Qualifying and Closing Your Leads Smarter

Right_this_wasObtaining your leads is one thing, but turning them into buyers is another. Nurturing them and qualifying them for your offer is name of the game.

Many companies put a huge emphasis on creating leads via their inbound marketing campaign through the use of content marketing, social marketing and SEO marketing in addition to other strategies. However, just because one of these leads is captured doesn’t mean that they are qualified to purchase your company’s product or service. In many cases, the lead is simply looking for information and is not ready to commit to a purchase. You need to nurture these leads into the qualification stage. Once they become a qualified lead, they’ll be read to make the purchase – but even then there’s work to do!

Qualifying Your Leads

In order to understand when a consumer has become a qualified lead, it’s important to know the process that a lead goes through. Nurturing your leads through this process is fundamental in closing. The following are the steps that a lead goes through when becoming a qualified lead:

The Informed Lead

The stage is when the lead is first captured. They have read or viewed your content, clicked on a call to action, and have supplied their contact information in return for your offer. The best way to create informed leads is to provide high quality content that is both educational and helpful to the reader. Create a compelling call to action that it includes an offer such as a free webinar or eBook. Don’t expect readers to just hand over their information. You need to provide something of value in return, which is how you create an information qualified lead.

Marketing to the Lead

At this point, you should be sending them content via an email marketing strategy tailored to their needs. Don’t just send out the same email content to all of your captured leads. This is a poor way to nurture them. Using the information that you obtained with your call-to-action, along with the source of its capture (which call to action they clicked on and what offer they signed up for), segment your leads into different categories. The segment list divides your leads up by things such as demographics or company size or type and more. This in turn will allow you to craft specific email content for the different segments of your list, thereby nurturing your leads much more effectively.

The Sales Qualified Lead

Once you have peaked their interest in your company, you should begin offering additional content such as free consultations, free estimates, free coupons or free trials to name a few possibilities. This will help to move the lead into the decision stage, making them a sales qualified lead. They are now ready to commit to the purchase of your product or service.

Closing Leads

Once your leads have reached the end of the nurturing process and are now qualified leads, you have to close them. This takes a little bit of finesse, as you can’t just expect them to purchase what you tell them to at this point. The following are a few tips to help convert your qualified leads into sales prospects:

Provide Answers

Many consumers will hesitate at the buying process stage even if they are qualified leads. Some consumers just happen to want as much information as possible – so provide it for them! Make sure that you have detailed and accurate product descriptions and web pages as well as forums, blog posts and FAQs that will help your qualified leads answer any potential questions or concerns.

Provide Value

You need to convince qualified leads why your product or service is worth the cost. This means that you should focus on explaining the benefits that they can take advantage of by investing in your brand. You can do this by providing case studies concerning your products or services.

Provide Firm Terms

Some qualified leads, whether they are consumers or businesses, will try to negotiate different aspects of the sale, whether it’s the cost of the product or service or the terms associated with the product or service. Be respectful and honest when explaining that these are non-negotiable, and don’t be afraid of ending the relationship if it looks like the sale isn’t going to happen instead of wasting additional resources.

These are a few things that you should keep in mind when qualifying your leads and turning them into prospective buyers.

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