Leads come in many shapes, sizes and stages of 'sales-readiness'. While it might not be the snappiest marketing phrase you will hear all year, sales-readiness can make all the difference when it comes to a lead nurturing campaign, defining what is, and isn't a sales qualified lead.
In this blog, we get to the bottom of - what is a sales qualified lead?
Categorisation is key
Because all leads have their own characteristics, it is important that we categorise them appropriately. Apart from the basic data which you might be able to gather during your lead generation process - such as job title and company size - there is also the need to judge how 'ripe they are for the picking'. In a sales context, this means whether they are ready to engage in a sales conversation, i.e. if they are sales qualified.
Know your indicators
In order to assess sales readiness and qualify your sales, you will need to measure a lead's level of engagement with your brand thus far. This can be done by using metrics including; the type of pages which they have viewed on your website; the number of pages they have viewed; frequency of visits to your website; anything they have downloaded, such as a brochure or free demo; repeat visits to pages which include pricing; and the number of times they have opened your emails.
Organising your data
As you can see above, the various metrics used to assess sales qualified leads mean that there is an awful lot of data flying around! That's why we can be thankful for the availability of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions which allow you to record all your tracked behaviour in lead profiles, at all stages of the buyer's journey.
You might also like to utilise a lead scoring system, using the data which you have gathered, to help you identify sales qualified leads. This technique can be automated, and typically uses a scale such as one to 100 to assess sales-readiness. These lead scoring systems can save your sales teams time, meaning that they have a set method of deciding which leads get fast-tracked around the marketing, sales and service flywheel.
A typical lead scoring model
While there is no compulsory method of calculation for lead scoring, you might like to divide each lead score into four separate elements, before totalling their final score. These elements include;
Lead Fit, which includes background information on the prospect, including their demographics; Lead Interest, such as the proactive steps which they have taken to engage in your brand through calls to action (what is a call to action? Think links to landing pages and content offers that convert, social follow buttons and invitations to call!); Lead Behaviour, which assesses the type of content a lead is viewing, potentially indicating their current knowledge about a product or service; and finally Buying Stage, which defines how far along the buyer's journey they are in relation to becoming a customer.
Once you've defined your criteria, and have an efficient method of scoring, identifying sales qualified leads and managing to attract buyers becomes a whole lot easier!