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Qualify, score, and reach your best leads for maximum conversions

Caitlin Brett, July 16, 2021

There’s a huge emphasis on in-bound marketing these days, but what should you do with all of the leads? Your sales team can’t treat every lead with the same level of attention and care, but they need to reach the prospects with the highest potential value—and quickly, before the warm lead runs cold. 

Having a sharp lead qualification strategy will allow you to convert more of your leads. You’ll be able to categorize and identify leads, helping you to communicate to them according to their type and value. 

Leads who are nearly ready to make a purchase don’t require the same amount of guidance and hand-holding, so you should be using different sales techniques than with a lead who is less warm.

At any stage of your sales funnels, being able to distinguish between hot and cold leads—and other kinds—is key to converting more. 

In this article, we’ll go over how to find out what a quality lead looks like for your business, and just as importantly, how to reach them. 

We’ll also talk about some of the tools you should be using to automate and streamline your communications. Then you’ll be better equipped to strategize, execute, and convert. 

Identify and prioritize high-LTV leads

Recognizing leads with a high lifetime value—ones who are likely to either make a large purchase or remain loyal customers for a long time—is a must.

Homing in on high-LTV leads will help you determine who deserves more attention and what type of messaging to use. That way, you can take a highly targeted approach for the big fish, and make sure they’re being shown the red-carpet treatment. 

The basics of lead qualification

Lead qualification is the science of identifying and potentially predicting the behavior of certain leads based on a number of factors. 

Using whatever data you have on your leads will enable you to understand what demographic they belong to, what their interests are, how they think, and ultimately, how they make buying decisions. 

Keep in mind that when prospecting, disqualifying leads can be equally as important as qualifying them. After all, you don’t want your sales team wasting their time on dead-end leads—especially if they’re working on commission. You want your salespeople to be as motivated as possible, and fueling them with quality leads is the best way to do that. 

Establish a lead scoring rubric

To score a lead, you must first create criteria to assign value to different leads. This allows you to group them in terms of priority, which will help your team convert leads while they’re warm. 

Determining the lead-to-conversion rate for various groups or demographics will help you establish effective criteria. 

Consider the various attributes of each lead group and identify those that determine the likelihood of converting that type of lead. 

This might include behavioral data, location, age, occupation—pretty much any factor that tells you something meaningful about your lead could potentially be used to help score them.

Using your historical sales data and slicing your prospects by demographic, you can determine which are your highest-converting categories. Do you make more sales with managers or individual contributors? Men or women? Are your best customers people who landed on your site via a Google search or people who clicked through from an affiliate’s link?

Once you figure out the average close rate of each group, assign scores accordingly. 

Score smarter, not harder

Make sure you establish the criteria that give you the most accurate representation of your leads. 

By now you know that all leads are not created equal. Likewise, not all criteria have equally insightful implications. 

Learn from people with experience selling in your industry to find out what criteria tend to matter the most for generating leads with high potential. Seek out resources that will help guide you through the process of developing your own tailored lead scoring strategy. 

There are also tools you can use based on technology like machine learning and A.I., such as Keap and SharpSpring. Building pipeline can often be done faster with the help of these advanced sales tools. They automatically identify patterns and recalibrate to qualify leads for your business. 

Reach your leads with targeted outreach

Let’s face it, cutting through the noise to reach your leads in the digital age isn’t easy. 

Sales outreach as a whole has certainly benefited from a variety of powerful new channels, but when your leads are on information overload, you have to be smart to get their attention.

In fact, over 60% of sales workers thought that it was easier to convert five years ago

These days, a direct call might feel like a violation of privacy for some leads. You shouldn’t be surprised to hear, “How did you get my number?”

That’s not to suggest that cold calls are totally ineffective now, but it’s safe to say that things have changed. 

Now, using the data you have on leads to target messaging specifically for them is often the best way to get their attention. 

Let’s take one of the examples from a previous section: a prospect has clicked through to your site or app from an affiliate link. Rather than putting them on the generic email drip, you should say something like,

“If you’re a fan of [affiliate’s product], you’ll love [my product]. In fact, thousands of customers use them together to solve [pain point your product alleviates for this type of prospect].”

Finally, making use of basic sales communication best practices is a must. Things like replying quickly, capitalizing on trends, and preserving leads still matter. 

Use time-saving tools

Having tools and software that allow you to sort and reach more leads is crucial to making sure your team isn’t letting warm leads go cold 

If you aren’t already using project management software like Wrike or Asana, you’re missing out on an excellent resource to better organize, delegate, and manage tasks all in one space.

For streamlined communication, Teams or Slack helps bring remote teams together on a cohesive platform. 

And for setting up demos, discovery calls, or any other type of sales scheduling you need, Calendly is an ideal solution. 

Calendly provides a convenient, one-click link for scheduling. Rather than sending dozens of emails back and forth with hundreds of prospects to set your meetings, Calendly offers a clean and simple solution.

Especially for people who are swarmed with meetings and calls daily, Calendly provides an organized yet simple way to maximize scheduling time and reduce time spent traveling back and forth between apps. 

With a strategic approach to lead scoring and qualification, and a suite of time-saving organization tools, you’ll be well equipped to increase your conversion rate, and in turn, your bottom line. 

Caitlin Brett biography
Caitlin Brett

Caitlin Brett is a senior copywriter at Calendly and works from Decatur, Georgia, usually with a cat on her lap.

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