The goal of any company is to convert potential leads into customers and grow their loyal customer base. However, only a fraction of these leads businesses generate will become customers. The process of filtering through those thousands of opportunities to find the best ones with the highest ROI is called lead qualification. This process is an integral part of streamlining the marketing and sales process. Without it, your sales and marketing teams won’t prioritize their activities and will waste time on leads who will never convert.
While lead qualifying is incredibly beneficial, unfortunately, many companies do not have the time to guide every lead through the entire process every step of the way. The solution? Lead qualifying automation.
This post will take you through what lead qualification is, why it is essential to automate, and the tools needed to automate that process.
Understanding lead qualification
There are a few ways companies can use lead qualification:
- Weeding out leads who are not a good fit: Lead qualification can be used to determine whether a prospect fits your ideal customer profile or not. While many of your leads may have high intent to buy, sometimes they’re not always the best fit. Ex: Your product is for businesses, not consumer purchases.
- Understanding where leads are within the sales funnel: Some of your leads may be a good fit but just aren’t ready to buy yet. You can use this information to help determine where they are in the buyer’s journey so you can create marketing campaigns and send targeting messages to nurture them through the funnel.
- Lead scoring: Your business can also use lead qualification to determine the likelihood of a prospect becoming a customer and, perhaps more importantly, whether they have the potential to become a loyal and profitable long-term customer.
To effectively qualify and score your leads, you need to know as much as possible about each one. You are essentially gathering data and insights that will help you pick the leads to focus on. Qualifying leads is therefore crucial to ensuring that your sales team gets the best results from their efforts.
At this point, automation can come in handy as it can help your sales team spend less time weeding through the masses and more time selling and converting quality leads!
Automating your lead qualification strategy
40% of marketing, sales, and business professionals admit that a lack of an effective strategy is the most challenging obstacle to lead generation success. Automation can help you overcome this challenge when creating a unified lead generation process for your business. Essentially, it is a set of strategies designed to give you control and flexibility over the lead generation process. This process goes from converting website visitors into leads, to nurturing them until they are ready to buy.
Marketing automation’s greatest strength is its ability to personalize communication with leads based on the information gathered in previous interactions and their sales-readiness stage without the need for “real” human interaction.
Here are a few ways to use lead qualification automation to not only generate more leads but also nurture leads to make it easier for your sales team to convert more sales:
Lead scoring and lead grading are two commonly used techniques to qualify leads — that is, to determine if a lead is worth passing from your marketing team on to sales. With lead scoring, you can determine the level of interest in your company’s product or service from inbound leads by assigning interactions, such as viewing a webpage or clicking an email, a numerical value. When a lead accumulates a numerical value that designates them a sales qualified lead (SQL), a notification can automatically be sent to your sales teams to follow up accordingly. This will save your team time by only spending time with the SQLs that are deemed ready to reach out to.
A smart form is a dynamic form you can use on your web pages or landing pages that can alter the form fields that are displayed based on their previous submissions. For example, if your business is only selling to other businesses, you can add a field on your form that asks if they are a business or a consumer. After someone selects “business”, then your dynamic smart form can recognize it is a business submission and automatically add another field to the form that asks for their company name.
Using smart forms, your current lead capture form can qualify leads on the fly and automatically send notifications to your sales team to view the contact property with the information gathered.
As soon as a prospective client starts engaging with the chatbot, the chatbot can begin gathering information to qualify the lead. For example, it might ask what services the lead is most interested in or what state they currently reside in. The information gathered from the automated chatbot conversation can immediately be integrated to that persona’s contact information page within your CRM.
Another lead qualifying strategy is using automated workflows. The key to an effective lead nurturing workflow is to provide value at each stage of the buyer’s journey. Following up with a lead is done by delivering relevant content and encouraging them to be proactive, depending on their behavior. Once someone has achieved the desired goal of the workflow (ex: an awareness stage contact download a consideration stage piece of content) another workflow is triggered that enters them into a set of another set of nurturing emails until they eventually become ready to convert or speak with a sales rep OR are deemed unqualified and removed from further communication if they do not take the necessary actions. If they are deemed unqualified, however, a notification can be triggered after 6 months to reengage.
These different lead qualification automation tactics will set your sales team up for success and notify them when a quality lead is likely (and ready) to convert. Using lead generation automation will save time, shorten the sales cycle, increase conversion rates, and generate more revenue.
Lead Qualification Tools
HubSpot CRM, for example, incorporates marketing automation that eliminates most manual work and automates the process in real-time. In other words, you have more time to focus on higher-value tasks.
HubSpot’s lead scoring and reporting will notify the sales rep when a lead is ready to be connected. You can also view the prospect’s entire communication history, engagement, and company details at a glance. HubSpot CRM then automatically synchronizes these sales calls, emails, and notes to a contact’s timeline. This allows you to find the information you need quickly. It is extremely beneficial to see a prospect’s communication history, engagement, and company information at a glance. This process provides invaluable insights that allow the CRM to qualify leads into the buyer’s journey categories for the sales team.
In addition to providing marketing automation features, SALESmanago offers sales tools, such as contact management and lead generation. Social proof is another feature that eCommerce companies can utilize to display the comments from their audience on their products. You can also do A/B testing on the users’ websites’ content and the landing pages and product recommendations.
Predictive lead scoring is a feature that assigns points for various lead characteristics and behaviors. Depending on how a lead interacts with the business, this score changes dynamically.
Sendinblue offers functionality that combines the most comprehensive marketing, sales, and CRM options. This program focuses on four main functionalities: communicate, personalize, convert, and improve. Using the tool, users can distinguish between qualified leads and contacts using a scoring system. To trigger outreach campaigns automatically, the platform use the lead scores already generated.
MobileMonkey offers a chatbot design and implementation platform that helps users build chatbots, monitor them, and receive analytics. They guarantee “as many leads as possible or your money back”. MobileMonkey offers smart lead alerts that feature email notifications and mobile app push notifications. These notifications also allow you to trigger based on any criteria you want. The tool also helps lead acquisition by doing repetitive work for you, like asking for contact information or answering FAQs. Finally, the chatbot can sync your data into your CRM so all of that information is in one place. This can trigger a notification to the sales team when they’ve signaled they’re ready to speak to a sales rep.
The use of automation continues to make the marketing and sales process so much easier. By including these tools in your marketing strategy, you will accurately capture better and more substantial leads. Pyxl continues to grow and expand our knowledge base on automation to fit your business needs. Contact Pyxl today to see how we can help streamline your business by incorporating lead qualifying automation into your marketing and sales strategy!
Updated: Jun 09, 2021