What is a quality lead? Once you turn on the microwave, some of those kernels were just so plump to begin with that they were just begging to pop. Then there’s those crummy kernels who never popped and never will. A lead that comes in as qualified on profile-based characteristics, but not intent or timing or other indicators has the potential to become highly qualified. In fact, 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales due to a lack of lead nurturing (MarketingSherpa), but companies that establish a system for nurturing their leads on average produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities (DemandGen Report) versus non-nurtured leads. It’s Not Lower Quality, it’s just Different It’s very important to get smart about what qualifications a lead has at these different stages. We’re not looking for leads that are just lower quality leads than our picture-perfect lead. So what qualities or activities do long-term leads produce at these different stages to indicate they will ultimately make the jump? In this case, since you’re moving somewhat away from the ideal lead, you can risk moving toward the “Lead Quota Death Spiral” where quantity increases and quality decreases. Evaluate the success of your model frequently and make sure that these lower quality leads today are turning into higher quality leads (or better yet, sales!)
What is a quality lead? I mean … really?
The portrait of a perfect lead is different for your organization than mine or the next marketer’s, but we can all agree that those who are most likely to convert into paying customers in the shortest amount of time are, generally, the highest quality leads.
But truth be told, the presence of these leads who fit the perfect profile, have also shown significant willingness to purchase, and are at just the right moment in their decision making process to convert is … well not particularly common. And seeking out these types of leads exclusively is likely to leave you a little ‘high and dry’.
I like to liken a typical lead pool to a bag of popcorn and your marketing and sales activities to the microwaves. Once you turn on the microwave, some of those kernels were just so plump to begin with that they were just begging to pop. Others need 30-60 more seconds, and still others may need to be shaken around inside bag and shoved back into the microwave. Then there’s those crummy kernels who never popped and never will. Hey, you didn’t need them anyway. If all of our popcorn bags were filled with the anxious, plump kernels, we would have a lot quicker prep times on popcorn, for one, but we’d also have significantly less popcorn available to consume since those kernels are so rare. And so, to satisfy the nation’s desire for these buttery snacks, we need some sub-optimal kernels and need to give them time to pop.
Am I sounding a little fixated on popped corn yet?
We Need More Different-Quality Leads
Back to reality and real-life leads … it’s clear that not every lead in your database is going to be ‘ready to pop’, so-to-speak. What we need is an ample flow of…