How can you improve lead quality?

Attracting the right customers is a top concern for many companies. For B2B firms with a lengthy sales cycle, lead nurturing is essential for moving prospects from one stage of the journey to the next. If your business caters to a niche audience, lead nurturing is even more important because lead quality plays a much bigger role in whether potential clients will convert. An integrated marketing environment ensures your sales team attracts better quality leads, helping you grow revenue over time.

While it can be tempting to attract a large number of leads, they won’t contribute to a healthy sales pipeline unless they are a good fit for your business. Lead scoring is a great way to gauge prospects’ appropriateness for your organization as they enter the revenue funnel. This process provides an initial indicator of a lead’s sales readiness. Many companies use criteria like budget, decision-making authority, need and timeline for implementation to determine whether the prospect is worth following up with. If a lead is cold, he or she can be directed to the marketing department. This team will then employ lead-nurturing efforts to move toward sales readiness, according to an article for Business 2 Community written by Julia Borgini.

Want to boost lead quality? Try an integrated marketing platform

B2B companies are increasingly implementing marketing automation solutions to improve their Internet lead generation efforts, create better nurturing campaigns and increase visibility into the sales cycle. The accessibility of information is causing buyers to take their time when deciding to purchase a new solution, and marketing automation helps brands cope with these new challenges.

In fact, the marketing automation sector is expected to grow by 60 percent this year, Hana Abaza wrote for MarketingProfs. While one of these platforms may seem like a magical solution to sales and marketing difficulty, the reality is often more complicated. Issues with marketing automation often stem from not using the full capabilities of the system.

Lead nurturing and marketing automation: A match made in sales heaven

One major mistake in both lead-nurturing campaigns and a marketing automation strategy is only using email. An integrated marketing platform has many other capabilities that can improve the sales process for businesses. For example, the lead scoring process can be automated when leads provide their contact information in a website form. Going back to lead nurturing, there are other means to build the relationship besides email. While this channel is effective, marketers need to take a multichannel approach to make real connections with prospects. If your company is using marketing automation, you need to make sure you’re getting the full benefits from the solution, including reporting.

When it comes to nurturing, it’s important to avoid coming off as too sales. While this is obviously the eventual goal, you have to provide prospects with the valuable content they need to make an informed decision, Abaza wrote. This is particularly important at the top of the funnel when leads are only beginning to learn about vendors and different product options. Save the pitches or highly sales-focused content for prospects at the bottom of the funnel.

An integrated marketing environment can inform your decision on the right content to share with leads at the appropriate time. This tool provides better data on where leads are in the funnel, allowing you to target them more effectively. Lead nurturing can be even more effective when you gather information on individual prospects’ interests to ensure you’re always sending them relevant content.