Before the digital age, every business was spending the same amount of time, energy and resources to convert each of the leads into clients. Today, many of you are getting more and more prospects, and you can no longer treat them on the same level, as you know that some have higher chance to sell than the others. With this change, also come other aspects of more educated and at times, more demanding leads who know exactly what and how they want the product or service to be. In this article, we cover the lead lifecycle stages that are important to consider in order to improve the conversion rates and cost-efficiency of your business operations.
Lead Lifecycle Stages help you segment the prospects to determine their profitability, sustainability, and compatibility.
Here’s how your business can benefit from lead segmentation:
- Send the right message to the right person at the right time.
- Show different content to leads based on their category.
- Nurture your contacts with the power of social marketing.
Every organization can have different stages, but we follow the below concept.
1. Subscribers are the ones who opted in for your blog or a newsletter. You can nurture them by offering quality content to bring them to the next level of becoming a lead.
2. Lead is defined as a person who filled out a form on your landing page with the contact details to receive an offer such as an eBook or who joined a webinar. They can come from a number of sources, including advertising, search, social media, referrals, etc.
3. Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) often come from demo enquiries, product brochures, and requests to learn about your products and services. They can also be identified as the ones opening % of your nurturing emails and responding to the CTAs. However, these are not yet ready to buy.
4. Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) have been accepted as “worthy” of a direct sales follow up by the certain criteria. For example, a forex broker can determine an SQL as an active trader with at least 6 month investment experience, budget over 10,000 monthly, within the demographic target, who requested a demo account.
5. Customers have purchased your product or service in the past.
6. Evangelists are advocates for your brand who spread the word about your company and refer new business, either via social media, email or word of mouth.
The research by HubSpot shows that majority of B2B qualified leads came from outbound prospecting, followed by website and inbound calls.
In order to qualify the prospects into subscribers and later into SQLs, your company needs to understand the core of the social marketing principles, where all content is organized around your buyer persona, an actual person, telling a story to engage a prospect. No hard selling should be involved, says Seth Godin in his interview with SellingPower. Instead, companies must let people try the product and service and, if they are satisfied, to come back and share their experience with their friends. Talking to real people and spreading the word across your network has a much higher success rate than hard selling ads pushed to TV masses.
Here’s a great video by David Pogue “Simplicity sells” on TED where he explains the view of the consumer in response to companies’ messages vs. delivery.
How do you segment your leads? Share your best practices with us in the comments section below!
Are you ready to take a next step toward generating more qualified leads? Contact a 7marketz associate for a free consultation today!