Underestand your customers with lead qualification.


Lisa Freitas

Feb 23, 2023

Lead qualification a priority in your company

Lead Qualification is one of the most important tactics that marketing teams use to convert leads into customers πŸ’΅.

β€œLead qualification is the process of evaluating potential customers based on their financial ability and willingness to purchase from you. It includes assessing a lead's necessity to buy a product, finding out whether this person is authorized to make the purchase, and how much money they can spend.” Sendpulse

By qualifying leads, marketers can focus their efforts on the most promising prospects, nurture them enough to be passed on to sales, and maximize their return on investment. It’s also critical to understand the needs of their target audience and tailor their messaging.

This process of qualification helps your revenue team (sales, marketing, and customer success) determine if this lead fits your ideal customer profile (ICP) πŸ™‹.

There are three types of marketing leads based on the part of the funnel: information-qualified leads (IQL), marketing-qualified leads (MQL), and sales-qualified leads (SQL). While IQL are at the top of the funnel, SQL are at the bottom, also known as hot leads.

So, for qualifying these leads we should answer 5 questions:

1. What criteria should be used to qualify leads?

The first thing that comes to mind here is Lead Scoring. Lead scoring is a numerical score based on implicit and explicit data that helps you prioritize your leads and send the best ones to sales.

You can qualify leads using different parameters, such as:

  1. Demographic information: age, gender, location, income level, etc.
  2. Contact information: email address, phone number, mailing address.
  3. Interests and preferences: what products or services are they interested in; what topics are they interested in reading about; etc.?
  4. Purchase history: what products or services have they purchased in the past; how often do they purchase them; etc.?
  5. Engagement level: how often do they interact with your content; how often do they open and click emails; etc.?

The marketing team can gain all this information via email campaigns, blog posts, webinars, guides, videos, white papers, e-books, podcasts, quizzes, courses, etc. But the first step is defining what information we need to qualify these leads, which matches our ICP (Ideal Customer Profile).

2. How can lead qualification help to improve marketing ROI?

Marketing ROI, or return on investment, is a term that indicates how a company's marketing efforts drive profit and revenue growth. It usually implies calculating marketing costs and then comparing them with sales revenues.

Lead qualification can help improve marketing ROI by ensuring that marketing efforts are focused on leads that are most likely to convert into customers.

By qualifying leads, marketers can identify which leads are most likely to be interested in their product or service and target them with more personalized and relevant content.

This helps to ensure that marketing efforts are not wasted on leads that are unlikely to convert. Also, you can use AI to ensure just that with tools that help you identify these leads.

3. What tools are available to automate lead qualification?

Lead qualification is a tough and normally expensive task. Marketing teams have the possibility of reducing the costs of qualifying leads by finding tools to automate part of this process.

There are a variety of tools available to automate lead qualification, including:

  • Marketing automation platforms and Customer Relationship Management like HubSpot or Salesforce offer you automation to send emails to a specific user to qualify them better.
  • Lead scoring software (included in the above-mentioned or others). These also offer to build automation such as email flows, pop-ups, and banners, based on the stage of the funnel of each user.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions like add-ons to Marketing Automation Platforms. A great example is Thalox for Marketers – an add-on for HubSpot Marketing, that provides a score to qualify leads based on their past behavior, predicting their likelihood of engaging in the future (high, dormant, or inactive) - so marketers can send personalized messages according to where they are in the customer journey, improving conversion rates & revenue.

4. What metrics should be used to measure lead qualification success?

There is not a single metric to follow, but you can find the most commonly used metrics to include in your tracking list:

  1. Conversion Rate: The percentage of leads that convert into customers.
  2. Lead Quality Score: A score assigned to each lead based on criteria such as demographics, interests, and purchase history.
  3. Lead Source: The source of the lead, such as a website, email campaign, or referral.
  4. Lead Nurturing Rate: The percentage of leads that are nurtured and eventually converted into customers.
  5. Cost Per Lead: The cost associated with acquiring each lead.
  6. Lead Engagement: The amount of time a lead spends engaging with content or interacting with salespeople.
  7. Lead Retention Rate: The percentage of leads that remain engaged over time.
  8. Thalox Engagement Score: The percentage to measure and predict engagement levels.

5. Why should I use my own data to convert leads?

The response seems obvious, but marketers tend to focus a lot on lead generation activities rather than nurturing their leads and using their data to turn them into high-quality engagers and achieve a successful lead qualification process.

So then I ask: What about the leads already in the pipeline? Are they being nurtured? What is the potential you can get out of that? Can you process all the data about your contacts and their behavior, and make assumptions out of that?

Using your own data to convert leads is beneficial because it allows you to tailor your marketing and sales strategies to the specific needs of your target audience. Also, using AI to process historical data and make predictions about their future behavior can help you build targeted messaging that triggers their engagement and makes them qualify better to become a customer.

Hope that this guide can help you to improve your Lead Qualification Process.

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