Any B2B prospect that responds to content created as part of an inbound lead generation strategy is referred to as an inbound lead. In other words, inbound leads are those who contact you directly or through referral channels. They are prospects that may have discovered you through social media, read your content, saw your landing page or ads, or received a direct referral from a friend or colleague.
Your B2B marketing team is the starting point for inbound lead generation. It is up to your marketers to devise a strategy for attracting inbound leads. They will then create the content and manage the distribution channels.
In the best B2B organizations, the sales and marketing teams will collaborate on inbound lead generation projects. This combined B2B sales team has a better understanding of how many leads are required to meet their goals at current conversion rates. Salespeople will also know whom to target and what their current customers are saying.
Leads can be classified based on their demographics and tracked behavior. They are categorized to make them easier to sort and work with. It is an essential component of the sales funnel, which frequently receives a large number of leads but only converts a small percentage of them.
How to qualify inbound marketing leads
A qualified lead is a prospective visitor on whom we have more information, such as –
– What type of budget does he/she have?
– Is he/she willing to invest in the next 30 days?
A qualified lead saves you a lot of time because it filters out the bad leads and provides you information. It takes several steps to qualify a lead. The marketing team collects a lead’s contact information before determining whether the lead fits an established customer profile for your target audience. If a lead is found to be a good fit, he or she is referred to as a prospect. A sales professional will eventually become engaged by setting up a call to discuss the prospect’s demands, purchasing authority, and budgetary requirements. The sales team can then decide whether or not the prospect is worth pursuing further based on this information.
The following steps are necessary for any inbound lead qualification process:
Define the attributes that make a lead a good or bad fit
A solid understanding of who your ideal customers are – both at a company and individual level – is a necessary prerequisite for effectively qualifying leads. This is the most strategic step in lead qualification.
Qualifying leads before you engage a sales representative is crucial. How can you ensure that your sales team knows exactly what they’re going to sell, and which products and services are most valuable for each buyer? Your lead qualification process should help clarify which customers are ready to buy right now, which ones need additional education or nurturing, and which ones aren’t a good fit at all. There are many ways businesses go about qualifying their leads; what matters is having a process that makes sense for your business and using it consistently. The most important step of lead qualification is an initial conversation with a potential customer, you don’t want to waste time with people who aren’t ready yet.
Screen leads using marketing automation (based on certain criteria)
At this point, you’ve finished the most strategic aspect of the task. You’ve recognized the qualities that make a good lead. You must now program your website to screen inbound leads using the same criteria.
For both sales and marketing teams, lead qualification has emerged as a major problem. This difficulty can be solved by providing them with automation. The ability to qualify leads is one of the features that our sales team appreciates in marketing automation.
Lead scoring and lead grading are two common strategies for qualifying leads using marketing automation — that is, determining whether or not a lead is worth moving on to sales from your marketing team. Lead scoring reflects how active your leads have been, and how high their interest level is. On the flip side of the coin, grading leads guarantees that the leads sent from marketing to sales are the right fit for your business.
The marketing team can use these scores and grades to automate the lead assignment process so that only leads that meet a certain score and grade are forwarded to the sales team. Only the best leads will be selected.
Confirm the quality of the “good” leads manually
You will want to personally look at these Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) once you’ve configured your website to bring seemingly decent leads to the surface and filter out the remainder via automation. They should be reclassified as “Sales Qualified Leads” (SQLs) with your approval and forwarded on to your sales team to pursue.
To be efficient, you’ll need a repeatable process. Here’s an example:
- Your automation software sends you an email informing you that you have a new Marketing Qualified Lead.
- You go to that person’s contact record and other information in software, and you look at the pages that person viewed, after clicking the link in the email.
- You either label the contact as Sales Qualified or move on after the manual screening.
Not everyone who shows interest in a product or service is ready to buy it. That is why lead qualification is such an important aspect of any sales strategy. It is also a stage that many businesses overlook or fail to execute properly.
Fortunately, having FunnL in place for your business will help you avoid these types of mistakes, allowing you to gain a competitive edge in your industry. As a global pioneer in B2B lead generation services (with a dedicated AI-powered lead recommendation engine, FunnL Prospector) and 25,000+ successful qualified meetings in our portfolio, FunnL’s team of professional experts are here to help! Contact us now and boost your business’ sales today!