Here’s the reason:
Marketing goes gung-ho for bringing in leads, and they’re proud of themselves when hundreds of prospects are “showing interest in the company’s product”.
But the sales representatives end up complaining about these leads. Many of them end up being people who aren’t ready to buy right now, or who don’t need the solution your company offers because it doesn’t apply to their situation. Plain ol’ tire-kickers.
Every Good Marketer Knows…
You can’t market your message to everybody. A message that is so broad that it can apply to anyone will interest no one. Even big guys like Coca-Cola tweak their message based on demographics as much as possible.
The goal isn’t to increase the number of leads, but to target narrowly that the people who aren’t in the right position to buy… never show interest in the first place! When you have large marketing budgets, however, you can invest in capturing the tire-kickers and later convert them into deals. But that’s out of scope for this article. So maybe some other time.
Below, we’ll explain a 5 step process to finding quality leads who will be ready to buy:
Step 1: Align Sales and Marketing Goals.
Marketers can generate better quality leads when they understand what type of people turn to sales.
Ask each sales representative to describe what characteristics a lead should have in order for them to be considered qualified.
Maintain this communication by holding monthly meetings so the sales team can report to the marketing team about the quality of the leads that were generated that month. Or install a CRM or tracking system that gives you, the marketer, this information in real time.
Step 2: Profile Your Customers.
After you’ve gathered your information, it’s time to put into words who an ideal prospect is for your company.
Write out a description of a fictional person who will represent your buyer persona. Be as specific as possible. Get a template from Hubspot to make it easy for you.
First write out their demographic details such as their age, income level, and position. Then add their psychographic characteristics such as their favourite blogs, their 5-year goal, and what fears they have about buying your product.
Step 3: Tweak Your Message.
People should know from their first impression whether your message is meant for them or not. Rewrite your copy to speak to only people who fit your buyer persona.
If you can explain a problem better than people explain it themselves, you’re in.
After studying the leads that come in, you find that small businesses and non-profit organizations show interest in your product, but they usually can’t justify the price tag.
You’d be sure to use terms that only larger companies with a sophisticated structure would use, such as “department” and “call centre.”
When prospects first opt-in to your email list, you can ask questions in a quick survey such as “which department are you in?” and “what is your position in the company?”
Questions like these also give you an idea whether the prospect is in a decision making role or not, which is another indicator of their quality as a lead.
Now that you know who you’re looking for, and you’ve written your copy, it’s time to adjust your outbound and inbound marketing accordingly.
Adjust your settings to your paid advertising to so that your ads only appear to people who’ve shown interest in topics related to your niche. Guest post on blogs that your target audience reads, and leave a link to your lead magnet (a magnetic piece of content, get it?) in your by-line.
Step 5: Nurture Your Leads at Each Stage.
Create opt-in offers for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
When the prospect opts-in to receive the offer, they can be segmented on to a list that specifically caters to where they’re at. Each email they receive can have a call-to-action that directs them to the next stage in the journey.
Segmenting your email based on what stage they’re in also shows their quality as a lead.
If they’ve downloaded content for the beginning of the buyer’s journey, that means they’re only just starting to learn what their problem is. You’d know that they shouldn’t be contacted about their interest in your product because they aren’t researching solutions yet.
Better Leads, More Sales
Now you can separate yourself from the marketers who are still focusing on the quantity of leads rather than the quality. Here’s to attracting higher quality leads for your sales team and increasing their conversion rate!