Having too many leads is not a luxury problem. In fact, low-quality leads hurt your business, draining significant effort and resources from your sales team. Here’s how you can turn these time-sucking, low-quality monsters into high-quality ROI-generating superstars.
Not so long ago, this conversation happened:
Me: We could make a big content piece, like an eBook, a piece that discusses a pressing question your customers are faced with. We could post it on your website and you could generate lots of leads with it.
Customer: No, I don’t think this is a good idea.
Me: Why not?
Customer: We already have a demo request form and this generates a lot of leads. In fact, it generates way more leads than we can handle.
Me: Then what’s the problem?
Customer: The problem is that our leads suck. Only a small percentage of the leads we capture are actually the companies we are targeting.
Marketers love email addresses. For many digital marketers, capturing email leads is the alpha and omega of their existence. That’s why it’s all the more cynical to say that some companies just have too many leads. And, more importantly, they have the wrong kind of leads.
It’s like throwing the coolest and hippest party for your friends, only to see a bunch of dancing dads and oldsters busting their moves on the dance floor.
Don’t get me wrong: a website that generates many leads by means of a download form or a newsletter sign-up is great. But too many low-quality leads can be a real pain for your sales guys and gals. Just think about how much time and effort your sales team is spending at following up on these leads and investigating their sales-readiness.
It might soothe your ego as a marketer, being a mean sales-generating machine and all, but the truth is that your company will benefit more from fewer, high-quality/sales-ready leads, than of an avalanche of time-sucking, low-quality leads that will probably never become a customer anyway.
If you have too many low-quality email leads, then your website is probably sending out the wrong message. So, let’s reduce that number of low-quality leads generated by your website and aim for high-quality leads that your sales team will genuinely thank you for, shall we?
There are at least five ways to do this.
1. Paint a better picture of who you are.
Step number one in managing expectations is providing your website visitors with a clear picture of what your company stands for. For example, if your company is serving a professional business audience, then that should be obvious from web your copy, images or video.
Here’s a company that does this very well: ‘Bank van Breda’ that only wants to serve a professional audience. This is very clear when you visit their website, both from the web copy as from the images
A clear description of who you are and of the services you provide will help your website visitors decide whether or not your offer is something for them, and whether or not that form needs to be filled out.
2. Identify the problem your ideal customer is facing.
By naming the pains and questions your prospects or customers are faced with, you really go to the heart of the matter. If you have already done your homework on your buyer personas, then this should be an easy task. If not, then it might be worth spending some time on this.
Another great way to show how you can help your customers, is by posting case studies or success stories. Much more than a simple testimonial quote, customer stories or case studies are a great medium that allow you to describe in detail how your company has solved a specific problem for your customer.
FLIR Systems is a manufacturer of thermal imaging cameras. Not everybody knows what this technology can do, but FLIR does a great job explaining the many applications of its cameras in its product videos and application stories.
3. Optimize your web copy for Google.
Before your customers even see your site, they need to be able to find it. Be it through organic or paid search, you will need to target your ideal web visitors through the use of keywords.
The best way forward here would be to use long-tail keywords: longer and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point-of-purchase.
Long tail keywords will not be a guarantee for high traffic, but the people using those keywords arriving at your site will definitely be more willing to investigate your offer and buy your products.
4. Let your price tag do the talking.
Your competitors are watching, so it might not always be possible to be very specific about the price of your product or service. However, providing some kind of direction towards pricing might be a good tactic to weed out the low-quality leads.
Another strategy might also be to just ask what your prospect’s budget is. You could do this on your sales landing page or by adding this as a selection menu in your form.
This is what marketing company CPC Strategy does in its form.
5. Let your form sort it out.
As already hinted above, your web form makes a great gatekeeper for incoming leads. Some companies go far in this by already blocking certain types of mail addresses, mostly gmail or hotmail types of addresses. This makes sense, certainly in a B2B context, because those types of addresses indicate somebody who is not really likely to come clean with his or her intentions, be it as a competitor or as somebody who’s shopping for quotes.
Another way to weed out the bad leads, is to ask additional, qualifying questions in your form. Don’t go too far with this, because people don’t like to fill out a lot of information. You don’t need to ask about shoe sizes, but relevant questions are justified. Asking for the number of employees your leads have can be important. For example, if you offer enterprise-grade SaaS, then a company of two or three people will not be a good fit for you. If you’re only interested in serving local customers, you can also filter your leads on country of origin. Again, adding questions to your form is a great tactic, but don’t overdo this.