Determining which are your best leads — in other words, those most likely to turn into customers — can help you increase your conversion rate and boost sales. Also, putting more focus on your most likely prospects in your pipeline will save you time (because you won’t be chasing dead-end leads). But how can you figure out which are the best leads?
First, Categorize Leads
Did you realize that 73% of new B2B leads aren’t ready to make a purchase? That doesn’t mean they’re not worth pursuing, but you will want to handle them differently than you would a lead who’s ready to buy.
Create “buckets” for your contacts. These buckets might include:
- People you’ve met in person
- People who downloaded an ebook
- Social media contacts
You could also categorize them by how they ended up in your lead funnel, such as “downloaded our 10 Reasons to Invest in Financial Software ebook,” which you’ve targeted at a particular audience.
Next, Score Those Leads
This part is fun, and a bit like a game. You can assign points to each lead to give it a score. The higher the score, the better the lead. You can give points for things like:
- Job title
- Interactions with your brand (downloaded whitepaper, attended webinar)
Also take away points for any negative actions that a lead takes, like unsubscribing from your email list.
Decide on Nurturing Techniques
Even if a lead ranks high on your scoring matrix, she might not be ready to buy from you right now, so it’s imperative that you invest the time and energy in nurturing her appropriately. If you can further break down your bucket of high-scoring leads into where they are on the buyer’s journey, you can give what each lead needs at the particular stage she’s in.
For example, if a lead is in the Consideration stage, she’s past needing to be informed about your general category of product. Now she’s comparing you to the competition. Make it easy for her. This is the ideal time to send her a free graphic that puts you (in a favorable light without being promotional) against the other top players in your space. Remember: you want to communicate that you’re trying to help her on her buying journey, not push her into a decision, so focus on being informative, not salesy.
Leverage that CRM
Your CRM platform can be hugely helpful in nurturing your best leads…but only if you maximize your use of it. Take copious notes about your leads’ activities, and tag each contact with that lead scoring information. You can even more a contact from one category or stage of the buying cycle to the next so you can easily view everyone who’s at the same stage.
These days, we have so much data at our fingertips, that chasing bad leads is nearly obsolete. Instead, put your efforts toward ensuring that those ideal leads grow to love and trust you, and eventually become customers.
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