“Are They Worth It?”: The Vitality of Qualifying Leads
Once upon a time, there was a marketing team. The marketing team generated a lot of leads for their sales team… with a cost per lead of $2.50! What a dream!
Then one day, the sales team came back to the marketing team with solemn news:
“The leads are no good. We don’t believe these are qualified leads and we are seeing record low conversions.”
The marketing team kept thinking, “How could this be? We generated hundreds and hundreds of leads. Surely there are plenty of quality leads.” So they pulled up their list and decided to audit the leads themselves. What they came to find out is… only 2.8% of the leads were qualified for purchase. This made the cost per (qualified) lead reality shift from $2.50 to $2500 per lead. Yikes.
After all, it’s not like you make a profit solely from the number of leads you generate – but instead from the number of viable leads you can convert.
Unfortunately, this is the reality for many, many sales and marketing teams. Of the 86% of marketers who said they have defined lead qualification criteria for their leads, less than half of them actually use that criteria consistently. That means sales is chasing down leads and wasting time with consumers who aren’t going to close.
While marketers might be proud of the cost per lead or abundance of leads they generate, the more talented marketers opt to measure MQLs first and foremost. The reason? The cost per lead has very little correlation with quality of leads. This is why lead qualification and conversion is where much of the misalignment between sales and marketing occurs. The middle of the sales funnel is just as (if not more) important than the top and bottom of the funnel.
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As exciting as cost-per-lead is, cost-per-conversion matters more. If you’re one of the 14% of marketers who doesn’t have lead scoring in place, try asking these questions to create your customer profile:
- What makes someone a good fit?
- What actions demonstrate they’re “sales-ready”?
Once a customer profile is in place, it’s important to examine why that profile and qualification criteria has become underutilized. We already know lead qualification is important. But what does leveraging strong lead qualification systems actually do to serve your marketing and sales team?
Bottom line: It saves your team time, money, and energy in the short and long run.
For companies who generate high volumes of leads but struggle to have consistent qualification and nurturing practices in place, there are options. The best and most cost-effective solution is implementing a technology that integrates with your CRM to connect, qualify, nurture, and convert your leads into appointments.
While that might sound expensive, it’s actually quite cost-effective and almost all companies see revenue increase 10-20% in the first six to nine months. Even better, the lead data acquired by a Lead Conversion Software from observing behavioral patterns of leads as they come in helps marketers readjust their strategies to generate more high quality leads for their sales team.
If you want to see the most squeezed out of your lead generation efforts, then the middle of the funnel is going to be the first place to start. Stop skipping the important steps of the sales funnel or you’ll see money left on the table.