Lead quality is a constant issue when doing any kind of marketing. Think about it like fishing with a net. You throw it out and catch some big fish along with a lot of little fish. You then throw back the little fish and enjoy the big fish.
If your marketing is catching too many little fish or not enough big fish, adjustments should be made to improve the quality of the leads you’re generating.
Before we go into this, take a minute to note if you are generating leads. This is much better than companies that are generating zero leads. Generating unqualified leads is something that typically just requires adjustment. Not being able to generate any leads is a much bigger and more challenging issue.
Here are some techniques for improving the quality of the leads you’re already generating.
Since we’re talking about marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) in this article, let’s make sure we’re all clear. These are people who visited your website, converted on a form and shared their contact information with you. These are almost always considered inbound marketing-generated leads.
If these leads are less qualified or of a lower quality than you’d like, consider upgrading the offers on your website to something that would appeal more to the level of lead you’re looking for.
The best way to do this is to go back to your work on the prospect’s buyer journey and look at what questions prospects have early in their buyer journey. It’s possible that the offers on your site aren’t aligned with these questions or might not be perfectly aligned with the issues prospects are facing.
Here’s an example. If you want to talk with C-level people inside your prospect’s organization but you’re getting procurement or manager-level contacts, you should create content directed at the CEO, CFO or COO – something like The CEO’s Ultimate Guide to Lead Generation that speaks directly to the role or level you want to attract.
Make sure the CTA is clear, emotional and compelling. Place it strategically on the correct website pages. Also, make sure it’s easy and quick for people to fill out the form and get the content.
A small change like this could quickly improve the quality level of the leads you’re already getting.
You might need a specific page on your website to talk to and convert specific types of prospects. If you’re going after a specific industry, try an industry-specific page. If you’re looking for a specific role like we discussed in the above section, consider a role-specific page. If you’re solving a specific issue, use an issue-specific page.
If you couple these highly targeted pages with the right offer (like we discussed), you should see the quality of leads improve.
Quality is often in the eye of the beholder. This means not everyone looks at the same lead and agrees on the quality. Here are two examples – which one is the better lead?
The first lead is the CEO of a smallish company that needs what you do. They’re in your industry, but at this size, their ability to afford what you do could be a consideration.
The second lead is the manager of a larger company that needs what you do. They’re in your targeted industry, and their size means they can definitely afford your services/products.
Which is the better lead?
My answer might be different from your answer. That’s why lead scoring is something to consider if the quality of your inbound leads is in question.
Setting up a lead-scoring model provides a quantitative score to all your leads, and if you do the modeling correctly, it should represent how the company as a whole views the quality of the leads, not just the individual sales reps or marketing folks.
In our example, access to the CEO (decision-maker) might give the first lead a higher score, even though the size of the company could be an issue.
Getting everyone on the same page regarding the criteria for lead quality is critical to aligning marketing and sales and getting everyone working together.
If you want to improve the quality of your leads, consider the message and story on your homepage.
Your homepage messaging or headline has two purposes – to bring in the people you want and repel the people you don’t. It’s possible it’s not attracting or repelling correctly.
Back to our example above. If you want to attract CEOs of mid-size companies, your website should speak directly to their issues, challenges and pains. If I’m the CEO of a small company and land on your site, your message should make me feel like I’m in the wrong place.
However, if I’m the CEO of a mid-size company, your website should speak to me, be compelling for me to look around, address my specific challenges, help me feel like I’m in the right place and show that you understand me, my company and our challenges.
Does your website have a message like this? Most don’t.
This is such a big issue for many of the companies we work with that we created a video series all about creating your Big Story and how integral it is if you want to generate leads, sales opportunities and new business revenue.
There’s only so much you can do with your own assets, the people finding your site and the nurturing or lead scoring associated with measuring quality leads.
After you tackle the tasks above, you’re going to have to move offsite and try to find more people who fit the profile of your high-quality leads.
This means uncovering where the people who you deem high quality are spending their time online and offline. We call these places watering holes, like in the wild where animals congregate around water. You need to find where your best prospects congregate.
Digitally, these are blogs they read, emails they subscribe to, online communities they participate in and perhaps even some associations or membership groups with online platforms where they visit for information.
Some of these places are not digital. Your big industry trade show or conference is an example of a watering hole – if your target prospects go to those events.
Your goal is to collect as much information as possible on all these viable watering holes. By starting to participate in one or more of these communities, you can gain access to your exact target prospect and drive high-quality leads.