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:-

customer persona
customer persona

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:-

Ideal Customer Persona
Ideal Customer Persona

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.

Manual prioritization using Excel
Manual prioritization using Excel

However, this is a very basic way to qualify your leads.  Manual prioritization using Excel comes with a couple of limitations:

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.

lead scoring model
lead scoring model

And we’re done! Hope this helps you get your priorities right in order

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