If you were to check your CRM right now and look at your leads and contacts, would they look like this?
Or would they look like this?
If it looks like the second image, then I’ve got some news for you. You and your team are not capturing valuable information about your leads, prospects, and website visitors—information that can help you drastically improve your company’s revenue and deal conversion rates.
“Oh no, our leads actually look like the one in the first picture!”, you say? In that case, I have another question for you. Do these leads look the way they do after manual effort, or are you automating this process?
If you’re automating it, then you’re already in the clear! You can jump right ahead to the next section of this post. But if you just happened to realize that your SDRs and Account Executives are drenched in manual work trying to sieve out the good leads from the bad ones and move them across the sales pipeline, then that’s something you have to (and can easily) fix right now.
The best place to begin evaluating your leads is the CRM software used by your team. If your sales team doesn’t currently use one, or rather employs software like MS Excel as makeshift CRM tools, then you’re most definitely compromising on the quality of your leads.
This post will help you evaluate the leads passing through your sales funnel and see if they’re up to the mark. But first, let’s have a quick little chat about CRM tools.
Customer Relationships Management Tools
There’s a reason why products such as Salesforce and HubSpot are the standard, go-to CRM software across the most successful sales teams around the world. CRM tools ensure that the quality of the leads passing through your sales funnel is always where you want it to be.
CRM tools allow you to store, track and manage leads in one central location. A CRM tool will tell you exactly which stage of your sales pipeline a particular lead is in. Further, automations can be created as a lead moves through each qualifying stage of the sales pipeline.
Also, in many cases, there’s a sizable gap between the point when a lead is created/captured and when it converts into a sales-qualified lead. Manually sifting through thousands of leads on a spreadsheet when such a large time gap exists is simply not efficient.
A CRM automation, however, hands you sales-qualified leads on a platter. You can configure your CRM to do this by determining the score of a lead based on the information provided or certain events or decisions taken by the lead. By allowing you to make certain fields compulsory, you’ll be left with only those leads that contain the necessary information required to deem them sales-qualified.
Some CRMs like HubSpot have marketing automation functionalities that automatically capture conversion information. These may include form submission data, email opens, page visits and other such activity that can help score your leads.
You also have the option to further enhance your lead quality and sales pipeline through the various capabilities offered by integrating software. HubSpot and Salesforce offer a wide variety of integrations that can help you organize and manage your leads with optimum efficiency.
Lead Quality Evaluation
While leads are the bread and butter for sales teams, it’s the really bacon and eggs that seal the deal. The similarities between a good lead and a bacon-egg sandwich is quite uncanny. Bread, butter, bacon, egg; accurate contact information, company data, conversion information, engagement history. You see what I mean?
Much like a restaurant skimping out on the ingredients in your overpriced bacon-egg sandwich, leads that lack essential components are not worth your while. The following checklist will help you get a better picture of what the perfect lead looks like and where yours may be lacking.
1. Accurate Contact Information
When it comes to contact information, there are multiple fields that will determine the quality of a lead. Discrepancies or missing contact information can prove to be costly later on and end up wasting your time or putting you in embarrassing situations.
First & Last Name
The most basic components of a good lead are accurate first and last names. Getting the name right is crucial because it allows you to personalize your sales efforts. Let’s face it, we’re less likely to open promotional email with our name spelled wrong. Nothing grabs our attention more than the name we go by and hence, that’s the most basic item on our checklist.
Another no-brainer would be to include the name of the company by which your lead is employed. By determining which company your lead works for you unlock a whole new section of company data that can determine the chances of your lead converting. Company data, as we mentioned, is a whole other section that we will address later.
The job title of a lead plays an important role in determining whether the lead may convert or not. The position of your lead in their company will determine the decision making power they hold. An executive is much less likely to influence decision making as compared to a director or manager. As a result, you might prefer to target employees in the upper echelons of a company. These parameters can be integrated into your CRM to filter out unjustifiable leads.
An email address is the most basic and realistic method of contact with your lead. An accurate email address gives you a medium through which your sales efforts can be deployed. Interactions and conversations that lead to a conversion all begins with an accurate email address. A correct email address is arguably the most important component of any lead.
Further, your lead capture forms should be set up in a way that disqualifies forms submitted using Gmail or fake/disposable IDs. This is because they always tend to be junk leads and a complete waste of your effort. Here’s more on why validating emails are so important and how you can do it.
2. Company Data
As previously stated, capturing information about a prospect’s company gives rise to a whole new section of data that can determine their buying intent. There may be plenty of variables that can boost lead quality but the most necessary ones include:
Your product might be of use only to certain industries or sectors. As a result, it wouldn’t make much sense to target leads that do not belong to those particular industries or sectors.
If you’re an enterprise-focused SaaS company that prices its products based on the number of users, targeting small businesses wouldn’t be worth your while. Conversely, if your product is at a nascent stage of development and cannot handle the intensity of enterprise level functioning, you’d want to focus your efforts on smaller businesses.
3. Engagement History
The engagement history of a lead includes the history of their interaction with your content. Content-user interactions can give you a great deal of insight into a lead’s intention to convert. The following are a few engagement interactions that can boost lead quality.
First & Last Page Visited
The first page a lead visited can give you insights into the intention behind their visit, how and why they may have come to your site. The last page visited would give you insights into their intent to convert. Both put together would tell you how much time they spent on your website, another great variable that can be used to score a lead. The first and last page visited are important indicators that can help you determine the quality of a lead.
If a lead fills up a form on your site, there’s a good chance that they might be considering your product. Interactions with a form on your site can only add to the quality of your lead.
A lead that opens a sales email (or multiple sales emails as opposed to just one) is more likely to be interested in your product. Information about how a prospect interacts with your emails can give away a lot of information about them and their intent to convert.
The pages on your site that a lead visited can give you insights into their purchase intentions. Leads that regularly consume the content on your site might be more willing to convert as opposed to stray visits.
4. Conversion Information
The conversion information pertaining to a lead can be used to classify them into a certain stage of the buying cycle of your product. A lead that has expressed their interest for your product and is in an advanced stage of the sales cycle can be considered an active lead. A lead that has shown interest but is not ready to buy your product right away can be considered a long-term lead. Conversion information such as interactions, conversations, emails and forms can be recorded and used to determine the worth of a lead.
CRMs give you the ability to store all the aforementioned data in a single location. This data can be updated in real-time, allowing you to access it on-the-go. Using this data, customizable automations can be created on your CRM. This would not only improve your sales efforts but also do wonders to your team’s productivity.
While a good bacon-egg sandwich is great, what’s better is adding a slice of cheese, some garnish and a cold beverage to wash it all down. Similarly, while some sales teams may be satisfied with just the functionalities of a CRM, market leaders would choose to take those few extra steps that make them stand out from the rest.
CRMs will undoubtedly ease a ton of burden on your sales team and help massively improve your productivity. However, implementing a CRM means you’re still only at the halfway mark. There still remains a ton of filtering to do, meaning that your SDRs and AEs are bound to manual tasks such as cold calling and qualification calls.
Today, lead enrichment is the process where sales teams simply cut to the chase by using tools to help them arrive at a list of high intent, data-rich leads from their target audience. Lead enrichment tools do this by providing your CRM with the necessary actionable data. This makes it much easier to score and filter out unwarranted leads. It also helps you optimize and personalize your sales efforts.
Thanks to technology today, billions of daily interactions are being recorded on devices all around the world, capturing tons of consumer intent data every passing second. Slintel, a powerful sales intelligence and lead enrichment tool, harnesses the power of big data to predict your next customer with pinpoint accuracy.
Using market segmentation tools such as psychographics, technographics, and firmographics, Slintel analyses variables pertinent to your business and it’s product with the utmost rigour. This leaves you with additional high-precision, high-intent leads that you can bank on.