What To Do With Leads When You Get Them
You’ve followed best practices by creating a compelling offer (one that is relevant and useful), framed the offer in an engaging call-to-action, linked this to a landing page that succinctly describes the offer and its benefits, and prompted your website visitor to exchange her personal information for your piece of content.
You now have a name and an email address of someone who raised her hand and expressed an interest in your service.
What do you do with this lead now?
Best practices dictate that you contact the lead quickly (ideally in the first couple of minutes of receiving it). Responding quickly takes advantage of their current level of interest and improves the chances of moving them to the next phase of the buying cycle.
According to the Sales Lead Management Association, organizations fail to follow up on 80% of all leads generated, indicating there is a clear gap where many companies can improve (This excellent article provides a full breakdown of how to revitalize your lead management system).
However, only 5%-15% of the names you collect on your website or from your marketing campaigns will be ready to buy from you right away. So in most cases passing the lead immediately onto sales isn’t going to produce good results, and in fact it may prove harmful. If the leads aren’t ready to buy they’ll receive a hard-sell message when in fact they may just be initially considering your service.
What you need to do is determine where your lead is on the buying cycle in order to deliver the appropriate message.
One way to do this is by creating offers for the different stages of the buying cycle: consideration, evaluation, and buying stage. The type of offer your lead initially responds to is a good indication of where they are in the process.
Qualify leads by creating offers for each stage of the buying cycle (Tweet this!)
For example, review all of your current web-based offers and determine which ones fit into the top of the sales funnel, the middle of the sales funnel, and the bottom of the sales funnel.
Top Of The Funnel (Consideration)
This content should address the needs and questions of someone who is initially considering your type of product or service and wants high level information or guidance. Offers such as tip sheets, whitepapers, common questions, “how to” guides” or infographics work well here.
Middle Of The Funnel (Evaluation)
After your prospects considers your offer they are ready to move onto the evaluation phase, deciding whether or not to invest time and money. More detailed information about your specific product or service is appropriate here. Offers at this stage should consist of webinars, videos, fact sheets, or consultations.
Bottom Of The Funnel (Buy)
When your prospects are ready to buy they want to get a taste of or experience the product. They also want to validate their decision. Free samples or trials, demos, case studies and referrals or testimonials are all good examples of offers at the bottom of the funnel.
Once you have identified where your prospect is on the buying cycle, you can follow up with a response relevant to what they want and expect, in effect providing the right message at the right time, which is the goal of all good marketing.
The best way to fulfill this is by building an email lead nurturing campaign. Using emails to guide your qualified leads further along the buying cycle is something we will cover in a future post.
To build your own, proven, lead conversion process, download our Lead Generation Blueprint: