As your inbound marketing program fires on all cylinders an increased number of leads are coming through your website. It is exciting to receive inbound-generated leads over and above those generated from your existing outbound sales efforts. This excitement must be tempered somewhat because all leads are not necessarily equal.
Outbound leads are different than inbound leads in the way they originate. Outbound selling, aka traditional selling, is based on targeting companies. You have X to promote and you look for companies that fit the profile as those most likely to need or want X.
A list of companies and individuals is then “targeted” for traditional outbound sales activities such as phone calls, emails, or advertising. Although the return on all the effort is low percentage, there is a reasonably good chance you can sell to them once you find those with immediate needs and wants. Qualify the companies first then find some buyers.
Inbound leads have a different nature than outbound leads. The needs (pain) or wants come first before the business qualifying. You put yourself out there on the web for anyone to find your product or service. That “anyone” can be your ideal prospect or it can be a high school student from Timbuktu. You won’t know this until you analyze your inbound leads. The point is that through inbound the wants and needs are a given (which is why and how they found you online) and then the companies are qualified.
Inbound Lead Analysis
Inbound leads can be analyzed by a little research. Google is your friend here. Start by searching for the company name provided and the name of the contact submitted with the lead. If the company name is Acme Fireworks and the contact name is Wile E. Coyote, this should tell you that the lead (for now) is not very hot.
If you have done your homework on your ideal buyer’s personas you should be able to sort out the good inbound leads from the others. Ideally, this sort should happen before handing any leads over to your sales team – their time should not be wasted on low quality inbound leads. This will prevent much frustration and keep them enthused about the company’s marketing efforts.
Quantity Means Success
A low number of qualified leads can mean inbound success! The more inbound leads coming in, the better things are (probably) working. It then becomes a matter of managing them effectively. A number of the inbound leads will be good ones; the ideal buyers from the right companies. Some lead filtering and you have the increased prospects, expanded reach, and increased sales you are looking for.