Business and Trade

Profiling leads and customers to improve business performance

Most corporate marketing strategies are focused on generating as many leads as possible to insert into the sales process. But this is not enough to be sure of being able to convert them into customers and increase sales and turnover.

In fact, once you have many leads, you need to understand who is really interested in your offer or who is still in an exploratory research phase, with a real need to understand how and why your products and services represent the right solution.

That’s why it’s important to be able to qualify your leads and understand if they can be high-value customers for your business.

To qualify leads and customers, various tools are then used to assign them values, often in the form of “points” numbers, which indicate the potential value of that lead for your business.

What is a lead?

Before explaining how to qualify a lead, how to generate a lead and then how to determine its value, it is good to understand what a lead is.

A lead is a person who has shown interest in your product and in your company’s services.

It is a potential customer who, in addition to having expressed interest in the commercial proposal of a given company, has also provided it with their contact details (telephone number, physical address or e-mail address), including consent to receive communications from commercial nature and other information that can help the company to start a commercial negotiation.

The company, by obtaining permission from the user to communicate with him and thanks to the information provided by him, can therefore initiate a direct and personalized communication, aimed at formulating a targeted commercial offer.

What is lead generation?

Instead, we speak of lead generation when we want to indicate a series of activities and techniques aimed at acquiring qualified contacts, that is, the collection of names and contacts of individuals or companies potentially interested in purchasing certain products or services. Digital marketing strategies are often used to succeed in encouraging as many users as possible to profile themselves.

Basically, lead generation is the process used to attract and convert contacts into potential customers since they have shown interest in the offer of your business.

It is therefore a way to attract potential customers for your business and to put them on the right path to complete the purchase. The key is to find unique ways to attract people to your business and offer them value, which will entice them to continue the relationship.

The target
When a new contact starts a relationship with your business, showing an interest in your offering, the transition from lead to customer is often a natural step.

For this reason, in the context of Inbound Marketing, lead generation activities are considered as a subsequent phase to the creation of valuable content and offers and the generation of qualified traffic.

The first phase in fact involves the generation of user traffic targeting the company website or other online platforms. Lead generation activities will then serve to convert higher and higher percentages of that traffic into qualified leads that can be managed by your sales team.

According to the most classic type of sales funnel, there are several steps in a customer’s purchase path: from stranger to visitor, from visitor lead, from lead customer, from customer promoter of the brand. Based on this, lead generation is a fundamental part of the whole process.

How to generate leads?

First of all the visitor comes into contact with your business through one of your marketing channels: for example your website, your blog or a company profile in Social Networks.

At this point, the visitor often clicks on a CTA (call-to-action): that is, an image, a button or a message that encourages them to take some kind of action. It is directed to a landing page, or a web page that aims to find information on the lead in exchange for an offer.

An offer is content, such as white-papers, ebooks, webinars, case studies or video tutorials, which can be accessed after filling out a contact form. Clearly, regardless of the type of content, the offer must represent added value for users, otherwise they will not be incentivized to provide their personal data in exchange for using the content.

To access the content, users fill out contact forms leaving their contact details and other personal information, after which they are no longer simple visitors to your website, but can be with

Job application. An individual who fills out this type of contact form is willing to share personal information because they want to be considered for a job position. Filling out this form shows his interest in the job and qualifies him as a lead that may be of interest to the recruiting team rather than the marketing and sales team.

Coupons and offers. These leads express a clear interest in your business offering. If they find your coupon interesting and valuable, they may be willing to provide their details (name and email) in exchange for the latter. While this information isn’t a lot, it’s still enough for your business to know that someone is directly interested in your products and services. In this case it will be very useful to understand if the purchase can be completed and can be repeated even without a coupon or other discounts.

Valuable content. While the previous two examples show a direct interest of the clite in your product and your company, it is not the same for the offers and valuable content that you can get downloaded from your website. So, to find out the true nature of interest in your business, you will need to find other information to better identify your potential customer.

Contact form. Users who fill out contact forms on your website have certainly studied your business offer and believe that it will respond well to their needs. In this case, the need to ask the right questions emerges to give you the opportunity to carry out an effective follow-up that shows your leads that you perfectly understand their needs.

From business to business, lead generation activities are not always the same but may differ according to the market context and buyer personas to be targeted. Episerver, for example, uses industry reports and white papers to gather information from potential customers.Also, telemarketed final expense leads uses the interest level of customers.

What basic information should you ask for in a contact form to use in a lead generation campaign?

The full name. This is one of the fundamental and necessary information to personalize communication with each lead.
E-mail. It serves as a unique identifier and is how a first relationship with the lead will start.
Company. Thanks to this, you have the opportunity to research a lead’s sector and company and understand how this can benefit from products and services (especially in B2B).
Role. Understanding a person’s role helps you understand how to communicate with them and identify areas of interest.
Country. Country-of-origin information can help you segment your contacts by region and time zone, and help you qualify leads based on your business offering across different markets.

What does lead scoring mean

Lead scoring is a way to quantitatively qualify leads. Essentially, using this technique, leads are assigned a numerical value (or score) to determine where they fit on a scale from “interested” to “ready for a sale”. The criteria for these actions can be decided completely by the top management, but, they must be uniform across the marketing and sales department so that everyone is working on the same scale.

A lead’s score can be based on: actions taken, information provided, level of engagement with the brand, or other criteria established by the sales team.

For example, you can give a higher score to someone who regularly interacts with you on social media or if their demographic information matches your target audience. Or, you could give a lead a higher score if they used one of your coupons (an action which means that this person is really interested in your product).

The higher a lead’s score, the closer they get to becoming a qualified sales lead.

Score and criteria are something you will need to tweak along the way until you find the formula that works. But once you find it, you can turn lead generation into customer generation.

How to use data to calculate scores

When you go to implement any Marketing action and get a lot of leads, you need to understand which of them are really interested in your product or service.

By assigning numerical values ​​to each lead you can prioritize them, answer any questions appropriately and increase the speed with which they become actual customers.

Each company has a different model for assigning points to evaluate their leads, but one of the most common methods is to use data from previous leads.

How to do it?

An effective approach to this activity is to first analyze the contacts in your CRM that have passed from leads to customers

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