How Inbound Marketing Helps Grow Your Business with Better Sales Qualified Leads


grow your business sql inboundStop wasting your sales team’s time with low quality leads.  They should be out prospecting their own leads while closing the high quality contacts you hand over to them.  Confused about qualifying leads with inbound marketing?  We can help you set up a lead scoring system for your contacts and will explain below.  The reason for qualifying leads is because “80% of all leads never have a meaningful conversation with a sales professional” says Forrester;  so stop making your sales team follow up with leads that won’t meet, let alone convert to a customer.  Bridge Group says only 17% of all leads convert to qualified sales opportunities.   So how do you sift through all of these leads to help grow your business?  Create a prospect grading system!  This system that you put in place will compare prospects by certain attributes.  Depending on how important certain attributes are will determine the score they receive.  Check out some of the qualifications below.

Demographic Qualification

Depending on your product or service, this grading system will vary.   The first thing you should always qualify is their demographics.  There are simple distinctions that can quickly qualify or disqualify a lead.

  • Geography
  • Industry
  • Company Size
  • Annual Revenue
  • Job Title

These are simple qualifiers that can quickly separate good prospects from bad ones.  Of course you wouldn’t want a customer in California if your service is in Florida.  The next qualification you need to take into account is behavioral qualifications.

Behavioral Qualification

This is where you really dig deep into your inbound analytics.  To start you need plenty of advance content in order to capture leads.  So your first qualifier could be the form they submitted.  Right away you know what they are interested in.   Next you should already have lead nurturing email campaign in place, so put a qualifier in place that shows if they opened the email or not.   You could also track the results from monthly newsletters.  Below is a list of other behavioral qualifications you could pay attention to.

  • Webinar
  • Certain Files Accessed
  • Pricing Page
  • Follows or Likes on Socials

All of these characteristics for demographic and behavioral qualifications need to be assigned a certain amount of points.  These points will depend on your industry and relevance to your product/service.  Over time these prospects will get scores which will give you an idea of how serious the are about acquiring your product/services.  You will be able to tell the different between interest and intent.  Intent is a lead requesting a demo or a product trial.  Interest would just be them viewing a few pages, downloading a white paper, etc.  With this automation in place, you can hand off the highest quality leads to your sales teams and then try to nurture the lower quality leads.  This will help grow your business because you are getting these quality leads to your sales team to close, your sales team is more efficient by reducing their time spent with poor lead follow-ups and puts them in a better position to close with the information you have already collected.

Also, you may want to put procedures in place to take erosion into consideration.  Some actions or inactions would have a negative result attached to it.   Ideas for erosion could be emails that they don’t open, an un-subscription from your newsletter or just normal time lapse.  Leads tend to become less qualified over an extended period of time.        

Putting lead scoring into place will really improve your operations and grow your business.   Better Sales Qualified Leads will result in more sales.  Keep your sales team focused on great prospects, not ones that will just waste their time.   

Photo Credit: Chiot's Run via Flickr