September 30

Top 3 Ways to Improve Lead Quality

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Top 3 Ways to Improve Lead Quality

Table of Contents:

  1. What is Lead Quality?
  2. MQL vs SQL | What’s the Difference | A Few
    Factors to Keep in Mind
  3. How to Improve Lead Quality
  4. Why do most businesses fail with lead
    gen?
  5. What’s Next?

What is Lead Quality?

Let’s define first what is lead quality:

Lead quality is a factor that refers to the likelihood leads will eventually
become customers.

The higher the quality of your leads, the more likely they will become
your customers.

What are some benefits of establishing lead quality?

  • Increased earnings
  • It helps improve marketing and sales alignment 
  • It helps improve marketing strategies

MQL vs SQL | What’s the Difference

It’s important to mention first that there are two types of leads you might
want to improve the quality of:

MQL: Marketing Qualified Leads vs SQL: Sales Qualified
Leads

What is a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)?

A Marketing Qualified Lead refers to a lead that is more likely to become a
customer, compared to other leads. This is based on what web pages a person
has visited, what they’ve downloaded, and similar engagement with the
business’s content.

What is a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)?

SQL comes next. It means the sales team has qualified this lead as a potential
customer. In fact, the SQL is in the buying cycle, while the MQL is not ready
for that buying stage yet. Now that you know the difference between these two,
you can start by learning how you can define the lead type.

A Few Factors to Keep in Mind

There are two things to look at with lead quality:

  1. Lead Validation

What is lead validation? Lead validation is the process of verifying and
scoring the quality of the leads you generate.

All businesses face the challenges of incomplete, incorrect data or spam form
submissions. Therefore, lead validation is critical to your marketing–without
it, you run the chance of overestimating the ROI of your marketing campaigns.

Lead validation is the connection between marketing and sales efforts,
creating more visibility in marketing and more efficiency in sales. It helps
also any B2B business improve its marketing and sales strategies.

A few points to watch out for: 

Is this a genuine lead with validated: 

  • E-mail?
  • Phone?
  • Name?

Or is it junk?

  1. Lead Qualification

During the lead qualification process, your marketing team will capture info
through site visits, email subscriptions, pixel or social media, then will
decide if this lead qualifies and meets the criteria of your ideal customer.

Why is lead qualification important? Lead qualification can help you save
time, energy, and collect clean, accurate data.

Here are a few points to watch out when qualifying your leads:

  • Does this lead meet the qualification for your service?

For example, if it’s for a mortgage lead for a home purchase, do they have
sufficient income, credit score, down-payment, and other important criteria to
be able to get approved?

  • What is the intent of the lead? 

Are they just window shopping, do they have a timeline to purchase, is that
timeline in the next 60 – 120 days? Are they ready now? These are all
important details to determine if this is a deal now or a deal later.

  • Is the lead a good fit for your services? 

For instance, if you offer private mortgages for people with poor credit and
no proof of income, and you get a lead who has excellent credit with proof of
income (for a home purchase example) then perhaps this lead is not really your
ideal client and would be better served by a different company.

  • What are the lead’s expectations? 

Are they expecting to be contacted by a salesperson or did they just submit
their details to get general information?

These factors, and many more, play in determining a marketing qualified lead
vs a sales qualified lead…

How to Improve Lead Quality

Whether you’re doing your own marketing or working with a lead gen partner
(like FinanceVine for example) it’s
important to address the things said above. Now that you have learned how to
distinguish MQL and SQL leads, how can you improve your lead quality?

  • Lead validation

What you need to do is to block leads with bad or spammy contact info at the
source – as much as possible – because every second wasted by your sales team
working these leads is the time taken away from real opportunities. 

It also hurts your sales conversion rates, if you take these bad leads into
account when calculating your numbers.

  • Intent – Expectations – Fit

What was the lead offered for their
information?
What are they
expecting?
What have they seen so
far?
What is the context going into that first
attempt to contact them?

If you want to improve lead quality, you need to work with your marketing team
or marketing partners to ensure the customer journey is smooth. Even slight
hiccups on this journey will lead to the customer dropping off. Or worse yet,
generating a bunch of leads that are not a match for what you offer. This is
something that no one wants, right?

That’s why it’s important not to purchase generic leads without being fully on
the same page with your marketers. Context is so important.

Let’s see an example of
mortgage refinancing:
 

Are you looking for mortgage renewals to offer better rates, are you offering
cash-out for those who want to renovate our investment or make other
purchases, or are you offering cash out for those with debt consolidation
needs?

It’s important to get this straight. It’s also important to understand what
the lead has seen up to the point of being handed over to your sales team so
you can have a minimal friction journey into your sales process.

  • Timeline to purchase 

Not every lead is gonna be ready to buy now, so it’s important to have a sales
process that allows you to sort leads into the buy-now, buy mid-term, buy
long-term buckets. 

If someone isn’t ready now, they’re not a lost lead, but they should go onto
some type of long-term marketing campaign, and they should be
scheduled for future follow-ups in your CRM. If you hound these leads to buy
now, you will lose them.

The same goes for the mid-term leads. 

Buy-now leads should be prioritized to figure out what
solution they need and how to help them.

Why do most businesses fail with lead gen?

Most businesses fail with lead gen because leads are not properly validated or
qualified, and the sales process is not designed for different situations. If
you’re doing the marketing in-house you must ensure your marketing team
handles this if not you need to work with a lead gen company who understands
these concepts and will work with you over-time to address these points.

What’s Next?

Here at FinanceVine, we are experts in
generating ROI-positive results in the financial services space through online
lead generation.

Schedule a call with us and discover how we can help your business.

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About the Author

I started out as the Internet marketing director for an Automotive Group. I learned about Facebook & Google advertising running campaigns for auto loans. I transitioned to full-time entrepreneurship in 2014, and have been at it ever since.

James Vannelli

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