Are You Contacting Your Leads Too Early?

By On 15, Nov, 2011 |  In: Internet Marketing |  | 0

As Internet marketers, we are aware that only a portion of our leads are ready to convert to sale in this quarter. Many reports state that only 25% of leads are sales ready, so how do you know when your leads are truly ready to be contacted? As an Internet marketing company, we always recommend achieving this through lead scoring.

Start by defining what a sales ready lead is. The best way to achieve this is by outlining who your ideal customer is and what information or actions they have to take to be considered sales ready. Then, speak to your sales team. They should have a strong understanding of who the best converting customer is. If you’re not already doing so, you also want to take a look at your database and clarify the key industries, companies, job titles, and any other information that gives a clear indication of the ideal customer.

Keep in mind that this explicit criteria, the information that a prospect provides, is only half the equation. The other half of the equation is behavioral. It’s implicit. And this is where you get a much better understanding of if your lead is sales ready. These are the actions that your prospects take, such as if they download an eBook, attend a Webinar, or view certain Web pages. And this provides a clear indication if your prospect is ready to get contacted.

It’s important to also keep in mind that explicit information can be overstated and at times, inaccurate. It is for this reason that you want to weight the actions that prospects take and the information that they provide in terms of the order of importance. For example, many companies weight a prospect that attends a Webinar more highly than an eBook Download.

You want to apply negative scoring as the lead ages or if they are not taking action over time. The reason for this is that as leads age, the probability of the lead converting goes down over time, and you want to factor this in to your lead score.

You want to use the typical BANT criteria, which includes an understanding of your prospects budget, authority, need, and timing, which can be captured by a telemarketer to further qualify the lead for a sales representative or consultant.

Once you have determined your scoring system, you want to test it against your sales pipeline to test your hypothesis and alter your scoring system over time. And you want to hold regular meetings between sales and marketing to assess your lead scoring and ensure that it is effectively giving you actionable information.

If you have any questions about lead scoring or the companies that you can use to implement an email and lead scoring system, please comment.

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