One of the most prominent goals for your digital marketing strategy is bringing in qualified leads. This is part of any business’s growth strategy – creating a constant stream of leads that results in sales. With an alignment between the sales and marketing departments, and a well-formed digital marketing strategy, any small business can bring more sales qualified leads and get the results they want in a crowded marketplace. Your strategy for sales leads will constantly evolve around your customers’ needs, your products, and the results of campaigns. By aligning your strategy with tips from the professionals and adjusting as needed, you’ll be able to meet your goals.
The Differences Between Qualified and Unqualified Leads
At one time, marketing campaigns were measured by likes, shares, and engagement. But these didn’t always result in sales. Now, campaign metrics are measured by qualified leads. Here is a quick explanation of the characteristics of qualified and unqualified leads.
Qualified customer leads:
- Have completed the evaluation phase of researching different companies
- Found that your product or service offerings match their needs
- Are willing to invest time in proceeding
- Have gone through the nurturing process
Unqualified customer leads:
- Have not decided what solution they are looking for
- Are still researching different products and companies
- Do not have the financial resources for your product
- Do not understand your product
Define the Leads With the Potential to Become a Sale to Your Company
Defining and knowing the difference in leads is part of measuring your campaign. Large companies have specialized marketing analysts to do this. For a small business, you should work with the sales staff to define when a lead has the potential to become a sale. Your sales team can recognize when a lead is “hot” and is ready to make a purchase.
Examples may include:
- Signing up for an estimate
- Making an appointment
- Starting a free trial offer
- Putting items in a shopping cart
Unqualified leads are not the end of your journey with that customer. With the right nurturing campaign, you can turn them into qualified. Nurturing campaigns can include social media, email marketing, repetitive advertising, and more.
How Does a Lead Become a Sale? The Buyer’s Journey Explained
The buyer’s journey is the lifecycle of the journey from becoming a visitor to closing the sale. This process includes the different responsibilities of the marketing and sales departments.
Visitors – For digital marketing, this is typically traffic to your website. You can track where they came from, how long they were on your site, where they went, and other metrics.
Leads – A visitor has given personal or contact information signaling they are interested in learning more or potentially want to do business.
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) – Now is the start of marketing directly to an interested party. Depending on the product, this can be a long-term process but is an effective way of turning a lead into a customer.
Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) – A defined qualification goal has been met, and the sales team initiates the contact between sales staff and the customer.
Opportunities – The customer is deciding which of your products best fits their needs. For example, they could be choosing between contract length, color, quantity, or other options.
Customers – The purchase has been completed.
Why Sales Qualified Leads are Essential to Your Small Business
Small businesses have digital marketing budgets that are proportionate to their size. If you are a small business, you want to make sure you are getting the right leads to maximize your digital marketing efforts and fuel business growth. The better you can nurture customers through the Buyer’s Journey, the better the chances of increasing your sales.
How to Generate Sales Leads for Your Business
Here are some tips for finding your potential customers and moving them through the Buyer’s Journey.
- Work with your sales team. This helps align the lead generation goals and lead metrics.
- Define your audience. Who is your audience, and what is important to them?
- Create content around your audience. What are their needs, and how does your product help them? What are they searching for or interested in learning?
- Go where they go. Where is your audience searching for solutions or spending time?
- Create a nurturing campaign. Once someone visits your website or social media page, how can you move them to become a lead?
- Have a call to action (CTA) on all owned media. This can move a customer from a visitor to a lead or even qualify them.
Finally, adjust your marketing efforts as more information comes in regarding lead tracking and sales conversions. You should find which campaigns are resulting in leads and sales. Leverage and amplify these campaigns while refining those that aren’t performing.
A digital marketing agency will help you move customers through the Buyers Journey and refine your campaigns. Contact The Light Digital to learn more about the benefits of working with a digital marketing agency to increase your qualified leads.