Quality is always more important than quantity in Internet lead generation

If you’re trying to a grow a small business, it can be tempting to attract as many leads as possible. However, there is no guarantee these individuals will eventually convert into customers unless they are qualified and a good fit for the organization. The emergence of Internet lead generation has enabled companies to significantly increase the number of prospects they attract, but the actual quality of the leads may leave something to be desired. An integrated marketing platform can help your sales representatives improve the number of qualified leads they are able to generate.

Many sales executives would happily trade their current number of prospects for better-quality leads, according to a blog post for Salesforce written by Dan McDade. Chasing after quantity in lead generation may be more detrimental than you may think. With the relatively small conversion rate from low-quality leads, many companies are throwing away 90 percent of their marketing budgets and employee efforts. Not only does this make it difficult to secure a return on investment, but it also eventually coaches sales employees to not bother following up with leads. This means that even qualified leads could be slipping through the cracks, further harming revenue generation.

Quality matters more than ever

Many B2B firms only target a niche market, which makes it even more difficult to find qualified leads. However, chasing the wrong prospects won’t yield better results. Unqualified leads most likely don’t have the budget for your solution, or aren’t in the right geographical region.

Lead generation is directly tied to your company’s future revenue. While it may seem like you can increase your chances of growing sales numbers by pursuing more leads, this is only true if they are qualified. Quality prospects are likely to spend more when they purchase. You need to see Internet lead generation as the beginning of your relationship with potential clients, and the eventual goal is the sale, Julia Borgini wrote for Business 2 Community. As leads move through the sales funnel, your sales team will most likely notice the quantity dropping off.

Why you need to qualify leads

Qualifying leads before passing them off to sales is the process of assessing prospects’ fit for the organization. This can prevent sales employees from wasting their time following up with leads who aren’t a good match for your product. Leads may be unqualified for a number of reasons, Emma Vas wrote in a separate article for Business 2 Community. The preliminary considerations should be whether the individual has the budget for your solution, the authority to make the decision, the need and a realistic timeline for implementation, which is also known as the BANT method. However, sales teams need to take their criteria a step further, especially in highly specialized B2B companies. For example, is the prospect in the right geographical region for your product to be relevant? If you only target a specific area and the prospect meets the requirements of the BANT, you need to consider their location.

If prospects don’t meet these specifications, it’s unlikely they will ever become customers. Salespeople should only spend their time getting in touch with leads who have the potential to make a purchase. This approach can ultimately result in more revenue and more loyal clients. In addition to being a fit for your organization, you need to consider prospects’ level of engagement, Borgini suggested. Leads most likely won’t be ready to buy immediately, so contacting them right away will be futile.

Making the most of lead generation efforts

Lead scoring can make a significant difference in your efforts. This process assigns a numerical score to leads as they enter the revenue funnel, which can dictate the types of marketing activities you need to conduct to convert prospects. If a decision-maker is a good fit for your company  but isn’t ready to buy, your team can utilize lead-nurturing efforts to foster the relationship and guide the research process. This is one way of making the brand known to potential customers earlier in the sales process.

Specific actions can trigger a change in an individual’s score, indicating he or she is closer to making a purchase. This enables sales reps to more effectively schedule their follow-up communications with prospects. An integrated marketing environment helps companies accurately score their leads and sends alerts when individuals do something to change scores, which gives sales teams better visibility into the process. When prospects are ready to buy, quick action is essential to winning the sale.

An integrated marketing platform gives B2B firms a way to improve their Internet lead generation techniques to focus solely on qualified prospects. With lead-scoring practices in place, sales reps can readily determine if individuals are worth pursuing because it provides a better indication of qualification.