You have plenty of website visitors, a high conversion rate and receive a number of B2B leads. But if these leads do not turn into customers, your marketing strategies needs to change.
What is a qualified lead?
A good lead is an unqualified lead that turns into a qualified lead; after that, the lead turns into a customer. You’re successful in reeling in website visitors and you get leads, but that’s where it ends. This is a shame – you are so close to getting new customers!
A qualified lead is a lead that distinguishes itself from a normal lead through particular qualities and actions; you can follow up on a sales-qualified lead. But when is a marketing-qualified lead (MQL) enough to turn into a sales-qualified lead (SQL)? And what brings you to a sales-qualified lead (SQL)?
Then what is a marketing-qualified lead?
With a marketing-qualified lead, the visitor shows interest and leaves his contact information. This initial interaction is also called an information-qualified lead (IQL). This means you have convinced a visitor with your content (e.g. whitepaper or e-book) to leave his or her contact information. You can only call something a marketing-qualified lead if there has been a second moment of contact. As soon as you receive the first contact information of a visitor, you can proceed with providing interesting, distinguishable content.
Turning high conversions and leads into customers
A common problem with organizations is having leads coming in but not turning into customers. So how do you do this?
- Act immediately. Research has shown that contacting a lead within 48 hours after receiving it increases the chance of a sale. Be aware, though, that this difference varies from product to service as to how fast you can contact them – contacting them too soon or to late could scare off a potential customer, too. Formulate a strategy that works well for your target group, feeding the leads with supplemental information such as whitepapers or newsletters. From that, you can determine the right moment to contact your lead.
- Offer relevant content. Downloadable content such as e-books, whitepapers and infographics can be “exchanged” for the visitor’s contact information. Unfortunately, it is all too common that companies react too late or not at all with this contact information. Be clear as to what a visitor should expect after leaving their contact information and ensure you know what to do when a visitor leaves their contact information. Remember that it is incredibly important to reach out to a visitor that has left behind their information.
- Make sure the visitor knows what to do. Websites sometimes do not clarify how the visitor can proceed; in other words, there is no clear call-to-action. A call-to-action is a conspicuous button; it is the action you want the visitor to take. Make sure the call-to-action directly shows the visitor what to expect, e.g. “Ask for a free estimate” or “Contact us now.”
- Create an About Us page. Research has also shown that it is very important that the About Us page, which is the page about the company itself, is up to date and relevant. This page – a frequently visited page on the website – can give the visitor confidence to do business with the company.
From MQL to SQL
You are already dealing with a marketing-qualified lead, but now you have to turn it into a sales-qualified lead – that means it is time to apply lead scoring. Lead scoring means that criteria are defined by the sales department: what does a lead need in order to be a qualified lead so that sales can follow up? You need to convince this lead with quality, distinctive content; you offer them the solution to their problems. In order to offer the lead the right content, it is important to have a good CRM system. All moments of contact with this potential customer can be logged there:
- Which piece of content did the lead read?
- What did he click?
- How much time was spent on these pages?
This information helps you determine where the lead is in his buyer journey, allowing you to adapt the content.
By offering the right content, you make sure that your lead moves along in the buyer journey: from orientation phase to the persuasion phase. As soon as the lead is in this phase, it’s likely that he has a few more questions before proceeding to buying.
The lead is now a sales-qualified lead, meaning that sales can now follow up and turn him into a customer. Once the lead has become a customer, it’s important to keep him happy so that he remains a customer and spreads a positive message to other potential leads.
Improving the quality of your B2B leads
- Discover and learn more about your target group (buyer profile).
- Determine where you can find them online.
- Find out what they are doing or have done online.
- Log this data in a CRM system.
- Serve your lead with high-quality and relevant content.
- Determine whether your lead is well-informed and ready for the next step (lead scoring).
- Contact the lead and turn them into a customer.
To improve your leads, it is important to follow up with them during the lead process in the right way; this will only encourage your potential customer to proceed to the next phase in their purchase/orientation process.
Companies achieve this by providing high-quality, relevant content to potential customers, helping them form an opinion about your product or service. By serving the right content, these customers can be encouraged to continue into the next phase of their buying journey. One of the most important elements is mapping and designing your lead process through lead scoring.