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Increase Lead-to-Sales Ratios with Effective Lead Qualification and Scoring
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By Geoff Rego

If your marketing team is providing your sales staff plenty of leads, but the sales team isn’t converting them into sales, the problem could be that your marketing team is actually sending the sales staff too many leads. Send a sales team a batch of 100 leads and the sales staff will follow up on a sample of those leads. If the calls they make from the sample turn out to be weak leads, a sales staff will often abandon the entire batch. What your sales team needs in leads is not quantity, but quality. By implementing an effective lead qualification and scoring system, you can significantly increase your lead-to-sales conversion ratio.

Define “Qualified”

Marketers and sales people often have different ideas about what a qualified, sales-ready lead is. And both sides often base their decisions upon invalid assumptions about potential customers. Get your marketing and sales team together in the same room and hammer out a workable definition of “sales-ready lead.” Consider the anecdotal information from the sales people, but also review as much analytical data as you can put together. For example, of the people who eventually bought your product, what did most of them say in response to your web forms? How many of them attended live webinars (and which webinars)? How many downloaded white papers from your Web site?

When companies compile and study actual data they often learn some surprising things about their customers. For example, many companies have discovered that people who are not really decision makers will claim to be decisions makers when they complete web forms. It’s an ego thing. So you can’t base your lead qualification rules solely on self-reported data. You need also need behavioral data.

And studies of behavioral data can also provide surprising results. For example, many companies have found that the people who download white papers are often not the true decision makers. On the other hand, the true decision makers will participate in more high-touch activities, such as attending seminars.


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Geoff Rego is the CEO and Co-Founder of Market2Lead.
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