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There are never enough high-quality leads.
Sure, you can generate a ton of leads, but how do you know if they’re high-quality or just a waste of time and money? 37% of marketers find generating high-quality leads to be one of their biggest hurdles.
And what’s the process for assessing lead quality anyway?
Let’s say you’re in the mortgage industry and looking for leads who aren’t just casually browsing but are ready to take out a mortgage.
Or consider a law firm that needs leads in the same legal services they specialize in.
Here’s the thing—a large number of leads might look good in a spreadsheet or queued up in an autodialer, but it’s the quality that counts.
In this article, I’ll show you real strategies for high-quality lead generation that are more likely to turn into real business and teach you how to effectively assess and filter these leads.
This way, you’re not shooting in the dark, hoping for the best. Instead, you’ll be thoughtful targeting and nurturing leads that will become sales-ready.
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How to assess lead quality: common challenges in high-quality lead generation
Alright, let’s get down to business with assessing lead quality.
When generating sales-ready leads, especially for industries like mortgages, law firms, and senior living communities, the real challenge is assessing lead quality to make sure you’re hitting the mark, and not wasting money on ad spending or landing pages that target the wrong people in the wrong stages of their buyer’s journey.
Did you know that 53% of marketers dedicate HALF of their budget to lead generation? Yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.
Let’s break down the common challenges in three sectors:
- Assessing financial readiness: Is the lead just curious about mortgage rates, or do they have the necessary credit score and a downpayment saved up, indicating they’re serious?
- Lead quality indicators: Using credit check software and pre-qualification questionnaires can help you determine the lead’s financial stability and seriousness about purchasing a home.
- Targeting the wrong audience: A tax law firm specializing in corporate tax receives a lead about a personal income tax audit. This tax firm is targeting leads that don’t match their focus, indicating they’re targeting the wrong audience online.
- Quality assessment: Screen your initial leads with detailed questionnaires to weed out leads that don’t fit your firm’s expertise, saving you time later when reaching out to leads that don’t fit your match.
- Identifying immediate needs: Here, the distinction is between those casually researching assisted living options and those who are actively looking to make a move soon, perhaps indicated by their urgency in communications or specific questions about facilities and care levels.
- Targeting decision-makers: Who’s really in charge? This involves identifying leads who are either the seniors themselves ready to transition or family members actively involved in the decision-making process, perhaps indicated by their detailed inquiries about costs, amenities, and healthcare services.
If you’ve been generating sales-ready leads or purchasing leads, you’ve probably asked yourself the question “Are these leads any good?”
How can you tell a good lead from a bad lead?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are they actively interacting with my content, website, or sales team?
- Do the leads match the customer profile we’ve identified as an ideal buyer?
- Are they showing clear signs of intent, such as requesting a demo, asking about pricing, or directly messaging us?
- Which lead generation channel is bringing in the best leads? Is it a Google Ads campaign? A Facebook Ads campaign? A particular blog on our website that brings in a lot of monthly traffic?
I will say there’s this myth of good leads versus bad leads. You can learn a lot from bad leads, actually, however, that topic is for another blog post.
Here are some indicators of low-quality leads:
- Is the lead showing a low level of interaction? Rarely opening emails or not visiting the website?
- Do the leads fit within the demographic or behavioral profile of your ideal client?
- Has the lead provided incomplete or inaccurate information?
- Does the lead lack the authority or capability to make purchasing decisions?
- Are they not responding?
- Are their needs or requirements something you can offer them?
Roadmap for Sales Success Part 1: Maximize Internet Leads by Mastering Conversions
I know you’re already familiar with the concepts of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), but let’s do a quick refresher. This will help us get on the same page about qualifying internet leads and sales lead evaluation.
These leads have interacted with your marketing efforts. They might have downloaded an eBook from your website or subscribed to your newsletter. They’re interested but not yet ready to pull the trigger on a purchase.
Take Action: Implement lead scoring to gauge their engagement level. This helps in deciding which leads to focus on and nurture towards a purchase decision.
These are the leads that have shown a clear intent to buy, like requesting a demo or a detailed consultation. They’ve moved beyond general interest and are actively considering your product or service.
Take Action: Your sales team should jump in here with hyper-personalized communication to address their specific needs and nudge them closer to making a purchase.
Understand the differences between MQLs and SQLs to understand where your buyers are in their customer journey through the sales funnel. This way, you’re not just collecting leads, but nurturing them to exactly where you want to go.
Follow these tips:
- Monitor online behaviors like webpage visits and content downloads. Use analytics tools like Google Analytics for insights and set alerts for high-interest actions.
- Regularly analyze the conversion journey from MQL to SQL. Identify patterns and touchpoints that effectively turn MQLs into SQLs, and tweak your marketing strategies accordingly.
Answer: The lead’s intent to buy or close.
This makes sense, doesn’t it? Leads with a higher intent to buy are more likely to convert and sign on the dotted line. It’s also much more efficient to focus on these leads.
- Mortgage industry: A lead asking for a loan pre-approval shows higher intent than one just browsing interest rates.
- Law firms: A potential client inquiring about specific legal services indicates higher intent compared to someone just downloading a legal guide.
- Senior living communities: A family scheduling a visit to a facility suggests more serious intent than one only browsing the website.
Follow these best practices to gauge the quality and sales readiness of your leads. This approach to lead scoring will help you prioritize leads by the most important first, making sure you’re not wasting time on low-quality leads that will lead nowhere.
Score leads higher for taking actions such as scheduling appointments or requesting product demos, which signal a very strong interest.
Example: A lead requesting a specific loan type in mortgages, or a family booking a tour to a senior living community. These people have done their homework and are likely ready to commit.
Regularly refine and update your lead scoring system based on your sales team’s feedback.
Example: You may want to increase points for actions taken that frequently lead to conversions, such as placing more weight on people who downloaded a particular eBook or who have completed watching a product demo.
Some of the leads generated will be duds. It’s statistically inevitable, which is why you’ll need a way to filter those out.
That’s why this section is about fine-tuning your lead filters to ensure you’re only catching the high-intent, high-quality prospects — the ones who transform from numbers into your database into real, paying customers.
Follow these detailed steps to refine your lead filters.
Prioritize leads who download specific resources, like a “Home Buyer’s Guide” in real estate, or attend a webinar about legal changes in law practices.
Use CRM software like Salesforce or HubSpot to track and prioritize leads that quickly engage with your email campaigns or actively interact with website chatbots.
A/B split test your leads coming in from a LinkedIn Ad campaign versus a Google Ad campaign. Or Facebook Ads versus Instagram Ads.
Focus more on the platform yielding the most client engagement, then double down on whatever’s working better.
Implement target behavioral scoring
In a mortgage firm, score leads higher if they repeatedly use mortgage calculators on your site, indicating serious buying intent.
Refine demographic focus
For a senior living community, target demographics based on age, location, and interests using Facebook’s detailed ad targeting options.
Let’s talk briefly about the automation tools you’ll need to filter, score, identify, and nurture your leads automatically.
By the way, using automation can result in a 451% increase in leads!
- Automated scoring with CRM: Use Salesforce or HubSpot to automatically score leads based on website interactions.
- Marketing automation: Set up targeted email campaigns in Marketo or Pardot, triggered by specific lead behaviors.
- Web engagement analysis: Use Google Analytics for insight into effective pages and content.
- Behavioral insights: Apply tools like Hotjar for quick visual feedback on user website interactions.
- Email tracking: Use Mailchimp to monitor email engagement and tailor follow-ups.
Roadmap for Sales Success Part 2: Actionable Sales Strategies That Actually Convert
Some leads, even leads who have shown high intent, still need to be nurtured longer than others, especially when considering a longer decision-making timeline, such as mortgages and other big-ticket purchases.
Let’s look at some actionable steps for nurturing your leads for a long time without annoying them.
- Interactive demos: Craft demos that let leads tinker with your product’s features, like a design-your-own feature for a car or a customizable investment portfolio simulation.
- Industry insight reports: Regularly send out nuggets of wisdom about market trends or industry shifts that your leads will find invaluable.
- Exclusive invites: Get them first dibs on your webinars or a sneak peek at your upcoming product line – make them feel part of an elite club.
- Workshops & Q&As: Host sessions where leads can dive deep into topics they care about – whether it’s the latest in cybersecurity or smart home technology.
- Personalized emails via CRM: Use tools like HubSpot to send emails that hit home, reminding them of your last conversation or their specific interests.
- Success stories: Share relatable case studies or customer stories that mirror your lead’s situation, showing how you’ve nailed it before.
- Regular check-ins: Schedule calls to keep the conversation going, update them on what’s new, and check in on their evolving needs.
- Personalized video messages: Send videos that speak directly to their concerns or highlight something new they’ll love about your service.
- Free trials or samples: Let them experience your product first-hand, like a trial period for software or a sample kit from your product line.
- Custom content: Whip up slide decks or eBooks that hit right at the heart of their challenges or curiosities.
Picture this: your company’s message is everywhere your online audience is currently browsing. This is omnichannel marketing.
We’re talking about:
- Your website: Where everyone starts their journey. Maybe they’re reading your blog on “How to Get Approved for a Mortgage” or reading the landing page on “FHA Loan Types”
- Social media: For the socially connected, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.
- Google Ads: When they’re actively searching Google for answers.
- Facebook Ads: When they’re passively browsing Facebook or Instagram out of boredom.
- LinkedIn Ads: When you want to target B2B game-changers and professionals in a business mindset.
- Email: When they’re searching through their inboxes.
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