When is a lead qualified?

Date: 16 April 2015

Need more sales pipeline

It’s all about the leads. All the content, all the social media activity, all the SEO in your inbound marketing strategy should ultimately be focused on creating opportunities. But when is a lead qualified and ready for Sales?

It takes time to build momentum and presence. Growth Hacking, Inbound Marketing, Content Strategy – whatever you call it, it isn’t easy. But it’s important to follow a few guiding principles before we consider leads sales-ready?

Not all leads are created equal

Seeing a new lead come in is a real buzz. Ring the bell!

In reality not all leads are ready for a follow-up from sales. We need to rigorously ask ourselves ‘when is a lead qualified?’ Depending on whose book you read it takes upwards of 5 contacts with a prospect before they’re ready to buy. Unless the prospect has requested a call-back, chances are it’s too soon for Sales to reach out.

Filter and develop leads

Some ‘leads’ aren’t really leads. Perhaps they’re just not leads yet, maybe they never will be. The key is to establish lead nurturing and filtering. Lead nurturing allows you to develop and increase the number of contacts you have with these ‘leads’. Filtering is important to sift out any ‘hot’ leads and junk any rubbish.

Use scoring and alerts

Platforms like Hubspot offer a range of features to help inbound marketers refine their lead generation. Lead scoring allows you profile leads and rank them based on the number and nature of their interactions with you and your inbound marketing.

Alerts are essential to being ready to act when the quality of the lead is right. When someone who has downloaded your key content returns to the site, you need to know about it. It might just be time to make an outbound call.

Sales and marketing need to work together

It’s important that lead evaluation is a collaboration between sales and marketing. It’s highly unlikely that your sales team have the time to reach out to every single lead that comes in – unless the volume is low. And if your lead volume is low, contact us.

Sales-ready leads shouldn’t stop being marketed to

One final thing to remember is that the communication shouldn’t stop when a lead has been passed to sales. There needs to be collaboration and clarity on what will happen. However, the process shouldn’t stop there. There’s opportunity for reinforcement, cross-sell, up-sell and referral. There’s lots more you can do.

If you need to create more opportunities for your business, contact Why Digital to review your strategy and create an action plan.

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