No matter what industry you work in, having a well defined lead funnel is essential to identifying your most qualified contacts and determining at which point a lead should be handed over to the sales department.
By defining the lifecycle stages of your lead funnel with the following stages - subscriber, lead, marketing qualified leads, sales qualified leads, opportunities, customer - you can gain a better understanding of where each prospect is, which prospects are the most likely to convert and how close they are to making a purchase with you
If your lead funnel is filling up quicker than it’s flowing, with a disproportionate amount of leads and marketing qualified leads, it’s probably time to look at how your business is turning leads from being marketing qualified to being sales qualified.
Turning marketing qualified leads into sales qualified leads is an essential stage of your lead funnel. If your marketing team is sending unqualified leads to your sales team - for example, those who meet your targeting criteria but are not ready to buy - your sales team will inevitable waste a lot of time trying to reach out to people who may not be interested and will be much more difficult to convert
Marketing qualified leads are leads which have been judged by a company’s marketing team to be most likely to become a customer when compared to other prospects. This qualification is based on a user's activity and the information they have already provided to your company. By labelling leads as marketing qualified, your sales team will know who to sell too.
In order to ensure your marketing department is progressing the right type of leads to your sales team, both teams need to agree on a few things. First of all, there should be an arrangement on the types of people that you are trying to target. By creating ideal buyer personas for your business, you can make sure all activity targets the people you want to attract to your business.
To keep track of when prospects are ready to become marketing qualified leads, you should create a checklist of all actions that a lead should complete before coming a customer - these could include requesting a demo, visiting certain web pages of your website or carrying out certain actions on your site. As people complete these actions, you should log them in your CRM system, moving people through your lead funnel so you know when they’re in a position to become sales qualified leads.
A person’s interactions with your brand can reveal how close they are to making a buying decision. If a person is a good fit for your business and interested in your business, you should keep an eye on their engagement with your brand and, once they’ve completed your checklist of actions, move them onto your sales team. Where a person is a good fit but seems less interested in your brand, you should nurture them, providing them with additional useful content until they’re ready to buy.
If you’re lacking marketing qualified leads to pass on to your sales team, consider adding more calls-to-action on your website, make it easier for leads to navigate your website. If you’re still having difficulty, talk to the sales team to make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to attracting the right people to your business.
Not sure where to start to creating your ideal buyer persona? Our online experts are here to help. We can answer any questions you have on inbound marketing and turning marketing qualified leads into sales qualified leads to help you make sure your lead funnel is flowing. Contact us today.