What does the “lead” mean, how to score it and convert into paying customer?

Terms “potential customer” and “selling contact” are often used interchangeably with the word “lead”. Personally, I wouldn’t mix this terms. Therefore, to be clear from the beginning, here is how I understand “lead”:

Sales lead scoring

From the crowd of potential customers, you need to fish those, who are the most interested in purchase. First of all, create your ideal target. This is what lead scoring is meant for – you ascribe a value to leads that you’ve generated.

How to score leads – practical tips:

  • Choose 10 the most valuable leads, that you’ve generated during the last month or year. Think what makes them that good. Analyse, which of them directed you to your offer presentation
  • Choose 10 sales, that you completed during the last month or year and create leads characteristics.
  • Choose 10 leads, that didn’t result in the completed sales process and create characteristics.
  • Take a look at leads, which you’ve lost and think why it’s happened.
  • Correlate all off them and analyze.

Features and behavior common to those, who were the most likely to buy, are the features and behavior that you are looking for among your new leads. Basing on this information you score leads.

Hot leads, warm leads, cold leads.

Phrases above describe how much the lead is into your product. Your attitude towards leads differs, depending on the place they encompass on your value scale.

Hot leads are those, who enthusiastically react for the first contact, they are interested in seeing your offer. In this case, there is no time to waste – give the contacts to your salespeople, they are ready to start the selling process. From my experience, I can tell you, that considering this kind of leads in 9 out of 10 cases negotiations are quick and end up with selling.

Imagine Ms. Smith. She has just opened her business and needs IT solutions right away to start operating. She is ready to buy and she’s not going to wait for your message on and on. If you don’t hurry up, she will go to your competitors, who will attend upon her quicker.

Cold leads are not interested in your service/product, you cannot call them potential customers. Attempts to convince them to buy is doomed to failure. You will just waste your time on pointless conversations. Anyway, they will disappear before you make a move.

Warm leads are the most ambiguous and demanding group. Those people follow you on social media, subscribe your newsletter, or in some other way show interest towards your brand. Imagine a person or company, who is planning new IT solution implementation and does research to check the options. This person is not ready to buy and requires nurturing.

Lead Nurturing

By this term, we understand the scope of marketing activity, which are meant to make a potential customer ready to buy. Lead nurturing is the most commonly used in B2B, where products are very advanced and require serious investment. The selling process is longer than in case of less complicated and cheaper products. That’s why warm leads – decision makers in companies, who are responsible for analyzing pros and cons of your solution – need to stay in touch with your brand for a more extended period of time. Don’t be discouraged, focus on a potential of these leads. To make them flourish, use lead nurturing strategy.

Lead nurturing is:

– education about product

– learning about available options

– valuable content delivering

– staying in touch with a warm lead

Specialist writes about the three stages of lead nurturing: starting from discovering a need, through searching for the best offer, ending with buying. This stages may differ, according to selling methodology and type of customer.  One is universal – you need to be patient because this process takes a long time.

Conversion

goal – selling

Conversion may have different goals, depending on a stage of your relation with customer. If your aim is to gather leads, a short-term goal will be getting direct contact with the targeted person. A long-term goal, basically in every situation, is to sell. So if you already have contacts with your ideal customers, you will try to convince them to buy. What can you do to convert your leads into loyal customers? How to optimize web paying special attention to lead generation? Several important suggestions you will find here and here.   

As LeadVikings.com, we create efficient B2B leads generation campaigns based on cold emailing. Contact us if you feel we could help you, we will be very glad to give you a hand.