Inbound marketing is really just a cool name for “pre-sales”. Today, B2B marketing teams can prove their ROI and have taken on some of the salesperson’s role when it comes to lead generation and lead nurturing, leaving sales teams more time to build human-to-human relationships and closing sales. In most cases, if implemented properly, inbound marketing can drive significant leads to your business, but not all of them are qualified. So how do you identify quality inbound marketing leads?
- The first thing we need to do is determine what your business defines as a quality lead. We recommend that you create buyer personas that define the buyers’ title at work, age, sex, interests, questions, concerns, goals at work; anything that will help you to understand the buyer’s mindset when making a purchase of your product or service.
- You need to have data collection processes in place, such as marketing automation software, Google Analytics and CRM to ensure you are seeing a full picture of the buyer including: what pages they visited, geographic location, videos watched, number of times they visited your website, etc. This information is attainable with HubSpot as a marketing automation software.
- The last thing you want to do is send your sales team cold leads or worse yet, leads that don’t fit your target. Sending bad leads to your sales team will guarantee that they will never follow up on a digital marketing lead in the future. To avoid this, put in a metric that helps you to define a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). An MQL should have a certain lead score based on activity on your website or if they meet your buyer persona on specific qualities such as geographic location and title.
- Work with the sales team to understand lead quality on an ongoing basis. Sometimes marketing thinks the lead is strong when it is not and keeps delivering more poor quality leads thinking they are doing a great job. Oftentimes the marketing team can adjust the strategy to bring in higher quality, but they need to know the details. Other times the salesperson thinks the lead is bad because they are not seeing all of the data that supports a quality lead.
- Keep a reporting structure that tracks leads pulled into your funnel and how many convert to an MQL and then how many MQLs convert to a sale.
Qualifying your inbound marketing lead is not rocket science, it's all about communication. Make sure marketing and sales are talking and keeping the dialogue open. Your leads will get better and better over time.
For another blog post about qualifying leads, check out:
Lead Scoring: The Journey from Marketing Qualified to Sales Qualified