%. You were pumped and the office was filled with a spirit of celebration.
Cut to today, and your enthusiasm has been reduced to nothing. Here’s how:-
Week 1 :
80% of your calls have ended with the two fatal words – “not interested”.
Week 2 :
60% of your calls have ended with people telling you they don’t even remember your company’s name and certainly didn’t sign up for a free trial seeing some video.
Week 3 :
40% of your calls have ended with people telling you they’ve already purchased your competitor’s product, thank you very much.
Week 4 :
Your conversion rate has dropped abysmally, and you don’t think you’ll ever be able to reach out to all the 12000 leads yet to be contacted.
Moral of the story? Two words could have prevented all of this heartbreak: lead prioritization.
What is lead prioritization?
Lead prioritization is simply separating quality leads from junk ones so that you can reach out to the ones that are most ‘likely to buy’ first.
Now, how do you identify who is ‘likely to buy’ and who is not? You can use two simple parameters for that:-
Let us delve deeper into what these parameters mean, and how you can measure your lead’s ‘likelihood to buy’ from them.
Closeness to your Ideal Customer Persona (ICP)
This is a static measure of your lead quality and helps you understand how aligned your product is with the needs of the lead.
Defining your ICP
Your ideal customer is someone who is the best fit for your product. Your Ideal Customer Persona is just a set of features that you use to represent your ideal customer.
Here are a few examples to help you understand this better:-
From the above table, it is clear that each business will use different metrics to define its ICP. Besides, one business may cater to more than one ICPs. For example, a travel agency selling budget, as well as luxury packages, will have different ICPs for each of them.
Qualifying leads based on ICP
Once you’ve defined your Ideal Customer Persona, you can use filters on Excel to qualify your leads on the basis of it.
Let’s take the case of a Tier II B-school, for which we have already defined the ICP above. This is what their lead data would look like, before prioritization:-
Now, let’s see what this list looks like after I apply these ICP filters – Profession: IT, Age : 22-25 and Work Experience : 1-3 Years.
However, this is a very basic way to qualify your leads. Manual prioritization using Excel comes with a couple of limitations:
1) It does not allow for leads that match the ICP to be ranked further
For example, in the above case, Lakshmi, Digvijay and Kumar will be assumed to have the same lead quality. This kind of manual prioritization will not work for businesses which generate thousands of leads per day, because even the number of leads that meet the basic ICP criterion will be too high.
Instead, you can opt for a marketing automation software which provides lead quality scoring. For example, using LeadSquared, you can set up lead quality rules in two quick steps :-
Choosing your lead quality attributes
These are the features of your leads that are most relevant for you, and hence can be used to ascertain the lead quality. For example, if you’re an institute providing MBA courses, ‘job title’, ‘work experience’, ‘location’, etc. would be the defining lead quality attributes for you, while ‘marital status’ would not.
You can specify distinct weightages for each of those chosen attributes, or select the option to assign equal weightage to each. For example, as an MBA institute, ‘job title’ could be the most important lead attribute for you, so you could assign it more weightage than the others.
Defining quality scoring rules
You can set how the values associated with a particular lead attribute will be scored from 1 to 10. For example, an MBA institute can set the following rules for the attribute of ‘job function’:
IT – 10
Marketing – 9
HR – 8
Others – 7
Using the weightages & scoring rules defined for the lead attributes, the software will calculate a cumulative quality score out of 10, for each lead in the system. Using this score, you will be able to identify the more conversion-optimized leads even amongst those that match your ICP.
Here’s how the Lead Quality score will appear on the LeadSquared portal :
2) It does not allow for the lead qualification process to be automated
You will have to run these Excel filters each time the lead list is updated.
Again, using a marketing automation software like LeadSquared can resolve this issue, because once you define the rules for calculation, each lead in your system will be associated with a Lead Quality score. You can then filter these leads based on any criteria (for example, Lead Quality Score >8).
Degree of buying intent
The manual prioritization discussed above is an incomplete test of a lead’s ‘likelihood to buy’, as it is solely static and does not take into account the degree of buying intent that a lead has at a point in time. For example, in the above case, Lakshmi matches the ICP, but she may have already enrolled in a college. There is no simple manual process through which a lead’s buying intent can be ascertained.
Buying intent occurs when a person has the desire as well as the purchasing power to buy your product.
Now, how can you spot whether a lead has buying intent or not? By measuring their level of engagement with your business. The more a person responds to your marketing campaigns, or visits your website, or spends time on your blog – the higher are the chances that they’re interested in buying from you.
A marketing automation tool like LeadSquared can help you see the ‘engagement index’ for each lead. To set that up, all you’d need to do is :-
Define the Activity Period
If you’re an MBA institute, your sales cycle will typically be around 1 year (this is the time it takes for students to prepare for exams, give the exams, and then choose from various college options based on their results). Now if a lead was actively engaging with you 2 years back, and it reflected on its engagement score, that would be a false measure of its likelihood to buy because they might be disengaged currently.
That is why; you can specify for what period you want the lead’s activities to be included in the calculation of the engagement score. Because the engagement score is based on the ‘recentness’ of a lead’s activities on your web presence/campaigns, it is a dynamic measure of their ‘likelihood to buy’, as opposed to the quality score, which is a static measure.
Specify the lead stages to include
If you’re in a business that does not see repeat sales (like an institute), you may not be interested in seeing the ‘engagement score’ of a customer. This is just one of the many cases where it is not useful to have the engagement score calculated for all of your lead stages, so using this option, you can specify which stages you’d need the score for.
Specify the lead activities to include
The engagement score is based on tracking a lead’s activities towards your business, and assigning each of these activities specific values depending upon their importance.
For example, if a lead signed up for a webinar, you can define a rule for increasing it’s engagement score by +5. On the other hand, if a lead only opened an email about a webinar, you can define a rule for increasing it’s engagement score by +1.
Using the scores associated with each of these activities, the software will compute the engagement score for each lead in the system.
And we’re done! Hope this helps you get your priorities right in order
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Let’s check out some smart ways to generate more leads for your business right now:
All your online lead generation efforts should start with your website. If you are generating traffic to your site – be it from Google, social media, or word-of-mouth – and those visitors leave without taking action, it’s of no good to your business.
Your website needs to be optimized to persuade individuals to do something – whatever that action may be. When it comes to lead generation, typically you are trying to capture a prospect’s contact information, such as their name, email address, phone number, and other qualifying attributes that will aid your selling process. By putting a live chat to your website, you can pursue your customers for conversions. Research says that more than 60% of customers would want to revisit the websites that have live chat on them. (Survey by Bold software)
Outbound marketing involves reaching out to potential customers who might be aware that they have a problem but aren’t actively looking for a solution. Methods such as handing out flyers, buying newspapers, magazines, and TV ads, and advertising on billboards are often condemned for being expensive, casting too wide of a net, and lacking a way to determine the ROI. Moreover, cold calls and cold emails also get a bad rap because they are seen as “salesy” and pushy. And who wants to deal with that? However, despite all these flaws, outbound marketing can be very effective when done in the right way and it also allows you to see the results of your efforts immediately instead of having to wait for weeks, months, or even years. No one appreciates unsolicited sales pitches. Cold calls, cold emails, and ads can be really annoying, especially when you have no interest in the product. That is why it’s so important to make sure that your offer is relevant to the person you are reaching out to.
The concept of inbound marketing was introduced in 2005, in response to the failing effectiveness of outbound marketing. It involves understanding the buyer’s journey and creating content for each stage, with the aim of turning visitors into customers and promoters of your business. Not only does this save cost and improve your return on investment (ROI) in the long run, it also helps build trust, credibility, and loyal relationships with your customers.
There are tons of different ways to do inbound marketing. But if you want to get it right, you need to have the right strategy in place. Creating an inbound marketing strategy involves knowing what your customer wants at a certain point in their journey so you can create content that aligns with their needs and takes them to the next level.
The four stages of an inbound marketing strategy are:
A giveaway or short period offer or contest can generate a ton of email and social leads in a short period of time. It works like this – brands offer a prize in exchange for participants to refer friends, share content, and like your social media profiles.
You can get creative with the prize/reward types as well as the actions needed to collect points (sharing, tagging, referring, etc.).
Email is one of the few online marketing channels that has stood the test of time. In fact, email is 23 years old this year, and it still trumps the top spot on many B2B marketer’s lists of B2B lead generation strategies. It may take time to generate leads through email marketing. But the leads you get are a lot more valuable than the leads generated through various other resources. Every time you are trying for leads through email marketing, there are specific methods that you should follow.
Having the permission of the receiver is very important (if you are sending emails with permission, you will most certainly get something valuable from that person.) The next most important aspect of lead generation through email marketing is the personalization of emails, the person should feel like we are writing specific emails for them, even though they are being automated.
The final focus should be on giving them an offer that they could relate to personally. These offers can move a prospective lead to a real convertible lead. Every human loves offers when they are specific to their habits or behavior and can have a really big impact on them.
Dialdesk can help you to generate leads through outbound and inbound marketing. We have been doing this for more than a decade for many of our clients. Reach out to us in case you are interested to know more on it.
Marketing teams spend a lot of time, effort, and money to create compelling campaigns, optimize them to generate leads, set auto-responders and alerts to connect with them promptly, before finally passing the leads to the sales team. Salespeople do not even know marketing terms, but they very well know their targets and in case they don’t meet them, they often complain about the quality of leads. The leads never seem to close and most of the time, the argument is – Leads quality was not GOOD.
There seems to be a gap between the two functions. The sales team complains about lead quality and the marketing team is usually upset with missed follow-ups for their hard-earned leads. That gap is the absence of lead qualification, which if filled can ensure a better alliance between the two powerhouses of your business – sales and marketing.
It is the process where the leads are tested if they are really interested in your product/ services or not before they are forwarded to the sales team. These qualified leads are also called Sales Qualified leads.
If your marketing team is targeting the wrong audience, no matter how hard your qualification or pre-sales teams work, it just won’t cut it. They should be constant feedback on which kind of leads are turning into deals, which industries are they from? What are their demographics? Etc. Your marketing team should always remember that if the targeting is tight, the lead volume will go down and they should never be afraid of that. The correct metric to measure the marketing’s lead generation success should be qualified leads, not just the count of leads.
Your marketing team shouldn’t put unnecessary fields on the form, instead, they should have only the important & qualifying fields in their forms/landing pages to increase conversions.
These validators will keep a check on the authenticity of the phone numbers or email addresses and will not let the visitor fill-up the form with incorrect entries. This the first sign of a possible junk lead. Your Marketing team should have validators in their forms to get rid of the spam submissions.
Some CRM and Lead Management systems like LeadSquared give scores to each lead based on the chances of their closure. This scoring is called Quality Scoring. Quality score can be set by the business on the basis of their ideal buyer persona.
The quality score of a lead helps the lead qualification team in prioritizing their tasks and reach out to the most serious lead at the right time. Although quality and lead scoring helps a user understand the seriousness and the intent of the buyer to some extent, it can never fully replace human interaction. That being said, it saves a lot of time and energy if they are set properly.
Dialdesk is a unique and one of its kind “PAY AS YOU GO” customer support solution. It is a perfect amalgamation of IVR, Dialer, 24*7 human support, Omnichannel enabled suite in an AI-enabled environment. The entire product is hosted on cloud which makes it a powerful customer service tool. Dialdesk drives the complete “customer lifecycle management” for its clients with a thorough focus on delivering customer experience par excellence.
While you are using various sources to generate leads for your business, you need to have an adequate team size, who is trained enough on your product and USP’s to reach out to customers at the first level to filter the leads.
Dialdesk takes a lead in delivering this through our PPT methodology i.e. People |Process | Technology. An amalgamation of all three ensures that your leads are reached out to, the first level information is accurately provided, and the initial Need | Desire | Problem of the prospect is established
PROFESSIONAL PRE SALES SUPPORT: We employ a skilled and experienced Tele-Marketing team. Innovative training is provided to them to ensure the deployment of accurate information and customer experience.
ROUND THE CLOCK PRESENCE: Leads reached out after 10 minutes lead to a reduction in Lead qualification criteria by 80%. Dialdesk agents are available to respond to your customers 24*7*365 days as we understand the fact that a lead should be called within 10 minutes of its generation as it is going to increase the chance of sales conversion by 9 times
AUTOMATED WORKFLOW: We create automatic workflows for your company taking into account your process requirements that not only improve the process efficiency but also triggers notifications if any task is skipped or missed
CLOUD-BASED SERVICES: This will give you realtime access to get recordings, reports and dashboards, etc etc so that you don’t need to wait for anyone to send you reports, daily, weekly or monthly
CALL RECORDINGS: You get access to online recordings at your fingertips
Sales and marketing teams are very different from each other but they strive for a common goal i.e generating more revenue. A lead qualification process will help the sales team by giving them more time for followups and outbound calls and will help marketing teams with data-driven feedback to tweak their campaigns accordingly, and hence the gap between the two departments is filled.
What do you think? How are you currently qualifying your leads? Let’s talk in the comments.
Also, Read How to sell like a CHAMPION? How to sell more in 2020?