Sales leads are the foundation of nearly every business. They are the seeds that eventually turn into sales. But just like literal seeds, not every lead you pursue will turn into a sale. That’s why expert marketers recommend cultivating qualified leads.
By their nature, qualified leads are much more likely to convert to sales. Whatever lead generation services and strategies you deploy should absolutely cast as wide a net as possible. But you should also develop strategies for cultivating qualified leads. A steady base of such leads keeps conversion rates equally steady, thus boosting sales revenues and giving your sales team confidence.
The Qualified Lead Defined
‘Qualified lead’ is a term frequently used in the legal industry. To an attorney, a qualified lead is a potential client who has already expressed interest in legal representation. We can apply the same principle to virtually any type of business enterprise.
A qualified lead to an online retailer is a customer that has somehow expressed interest in purchasing that company’s products. In the service sector, qualified leads do certain things indicating that they are in need of the service at hand. Simply put, qualified leads have already expressed some measure of interest.
They are extremely valuable because they have already taken that first step. They are not just reading your blog posts or window shopping on occasion. They need or want something, and they know it. Identifying them is a matter of retooling lead generation services to effectively recognize their behaviors.
What Qualified Leads Do
Identifying qualified leads isn’t rocket science. In fact, it is a lot like hunting. You set up certain parameters for attracting potential customers, then observe their behaviors. Qualified leads do certain things:
1. They Sign up for Newsletters
A customer signing up for your company newsletter is not only showing interest in what you have to offer, but also begging to learn more. Signing up for a newsletter or marketing emails is the strongest indication of a qualified lead.
2. They Utilize Shopping Carts
In a retail setting, qualified leads utilize shopping carts – even when they don’t necessarily buy. They may add a few things before abandoning the cart for whatever reason. They may choose an item to add to the cart just so that they can get to the next page to see shipping charges. All such actions are a clear indicator of interest.
3. They Land on Landing Pages
By their nature, landing pages are designed to cull qualified leads. A well-designed landing page is reached through a link designed to specifically target those people most willing to buy. As such, the people who land on your landing page took the proverbial bait, so to speak. They are ready to be converted.
Your Results May Vary
You have undoubtedly seen commercials for things like pharmaceuticals and investment firms, commercials from companies that find it necessary to let you know (in the small print, no less) that your results may vary. Apply that same principle to sales and it becomes clear why qualified leads are so important.
The results your organization gets from unqualified leads may vary from week-to-week or month-to-month. There is never any guarantee that you will enjoy a consistent conversion rate with unqualified leads.
Qualified leads change the game. They tend to produce higher conversion rates because they are already prepared to buy. Knowing this leads to an obvious question: are your lead generation services designed to cultivate qualified leads? If not, it is time to change things. Qualified leads are the best kinds of leads. They are the ones you want most.