How to deal with a feast/famine situation in lead generation

Uneven levels of lead generation throughout the year are a cause of stress for many sales organizations. In particular, small B2B firms may struggle to strike the right balance. At certain times of year, it may seem like sales employees are generating few or no leads, and at other times, your team may inundated and have a hard time keeping up. This can detract from sales effectiveness because during busier seasons, your sales representatives could fail to follow up with a qualified, sales-ready lead. During slower periods, reps might come on too strong when prospects aren’t ready to buy. This could frustrate leads and cause them to take their business elsewhere instead of creating a sale. If your organization is facing this situation, it may be time to reassess your lead generation techniques and consider implementing scoring to create a better balance.

Within a marketing automation platform, you can establish lead scoring criteria that enables your team to better manage and distribute prospects as they enter the revenue funnel. This technique is highly effective because it allows you to determine which leads are qualified, which aren’t and which prospects need more nurturing before converting.

Determining qualified leads helps your team strike a better balance

Managing an overabundance of leads is all about prioritizing. It’s important to remember that Internet lead generation doesn’t stop with a pool of prospects; you need to convert them into customers, according to an article for The Artillery Marketing Blog written by Douglas Burdett. There are multiple types of qualified leads, and it can inform how your sales employees should approach them. You can’t immediately follow up on every lead. Especially for companies that sell complex, costly products, decision-makers may take years to reach their final choice. While there are many different metrics to consider for determining the best lead scoring model for your business, you can initially place all leads under a qualified category. The three main divisions between leads are information qualified, marketing qualified and sales qualified.

An IQL is aware of your brand, but may not know all of his or her options. MQLs are typically in the consideration phase of the buyer’s journey. SQLs are ready to buy and are considered hot. Lead scoring can make your team more effective by assessing a prospect’s level of interest compared to his or her fit for your organization. If the lead is a good match for your product but isn’t currently interested, you should employ lead nurturing to build the relationship over time. This can contribute to a future conversion. In fact, this can help your company have a more manageable sales pipeline. Cold leads who are a good fit for your product or service can be nurtured, and your sales reps can follow up during times when you don’t have many other sales-ready prospects.

Use real-time lead scoring for better results

Lead scoring isn’t a new model, but you can improve your efforts with this tactic through the use of an integrated marketing platform, Paula Bernier wrote for Insurance News Net. In the past, lead scoring was done through unscientific, subjective methods. Additionally, if a company has multiple product offerings, people who have expressed an interest in non-core items will be ranked lower, even if they are ready to buy. Using the real-time capabilities of an integrated marketing platform can enable you to generate more accurate results.

Lead scoring can increase the number of deals your team closes, as well as generate a higher level of revenue, Bernier stated. This is because lead scoring significantly improves the quality of prospects your business can attract and define a more effective sales strategy. Lead scoring can enable sales managers to better assign tasks to the right employee for the job. For example, if one sales rep is particularly adept at closing deals, a manager can distribute sales ready leads to this employee.

In addition, lead scoring can significantly reduce the number of feast versus famine situations your sales team has to contend with. During busier times, you can utilize lead nurturing campaigns for prospects who aren’t ready to buy yet, giving leads more information to help them make a more educated decision. By strengthening the relationship with your brand over time, you increase the changes that these leads will eventually convert into customers instead of dropping out of the sales pipeline entirely.

Your sales reps can follow up with these nurtured prospects during less active times, ensuring a more consistent stream of revenue. Uneven delivery of leads can be a major cause of stress within a small B2B organization, but it doesn’t have to be with lead scoring. An integrated marketing environment allows you to more effectively manage a number of lead generation challenges.