Passing the right leads from marketing to sales is hard – qualification is key but sometimes inbound leads land without much background information to go on. A qualifying strategy that separates the ‘readys’ from the ‘not-readys’ saves your sales team from wasting time and allows them to focus on closing opportunities.
In this article, we’ll focus on how you can quickly qualify leads to help your sales team focus on the best-fit opportunities.
What is a marketing qualified lead?
Marketing Qualified Leads are leads that have shown some sort of interest in your business. They’re interested in the idea of a sale and have taken a first step to engage with your business but haven’t made a purchase yet.
Examples of marketing qualified lead actions:
- Filling out an online form
- Responding to an email looking for more information
- Repeating site visits/spending a lot of time on your site/viewing specific service pages
The above are just a few examples but are not a comprehensive list; you should figure out what a MQL means for your specific business based on your marketing and sales activity and actions you would expect a potential customer to take.
How to qualify marketing leads:
Here are simple steps you need to know to start qualifying your marketing leads:
Create qualification criteria
It’s crucial that between sales and marketing you have defined criteria of what a well-qualified lead is for your business. Consider what needs, motivations, authority, budget and timescales make a prospect perfect for you.
Understand your buyers and where they are in their journey
Look at who your target audience is and consider what would make them a perfect lead. What goals and challenges may they have?
Determine company demographic and firmographic qualification factors
We recommend you choose factors that are already represented in your existing customer base already. Demographic and firmographic characteristics can include company size, industry, geographical location.
As an example, for a supply chain and logistics business understanding which countries the prospect imports from and exports to, what modes of transport they use, and the volume or number of shipments they move in a year may be key criteria. For a software provider it may be understanding what systems they currently have in place.
These are just examples however, and you should use any factors that make sense for your unique purposes.
Gather feedback from sales
At the start of the process, it can be beneficial to sit down with the sales team and understand what a well-qualified lead means to them. Take the time to understand how you can make the process easy for them and get as close as possible to defining the leads in a way that your sales team will be able to work with them quickly and efficiently.
Revisit qualifying criteria
Sales and marketing should stay in communication to assess whether the qualification criteria is working or if it needs to be changed to make best use of time. For example, if the business is launching a new service, you may be able to contact a whole new demographic and broaden the scope.
The hardest part of qualifying marketing leads is usually just defining the process and taking the first step! But it’s a smart investment of time that will be beneficial to both teams, providing better-qualified leads, reducing time spent on the sales process, and increasing the number of best-fit customers!
Contact us today for support with generating and qualifying your sales pipeline!