Lead is your company’s potential customer, who has the ideal profile and is interested in purchasing your product/service. Learn from this post how to identify your lead, what a qualified lead is, what the best lead generation practices are and how to generate your leads.
Lead is the name given to the person who visited your website looking for some information and, in some of your channels, left their data registered on the website. From there, a series of strategies must be applied so that this lead effectively becomes your company’s customer.
Every day, Google receives millions of searches. Therefore, having a website is the first step to gain visibility on the internet and compete for a larger share of this market.
It is through it that you will be able to impact the people who are possibly interested in the product or service you sell. This is the first step.
The second, equally important, is to understand how to get the attention of those people who have the potential to be customers.
The strategies – which we will see later on – are many. But the mission is always the same: how to gain a person’s trust?
Because when that happens, she feels free to give her data. And so that visitor effectively becomes a lead.
In this article, in addition to discussing what leads are, we’ll talk about the difference between them. Some are generated and qualified by the marketing sector, others by sales.
We will also talk about strategies for you to attract more interested parties in your offer and what to do (and how to do it) when a contact is generated.
Stay with us. Good reading!
Back to basics: what is lead?
Lead is a source of data about the consumer who has a real purchase interest.
It is whoever is willing to receive a contact from the company, which has the necessary data to know if there is a willingness for these people to purchase a service.
Simply put, we can say that a lead is one that is within the company’s reach, regardless of the action he took to become one.
It is, therefore, the potential consumer of the brand. A person, of course, who has shown interest in consuming what the company sells.
A person becomes a lead when filling out a website form, a landing page, chatting via online chats or Chabot, making a What Sapp approach, etc.
And then, it might just be a curious one, asking for more information about something. It doesn’t necessarily have to be interested in buying or consuming you – at least for now.
The form filling part is more common, as the contact can be generated due to your inbound marketing strategies .
Your company created an eBook and, as the subject was interesting, the person filled in the data to have access to this content.
This, of course, is one of the many ways you have to carry out customer acquisition . But, about this, we will talk better later.
Lead vs. Qualified Lead: Is there a difference?
Yes there is. And it’s pretty simple actually. Lead is still just a contact, meaning there is no guarantee that it will become a customer.
However, a qualified lead is the contact of a person who has already identified that they have a problem and are looking for a solution.
It can either come directly to your trial form or ask to make the purchase, or it can come from the work of the marketing team.
This one, when he sees that someone has downloaded a content offer, for example, starts to work on nurturing these leads.
The aim is to educate them, give them security and confidence – through good content – so that they can better understand their problem and go shopping.
When this stage is reached, the so-called “passing of the baton” occurs. It’s the time when leads move out of marketing and into sales .
Companies that do this through marketing automation platforms integrated with CRM, are able to have the entire purchase journey recorded.
That’s why digital transformation is, and always will be, something sorely needed within companies – regardless of size and segment.
Then, based on this information, your sales team will be able to plan. This planning will show you the most efficient action for this qualified lead to become a real customer.
If he is not really qualified, he returns to marketing so that he continues to be nurtured until he is really ready to buy.
MQL or SQL? Understand the difference and the importance of qualifying your lead
Have you ever stopped to think about how much your company invests each month in marketing and sales until you have a truly able customer to buy your product?
This, by the way, has a specific name: Customer Acquisition Cost. By the way, do you know exactly what CAC is ?
We need to understand that qualified leads, whether marketing or sales, is much more than just a contact.
The act of qualification requires full understanding and continued customer focus.
It is necessary to understand their situation, their pain and also the condition for the business to take place.
More than that, understanding the real need for the product or service is also a good practice not to give the seller a lead that is not related to the business.
By the way, a question: How many visits did your salespeople make in the last year that did not turn into a commercial proposal and, consequently, into sales? All these precautions, by the way, for those who sell MRR , it is essential to avoid a later churn .
Churn… a customer can give up on your company without even understanding the value you have for them. Look: this is the importance of qualification.
But, after all, better an MQL or SQL? See now what each means:
What is MQL?
There are actually two types of MQL or marketing-qualified lead. The first is in the classic model of outbound marketing , in the “offline style”.
This is one that your company invests in hope marketing, or rather billboards, flyers, television, in short, mass media.
The idea is to put your brand in the consumer’s mind so that they can be prepared and stimulated to buy your product.
But MQL is a metric predominantly used by actions in digital marketing. And here, we enter the second type.
In it, we talk about content generation, engagement, visibility of your brand, ads on social networks and Google Ads , etc.
These actions are the ones that best represent an MQL. These are crucial points for a lead qualification strategy. That’s because it’s not just the conversion on a landing page that makes a lead eligible. It is essential that he has shown real interest in your product. AND:
- if the lead is fully aligned with its industry or niche;
- you have requested a product evaluation;
- you have requested a price quote;
- have requested to know more about business conditions,
So, in these cases you have a qualification and a really interested lead.
It is important to emphasize one point. It’s not because the lead trailed the set of materials you made available that it’s actually qualified by marketing, it’s an MQL.
Consuming your materials will not give you the certainty that it will be ready to buy. He might just be a person interested in acquiring knowledge in the field. That’s why the shift from marketing to sales is so important…
And what is SQL?
SQL is the qualified leads by the sales team. And then, it can be the lead that marketing has passed, as it can be through active prospecting .
This cannot be a process that passes through the hands of the seller. There are two types of professionals to handle this.
In the first case, the SDR must act. With the leads brought by marketing, he must connect and understand the degree of maturity they have, as well as the interest in what the company sells.
BDR usually acts in the second cases where it is necessary, through outbound, to generate, nurture and qualify the lead.
The salesperson has to sell – this is good practice and is part of really assertive sales management in companies.
The qualifying part must be done by an expert. A person trained in the product and mainly in business.
Must be a person able to understand the pains of potential clients and have a consultative and didactic speech.
If that happens, it will take an important step in qualifying this lead, which will then be passed on to the seller, the closer, so that the deal is closed.
Either way, the mission of having a SQL is to focus on building a relationship with your brand.
It is necessary, always, to collect the necessary information so that, from a deep analysis on the lead, you understand the paths to be traced to close the sale.
Without a doubt, when this job is done well, the seller has a much greater power of persuasion when negotiating. So maybe you ask: MQL or SQL, is there one that is better?
In truth no. We all already understand that Qualified Lead is the one who is really ready to make a purchase.
So, it doesn’t matter if it came from the sea or from sales. The important thing is to do your homework: only give the seller those people who are really interested and fit with the business.
How to generate leads efficiently?
One of the most efficient ways to generate leads is, without a doubt, through inbound marketing – or content marketing.
The idea is simple (but it needs to be executed well, of course): create valuable content for your potential customers so they can bond with your brand.
You can present content in a number of ways. It can be through:
- blogs ;
- info graphics;
- Games (why not?);
- Videos (YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world ), etc.
Let the imagination flow over the format. And, of course, link to this content a landing page with a form for the person to give you their contact information.
The crucial thing here is to remember that all this content must be related to the products/services you offer.
From the moment your company starts to create knowledge and improve the lives of its consumers, people who are interested in your content will register their contacts on the site to continue receiving this material.
The bait is usually the same.
You release access to the content created only after the person fills in their name, email and phone number, for example. The form fields are up to you.
But understand that the more fields you put in, the more chance people will give up on filling them out. AND
Best of all, having signed up voluntarily, it’s very likely that these people are already interested in what you sell.
This will facilitate the work of the pre-sales team as well as your salespeople. The more qualified this lead is, the shorter its sales cycle .
Whichever marketing strategy you choose, understand that you must always take it easy and be concerned about meeting the customer’s pain.
This way you will show that you are concerned about the customer’s success . And not just selling and selling at all costs.
Buying contacts isn’t exactly generating leads
You generate a lead when you bring someone to you. Somehow what you showed was interesting and it aroused at least one curiosity.
Buying contacts from cold lists to trigger so-called cold mail or cold calling is not exactly the same thing.
Of course, a good list of leads has high results-generating power. However, many companies are deluded into thinking that buying a huge list of contacts will magically boost their results.
Negotiating contact lists, in addition to having a huge cost, does not generate the expected results. When you buy email lists there is no guarantee that these people have any interest in what you are offering.
In most cases, these are contacts of random people who have also been sold to other companies and are being bombarded with email marketing .
If a person has not voluntarily registered the email on your website, it may be that you have a lot of work to do to contact them.
It is possible that your messages will be sent to the spam box, for example. Or, your email may enter the so-called black list (black list ) – which makes it difficult for your emails to arrive in the appropriate inboxes.
Why is it important to have a lead generation strategy?
If you want to have sales results, you need to have strategies capable of bringing in the leads your company needs.
Websites are much more than online pages with a lot of information about your company. They are tools to enhance the results of your sales team.
The way to generate leads has changed profoundly with new search engines, blogs and social media.
Not many years ago, companies promoted their products to attract customers through fairs, advertisements, telemarketing and other traditional methods.
Today, consumers are starting to shop using the Internet, reading informational blogs and finding useful content shared on social media.
For companies’ websites to remain competitive, they need to be found where consumers are looking for the products and services these companies sell.
It is necessary to be very careful when carrying out marketing actions. They need to be calculated in order to generate leads for your company, especially if the product or service has a longer sales cycle.
After all, every company wants to increase sales , doesn’t it? And when that happens by attracting really interested customers, it’s much easier.
Lead generated and nurtured, now what? What to do with them?
You generated the lead, nurtured it and, within the customer journey , you see evolution. For this, having a lead scoring within your marketing automation is essential.
So maybe it’s time to make a call to them. Or not? At this moment many doubts arise, but some details make the difference at this time.
A question that will help you at this time:
- Did the lead interact with you via email?
After the lead downloads your material, you start relating to it, right? If you don’t do it, start doing it right away, then.
Configure automatic actions with your CRM . But let’s say that step has already been taken.
If the customer clicks on your CTA (Call-To-Action) button inserted in the outgoing email, then they are likely ready to take your call. Of course, it will depend on what this CTA is about.
If it’s for a blog post , for example, it might not be time to call yet – although it will raise your score and get closer and closer to being ready.
However, if you are a CTA to speak with a consultant or for a trial period, then you better pick up your phone and dial.
After a few emails, ask to call
As we said, if you have a good CRM, you can configure automatic actions for sending email . At each new stage of the sales funnel that the lead passes, a new message is sent to him.
The purpose of this?
Build trust with your audience and show that you are a reference in the field. Let’s say you automated 4 emails within your funnel.
The intention with them is that, at last, you have a CTA calling him to talk to a consultant .
However, before this final act, it is necessary that along the way you provide it with quality content.
Content that shows you’ve really mastered that subject. In a practical way, we can think of a structure as:
- Email 1 – The content you promised in exchange for the email address: eBook, info graphic, spreadsheet, etc.;
- Email 2 – A content related to the first email: it can be an article on your blog, a video on your channel, etc.;
- Email 3 – You can offer other rich material or a webinar about your product, for example;
- Email 4 – Ask the lead for a time to schedule a quick call to finally forward your sale.
It’s important to notice throughout the process if the lead is interacting with your emails and clicking on your CTAs.
Putting into practice
For email 4, you can cut to the chase. Let’s say you provided a webinar for him in the previous email, okay?
You can send something like:
“Hello [FIRST NAME] Hope you enjoyed the webinar. Thank you for your participation.
We would like to hear from you and talk more about [YOUR PRODUCT] and the pains of your business.
Could we make a call?
S Go my public schedule for you mark the time that works best for you.
In cases like this, having a public calendar like Google Calendar , which integrates directly with your CRM, is critical.
Are you the salesperson ready to call the lead?
This questioning is not about customers. The lead on the other end of the line certainly has many doubts and fears.
The seller as well as the SDR therefore need to master the product completely. It is necessary to understand beyond what it delivers to the customer.
You need to tell the lead how the product makes sense for your business. That’s why it’s important to have a sales playbook to act assertively.
But of course not all customers are the same. So, know that improvisation is not amateurism – especially in B2B sales .
If all of the above steps are in place, then you and your lead are ready for a call.
So, how can we help you?
Enjoy and read two articles that will help you generate more leads for your business.
The first talks about the importance of relationship marketing as a way to attract more interested parties to your company.
The second brings some marketing tips for companies of all sizes to apply.