It may be an obvious statement but the first step to more customers is more leads. Generally, this means using different marketing tactics to attract people to your website, to call you, send an email or send an SMS – there are many ways. However, in an economy that is struggling to grow, businesses are having to reduce costs and run as lean as possible. One great way to reduce the time spent on chasing leads (a big waste of time and cost if they’re poor leads) is to qualify them.
So what is a qualified lead? A qualified lead is basically someone, in your target market, that has contacted you, is ready to buy and is most likely willing to spend money on your product or service. To qualify a lead we use a method called ‘lead nurturing’ which builds trust during every phase of the sales funnel. It focuses marketing and communication efforts on listening to the needs of leads, and providing the information and answers they need.
Where buyers are increasingly looking to make informed decisions (which investment portfolio to go with, what car to buy, which digital marketing agency to partner with) lead nurturing needs to become an important part of the business marketing model.
This is especially true for businesses looking to grow even when economic growth is unlikely. Forrester Research shows that lead nurturing generates 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost.
Now, what are leads looking for and what can we use to qualify them? It’s simple, define their need and create content that tells them that. Not just any content but quality content targeted at your specific audience. This doesn’t mean content that sells to them but content that educates them on their needs and how they will go about achieving what they are hoping to.
This is also important because buyers are growing increasingly resistant to being sold to and are wanting to rather make informed decisions. In other words, we need to move away from seller-centric marketing and sales and more towards a buyer-centric model. You have an audience that wants to consume content to help them understand why, what and how to solve their problem (note: not who needs to solve their problem). As a business you are wanting to reduce the amount of time you spend speaking to leads who don’t suit you business.
This makes quality content such an integral part of a business striving to get qualified leads. In short, you need to implement a lead nurturing strategy into you business as soon as possible.