Are you looking to improve the quality of your leads within your current budget? Or are you happy to keep wasting money on poor enquiries?
Let’s explore 5 steps to getting better quality leads from your budget.
You may not have considered before if higher quality or lower cost is the best route for your business. In an ideal world we want both. But what is more important for your business?
Too many enquiries of poor quality can take time and money to sift through. They can clog up your CRM system as well as sending you on a wild goose chase to research the possible relevance of that lead.
However, too few qualified leads each costing you too much, can equally cause problems for your organisation and prevent you from reaching your revenue targets.
Identify what your qualified lead is
This may differ for each business but in essence a qualified lead is a lead that fits your ideal prospect criteria.
Most businesses are targeting their products or services to a particular sector of the market. Whether you have created personas, target audience profiles or a client hit list, you should know who the right type of customer is and who is not.
Therefore, your qualified lead is one which fits that “right type of customer” for you.
Once you know who you are targeting, make sure you are measuring the quality of your leads
I have seen many businesses with various ways of tracking the quality of their inbound leads. Some have intelligent CRM systems with sales flows set up, using a set criteria to automatically qualify leads through the sales funnel. Others have an internal database to log and track qualified leads and include the reason for not being qualified, while some have no steps in place at all! If this is you, don’t panic, this can be fixed.
How are you analysing the quality of your leads?
On the most basic level, if you know the criteria in order to qualify your lead, then that can be used to siphon inbound leads into relevancy pots. Here’s two examples:
If the number of employees within a company is important in order for them to be the right client for you, then have a criteria that marks them as unqualified if they have fewer than X employees but more than Y.
If the country that a company is based in is important, then the criteria could be any company outside of the UK is unqualified.
Whether these criteria are actioned automatically based on your CRM, or manually inputted into a secure database, the process and methodology is the same.
If you are not doing this at all right now, then you could be wasting a lot of time and money. Simply calling every incoming enquiry is most likely not the best use of your sales team’s time.
By automating that process or at least logging it for future analysis this can help save time and costs.
What are the main reasons your leads are deemed not qualified?
So now you are measuring if the leads are qualified or not, it’s time to get clever with your reasoning.
All too often I see random notes allocated next to a lead, such as
- Lead 1 – Trying to sell to us
- Lead 2 – Sales call
- Lead 3 – Selling their services
These all mean the same thing. If they were input in the same format you could start to analyse how many inbound enquiries were actually sales calls.
- Lead 1 – Sales call
- Lead 2 – Sales call
- Lead 3 – Sales call
Make sure capitalisation is consistent. You don’t want a graph at the end of the month with 10 “Sales Call” and 15 “Sales call”- it creates another level of work to iron out.
Get some fixed parameters in your CRM or database, a drop-down or pre-set category selection works well for this.
The other trap is the terminology “not relevant” often being used. This tells us nothing!
By allocating a reason as to why it is not relevant would improve your analysis and help identify why you might be getting the wrong type of enquiries.
“Not relevant” could be an inbound sales call, company size too small, company size too big, you don’t offer the services they require, they were out of location.
By segmenting this further you are able to analyse why the enquiries are not right. From there this insight can be used to optimise your marketing and advertising.
What happens to unqualified leads?
Some unqualified leads will be trash, spam, possibly robots pinging your contact form. There are ways of blocking spam or prequalifying your contact forms which may help you to rescue this.
Others may be companies trying to sell to you. These are unfortunately a problem which can be difficult to manage, however think about how these people arrive in your sales funnel, if they are contacting you via a generic form on the website or picking up the phone from the number on the site, there is not very much we can do with these other than auto-filter them out where possible.
The problem is if a company which fits your criteria calls in to sell you something, then they won’t get auto-filtered as unqualified.
You could try the old switcheroo and sell back to them, but it normally isn’t the decision-maker you’ll be speaking to.
But what about the ones which just don’t meet your criteria? Are they just a waste of money and time? Well, perhaps not in all cases.
If they are too small, can you sell them onto a competitor dealing with smaller businesses?
If they are in a different location, is there enough of them to identify an opportunity to expand the business?
Why are these companies coming to you? How are they finding you? You might want to make sure you are not accidentally popping up on their radar in any advertising formats as that is a wasted investment.
How much is too much to pay for a qualified lead?
All the points above are good ways to try and refine the quality and analyse how to improve any marketing or automation to filter out the poor enquiries, but what about the cost of those enquiries?
Do you know how much you should be paying for a qualified lead? I don’t just mean what CPA you are working towards for leads or sales but the true value of driving a hot prospect through the door.
If you are interested in learning more about calculating the required investment to gain the best qualified leads, then visit our “Guide To Calculating a Realistic Cost Per Qualified Lead”.