How to Define and Rank Qualified Leads in B2B Marketing
Since no two businesses are exactly alike, it’s sometimes difficult to establish common terminology across industries. After all, marketing terms like “lead,” “conversion,” and “engagement” mean different things to different professionals. What one company may class as a successful marketing campaign, another might find wholly inadequate. What’s more, B2B companies can have a particularly difficult time identifying what constitutes a good lead, and what doesn’t. To that end, here are three factors to examine the next time you review the viability of your leads:
Consider the Source
Leads can arrive at your company through any number of offline or online channels. And while it’s possible to draw in highly qualified leads from any and every marketing effort, some practices traditionally have higher success and engagement rates. This makes sense when you consider it for a moment. Sure, it’s great to see a potential buyer like or follow your Facebook page, but it’s even better to get them to download a content offer or sign up for email content. The more time, energy, and materials a lead has reviewed from your company, the more likely they will be to do business with you down the line.
Position within the Company
Every business owner knows nothing gets done unless a decision maker of some sort is involved. Entry-level employees don’t have the license to purchase expensive or intricate equipment without input for their bosses. So no matter how badly a scientist may want a new set of ACD tubes for blood collection, for instance, they’re unlikely to get it without approval from their superior first. If at all possible, determine where your potential lead sits within their company. Of course, the higher up the chain of command, the better. However, that’s not to say reaching out to lower-level employees can’t yield positive results. In fact, the opposite is true –– it just might take a little more time for that effort to germinate.
In B2B commerce, timing really is everything. That’s because unlike B2C purchases, B2B transactions tend to take a long time to occur. Since a manager or business owner may only order supplies and equipment once or twice a year (if that!), it’s essential for entrepreneurs to recognize where their leads are in the buying cycle. In other words, you can’t expect a manager at an auto parts plant to order materials from you right after they’ve completed a transaction with another vendor. The good news in this regard is, it’s possible to play the waiting game and improve the status of a lead over time. Perhaps you missed out on an opportunity this year, but with applied efforts and more attention you could achieve success next term.
The Bottom Line
Connecting with any lead is great. Garnering interest from a qualified lead is even better. And closing a deal with a customer constitutes a major victory for any B2B enterprise. Often in B2B marketing, it takes lots of time, energy, and application to establish yourself with the targets you want to reach. The key is to never get discouraged and monitor your leads closely.
With ample experience in content writing and research analysis, I believe that they are ‘One Single Unit’. I enjoy bringing them both together in order to give a fine definition, meaning to the content created. I enjoy writing articles, website content, social media content, email templates, press releases, white papers, news articles etc.
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