how to qualify business leads

How to qualify business leads can sometimes be difficult as you may not always know how interested leads are in your product or services. So how do you qualify your business leads?

Inbound marketing and the help of marketing automation software can really change the way your business qualifies leads. With the magic of lead scoring you or your sales team can just receive leads that are interested in buying your product or services and the ones that are not can be put into a lead nurturing campaign until they are.

How does lead scoring help qualify leads?

Lead scoring helps you identify when a customer is ready to buy. This is done is by assigning different points to different actions people take on your website.

For example, if someone downloads a user guide they can be assigned points. If they then revisit your website and visit your pricing page they can be assigned more points.  How you gain points for lead scoring will be different for every business but the theory behind lead scoring is the same.

When your leads on your website reach a certain score these leads can then be passed to you or your sales team. As these leads have already shown good interest in your product or services they are more qualified and are more likely to convert. This is going to save you and your sales team a great deal of time as you will not need to chase up leads that are not likely to convert.

What actions on my website would determine high lead scores?

It is great to have lead scoring in place but how do you calculate which actions on your website attribute the most points? Again this will depend on your business and what you deem as important but here are some common ones to get you started:

These are all important actions on your website which tell you that your customers are interested in your product or services.

What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is all about creating amazing content that helps to answer your customers questions and addresses their pain points which will then help them make informed buying decisions.

Then on these pages of remarkable content use  a “call to action”(see bottom of page for example) to entice your customers (or what we would call prospects at this stage) to visit a landing page where they can get more related content. See figure 1 below for one of our landing pages in our guide on “what to expect from an SEO company in 2013”.

landing page example

fig 1. landing page

There is a lot more to inbound marketing than call to actions and landing pages but if you do not have these on your website you are really missing out. If you just have a contact form somewhere on your website you will be missing out on all the prospects that are not ready to buy, which in most cases in 95% of your website traffic.

Inbound marketing automation software

To enable you to best score your website leads, you are going to need to employ good marketing automation software. If used correctly this software could become one of your best buying decisions when it comes to closing more leads on your website.

When it comes to choosing your marketing automation software, I have compiled a list of the ones which I feel are the best in the market and you can see them at the end of this post. However I would research and speak to each company to see which one is the best fit for your company needs. All of this software can be easily integrated into your current sales software or customer relationship management system (CRM) so all your leads can be easily passed onto your sales team.

What about the leads that are not qualified?

Too many companies focus on the qualified leads and throw away the leads that are not. Maybe this is because some sales teams work on commission and want to target the low hanging fruit. This should be avoided and these leads should be put into a lead nurturing campaign to move them down the sales funnel so they can become a more qualified lead.

By following this process you will not only see an increase in leads you will also have more qualified leads and have saved a lot of time.

Marketing automation companies

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