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How to Determine if Your Leads are "Sales-Ready"

Posted by Celeste Aslanyants on Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Topics: Inbound Marketing

determine-leads-sales-readyBringing in qualified leads for your business is one of the main goals when it comes to your marketing efforts. Luckily, leads brought in through inbound marketing strategies are often highly qualified because they have shown an active interest in what your company has to offer. Unlike leads gained through traditional marketing methods, these potential clients sought out your information on their own and are, at the very least, considering a purchase of the products or services that you offer. So, as far ahead of the game as you already are, how do you know for sure if your leads are sales-ready?

Typically, the job of determining if a lead is sales-ready falls on the marketing department. The marketing team will rank the lead based on criteria that their team as well as the sales team have agreed upon. Once the marketing team has determined that a lead is qualified, they will then pass it along to the sales team to follow through.

According to Marketing Sherpa, 61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to sales; however, only 27% of those leads will be qualified. What this means is that your sales team may be wasting an incredible amount of time following up with leads that are nowhere near ready to make a buying decision. This could also mean that the sales team will begin to assume that the leads coming in from marketing aren’t valuable, and their follow up may weaken. Determining that a lead is sales-ready before it ever lands on a sales person’s desk is incredibly important.

The criteria that each company uses to identify sales-ready leads will vary based on industry, product or service being sold, and many other factors. The most important thing is that both sales and marketing teams agree on what qualities make up a sales-ready lead for your particular business.

If your business is B2B, then characteristics such as job title or department may be a big factor. If you are a B2C company, then this may not matter, or even be known. But if you are B2C, household income may be a factor to consider. With most businesses, buying time frame is a major factor, although sometimes this is unknown.

Placing appropriate calls-to-action throughout your site is a great way to determine a leads sales-readiness. You can include numerous CTAs across your site, all leading to different locations. One may lead to a content offer, one to your contact page, or one to your pricing information. Making note of where each lead clicked through to will help you determine where they are in their buying process.

Another good indication of being sales-ready is if the lead has taken advantage of any downloads that are available. Having numerous types of information and assets available for download is a great way to maintain interest, and also to see what that a particular lead is interested in.

If your business isn’t currently practicing the art of lead scoring you may be wasting valuable time and effort. Your sales team is likely pursuing leads who, if they were ranked and qualified by your marketing team, would have no intention of making a purchase at this point. Get your teams together to determine a process that works for everyone, and get to work. It will be worth the effort in the end. To read more on this topic, download our free eBook "Modernize Your Sales Process".

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