How To Qualify Leads Effectively – Saving Time and Money!

The sooner your marketing and sales departments are working together the better the outcome is for everyone. Sales teams want to spend their time having the highest quality of conversations with the most qualified of leads and therefore the job of the marketing team is to generate highly qualified leads for them to speak to.

But what is a qualified lead? How do you know what a qualified lead looks like? And how do you go about finding more of them?

Before we get into this, it’s worth pointing out that in order to effectively qualify leads you need an understanding of your target audience. You may have completed a persona mapping exercise or you may simply know when the phone rings what ‘good’ looks like… either way knowing what your ideal customer looks like will make this process a lot more effective.


What Is A Qualified Lead?

Leads can come in all shapes and sizes… the good the bad and sometimes just the ugly. The role of an effective website is to qualify user intent and their requirements through content to ensure that when people do submit contact forms, they’re educated enough to know that the business has a solution to their problem.

By allowing website visitors to self-qualify themselves you are saving a lot of time and resource. It might be that someone is looking for a cheaper alternative and you supply a luxury product or they’re looking for a particular brand that you don’t stock, either way your website should communicate this before they’ve spoken to a member of the team.


How Do You Know What A Qualified Lead Looks Like?

A qualified lead will depend on your own definition. For some more complex marketing teams, with marketing automation software to nurture leads, they may have a much lower threshold for what defines a qualified lead than a 1-person marketing team given their available resources.

If you haven’t already, taking the time to understand who your target audience is and what they look like is a very worthwhile exercise. The more you know about them the better you can speak to them and overcome their pains with solutions through your website content. Also, importantly you know where they are online… think of it as knowing what pubs they drink in on payday, you need to be there ready to take their orders.


What’s The Difference Between Marketing Qualified And Sales Qualified Leads?

The main difference between marketing qualified leads (MQL’s) and sales qualified leads (SQL’s) is their intent to convert or put simply how far down the decision making journey they are.

Marketing Qualified Lead – A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is a lead that the marketing team has deemed more likely to become a customer compared to others. This determination is based on criteria such as which: web pages were visited, content offers were downloaded, CTAs were clicked, and social posts were interacted with. (Hubspot Definition)

Sales Qualified Lead – A sales qualified lead is a prospective customer that is ready to talk to a sales team. Typically, this lead has expressed enough interest in your product or service, that they’re ready to move into your sales process. Usually, they’ve been researched and vetted by your marketing department and then handed off to your sales team. (Hubspot Definition)

If you’re using marketing automation tools, you can get really clever with how you qualify and segment your leads.


How Do You Find More Leads?

This is the ultimate question and one that we get asked about a lot, after all we do say we’re lead generation specialists. Finding more leads depends entirely on who it is we’re attracting which is why we stress that at least a basic understanding of your ideal customers is so important.

Acquisition – By understanding where you target customers are and the messaging to engage with them, you can use this insight to form the foundation of your acquisition strategy. SEO is a common tactic to ensure your website is in front of prospective customers when they’re searching on Google… but this takes time, and the right tactics. If you don’t have time and want instant results, then paid ads is the way to go as this allows your website to show instantly… but this can be costly.

Behaviour – Your website plays an integral part in lead generation, making sure that it’s optimised for funnelling traffic into the right pages. Website visitors will go through decision making stages and your website needs to be geared up to hold their hand through the process. During the early stages they will need to be educated to the solutions to their pains; what problem do you solve? Once they know there’s a solution to their problems, it’s important to motivate them to find out more through reading blogs, watching videos and engaging with your content.

Conversion – This is where the magic happens… by this point your prospective customers will have identified a solution to their problem, realised how important it is that they take action and you just by chance have the solution ready to offer. This is of course not just by chance but the efforts of your previous marketing.

This process can be summarised nicely using the below image;

Inbound Methodology

Are You Looking For More Leads?

If this sounds like something you want to learn more about then you can book a call with one of our team or fill out the form on our contact page and we’ll get back to you soon… after all, we’ve hopefully educated and convinced you that we know what we’re talking about and we just so happen to offer a solution to getting more leads.

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