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Topics: Inbound Marketing

Finally the dreadful days of cold contacting leads that do not want to hear your sales pitch are over (insert cheering from sales reps from around the world here!). Instead of being the cause of frustration for possible prospects (and themselves) the sales team can now work with warm or, even better, hot leads.

Every sales rep knows there are leads and then there are leads. They can all tell you how good one is or not based on certain criteria. These criteria are a score and determine how qualified a lead is. Now with sophisticated software like Hubspot (aka marketing automation) it’s possible to automate this process which in turn, provides reps with only the most qualified leads to work on.  One of the main plus points of using a marketing automation software is the ability to do scoring automatically based on certain triggers and then fire off emails to the responsible person to deal with the lead. Sidekick is a free tool that alerts the marketer and/or key account manager when a lead visits the website and when leads opened their emails. In this way, it is easier to stay on top of hot leads by engaging with those leads in a meaningful way.

But how does lead scoring work?

This is done by individually assembling a score based on what a visitor to your website is doing. Points are assigned to actions and accumulated with every action a visitor takes. This provides valuable clues as to how hot a lead a particular visitor is. Are they just browsing or are they ready to purchase? For example, you offer webinars. Who registered? Who attended? Who opened follow-up emails? Who actually downloaded post-session materials? From your E-book: Who downloaded? Of those, who made further inquiries? Who clicked through on key call-to-action links? All of these actions are potential leads, but there is a substantial difference in value of a lead who, for example, registered for your webinar than the one who went through all the steps and finally downloaded the post session materials.

It is important to note that the scoring of leads can be positive or negative. Here are some of the criteria you can use to score leads:

  •      Contact information
  •      Persona
  •      Job type
  •      Location
  •      Events attended
  •      Pages visited
  •      Downloads
  •      Frequency
  •      Engagement
  •      Email activity
  •      Source of lead

Assigning scores to actions / criteria will depend on what what works for your kind of business or industry. The next step is processing the data gathered with software tools so that you have a clearer picture of the hottest leads.

Now that you have all the information and have determined a lead’s score, the next steps in the marketing funnel can be set. Bear in mind that there are two types of leads: MQL and SQL. MQL means Marketing Qualified, everyone who fits this criterion should get marketing material and nurturing. Everyone who is SQL, Sales Qualified, gets passed on to the sales team for direct contact.

Important: in the beginning, until you receive several leads per day, you look at almost every lead anyway, regardless what the score is, but once your database grows, you can use this information to distinguish between MQL and SQL and extract the hottest leads to pass on to the sales team.

Now with Hubspot’s brand new Sales CRM software (available in 2015) tracking all your lead activities across the marketing and sales departments within one single tool becomes a fascinating reality. 

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