Are you getting qualified sales leads from your site?

Or are they really just enquiries?

You are investing your hard-earned into your sales team, and you have hired people who are good at their job.

They know how to take buyers through the sales process, and they are hitting their targets. 

So far, so good.

The next growth step is to look at a process for generating MORE qualified sales leads, to help your sales team to be as productive as possible with the time they have available each day.

Let me tell you, getting this right this is Very Important Stuff.

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The time-suck for businesses that DON’T have a process for generating qualified leads is enormous — with research showing that as much as 50% of salespeople’s’ time is wasted in this way.

As a digital marketing agency which specialises in generating qualified website leads, we’re going to dig in and share some ideas in this article that will help you to better understand what you are really getting from your website on a monthly basis.

Here’s why all “leads” are not created equal

Right now, you will be getting some enquiries from your website. Depending on how things are set up, people could be filling out:

  • A general form on your contact page
  • A product enquiry form
  • A Get-A-Quote form
  • A form to download a resource
  • Or any number of options, depending on your setup.

But are they all really a qualified lead?

And should your sales team be talking to all of them?

This will depend on where they are in the Buyer’s Journey. It is a three-step process, and understanding this is very important.

To learn more about your potential buyers and how they tick, we recommend you read our FREE e-Book by clicking the link below…

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… but in the meantime, here’s an overview.

Every business is different, but broadly speaking, a typical website pipeline that is structured around the Buyer’s Journey works like this:

Awareness stage

These people are early in the Buyer’s Journey and are not considered a lead.

WHAT THEY HAVE DONE?

They will have subscribed to your newsletter or downloaded an eBook, brochure, guide or other information.

When doing so, they will have given you some basic details such as an email address and one or two other pieces of information.

IN THE PIPELINE?

They are early in the research stages and still figuring out up from down.

Having your salespeople talk to them at this early stage is highly likely to be a waste of time.

In the pipelines we set up for clients, people at this stage are put into lists as “Subscribers” or as “Downloaders” so they can be nurtured and tracked.

ACTION REQUIRED BY SALES TEAM?

None.

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Consideration stage

These potential buyers are further along their journey. They are not ready to buy yet, but they have signalled that they have specific needs and interests.

WHAT THEY HAVE DONE?

They will have downloaded information, looked at specified pages, or visited your website repeatedly over a period of time.

Marketing Automation will have tracked this activity, and you will know more about their interests and challenges.

IN THE PIPELINE?

They have more knowledge now, but are still investigating, researching, and thinking about their options.

In the pipelines we set up for clients, these potential buyers are moved to a list of “Marketing Qualified Leads”, as their progress through the funnel is tracked.

This is where we use Marketing Automation to nurture the relationship and provide more of what they need — WITHOUT the sales team taking up time to do it.

ACTION REQUIRED BY SALES TEAM?

None.

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Decision stage

These people are well down the Buyer’s Journey and are ready to get serious.

They are now interested in learning about pricing, options, delivery, your capabilities and all the other stuff that sales people are great at handling.

WHAT THEY HAVE DONE?

They will have ticked the boxes to show that they have a pressing need and that they are interested in your offering.

They will have shown that they meet other pre-set criteria such as size of business (if B2B), location, type of problem they need solved etc.

IN THE PIPELINE?

In the pipelines we set up for clients, these people are referred to as Sales Qualified Leads, and the sales team is immediately notified so they can get on the case.

ACTION REQUIRED FROM SALES TEAM

Because they are not caught up with doing all the grunt work in the Awareness and Consideration stages, your sales team can give their full attention to these people and move into the next stages of the sales process.

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Happy days!

A realistic look at the enquiries you get from your website

In light of the above understanding of what constitutes a qualified lead, analysing the volume and quality of enquiries that you are currently receiving is very insightful — sometime sobering.

At first glance, a website may be producing… say…12 ‘leads’ a month.

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HOWEVER… when these are examined more closely, it may actually be producing:

  • 7 X Downloader/Subscribers.
  • 3 x Marketing Qualified Leads
  • 2 X Sales Qualified Leads

Hmmmm…

Given that there is little point in salespeople spending time on Downloaders, Subscribers or Marketing Qualified Leads, the reality is that they have only received TWO sales qualified leads in the month, not 12.

And what does this mean in the daily grind?

Your sales team are forced to waste time dialling… talking… emailing… sending… and following up:

  • ALL with people who are still a bazillion miles off making a decision.
  • ALL of which could have been seamlessly handled with Marketing Automation.
  • ALL of which is taking their time/focus off qualified leads who are going to be more profitable. 

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Sure, there is a hive of activity in the sales bull-pen.

Yes, everyone has sweat on their brow.

And yes, some sales will be coming in.

But is it efficient? Nah.

If you ask your sales team whether they would rather be talking to a Sales Qualified Lead or to someone who is just kicking a can down the road, you know what the answer will be!

First steps towards more Sales Qualified Leads

Developing a full-blown lead generation strategy is a bigger topic than we can cover here in this article.

If you haven’t read our free Inbound Marketing explainer, you can obtain your copy by clicking this banner…

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How you set things up will depend on your sector, your business, your buyers, your products or services, your sales process, and your objectives.

But I’m hoping that just reading this article will have given you some insights that will help you to look at the enquiries you are getting from your website differently — and that in itself is a great start.

You need to shift your thinking:

  • From “How do I get more enquiries from our website?”
  • To “How do I get more qualified sales leads from our website?”

That is a completely different objective. And as you dig into it, it will take you on the journey towards developing a profitable Inbound Marketing campaign.

To learn more about how to begin, see our article called How Does Inbound Marketing Work?

Look for easy wins to get started

One easy win may be to look at assets that you currently have freely available on your website, such as a brochure or a spec sheet, and see what happens if you move it back a layer so that it is behind a form, rather than being directly accessible.

When doing this, you can set the form up so that it asks people a couple of quick questions — questions that will indicate to you whether they are likely to be a qualified lead or not.

You can learn more about this in our article called “How many questions can you ask on a website form”.

It may be as simple as asking their location or size of business. Or, it could have a drop-down menu asking, “What is your biggest challenge?” or “What sector do you do business in?”.

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As this information comes in, your sales team will be better equipped to know whether they should follow up.

Of course, Marketing Automation makes a huge difference at this point, as people who are in the early stages can be automatically tracked and nurtured.

But still, even this initial step of using your existing assets more wisely can start you on the journey, and give you a feel for what is possible.

Want to talk about getting more qualified leads for your sales team?

We are happy to have a chat. And please be assured, when you call, you won’t get a “sales pitch”.

A survey conducted by Digital Brisbane (Using the expertise of the University of Queensland and Ernst & Young) recognised our “Digital Smarts” — and we are happy to share some good, helpful insights on the phone.

We can have a chat about your objectives, have a quick look at your website, and discuss what can be done to give you a competitive advantage with more qualified leads for your sales team.

No matter where you are in Australia, we are just a call away on (07) 3891 3800. Go on. Pick up the phone. You know you want to!