Lead quality is one of the frustrating things for businesses.
For startups, you’re looking for just about any lead. But you still want the best leads possible.
For established businesses there is a little more leeway to be choosy with the leads. But you don’t necessarily want to stifle growth.
There is a balance between not turning down most people that are at least interested in what you’re selling, but still not wasting your time with leads that will never really work out.
Here are some tips for improving your B2B lead quality.
1. Redefine Your Target Customer
Start by looking at your target customer.
One of the issues with lead quality could be that your target customer is too broad. You’re getting leads from people that really don’t benefit from what you’re selling.
Focus in on the exact persona of the people that most benefit from your service or product. Focus all your sales and marketing efforts on those people. Your website copy. Your sales pitches. Your prospecting. Your social media and online marketing.
It’s scary because it feels like you’re excluding potential customers. But the odd thing is that the more you focus the happier your customers will be and the happier you’ll be (because the best customers are the most profitable) and you’ll still get some customers that don’t totally fit your ideal customer.
2. Assess Current Lead Channels
Once you focus in on your target customer start assessing your current lead channels.
You might find that a current channel isn’t the best place to find that ideal customer.
Maybe you realize that your best customers are men, but you’re spending a lot of time getting leads from Pinterest. And those leads from Pinterest and mostly women. As a result, those leads rarely work out.
It’s not that those women aren’t great. They’re just not right for what you’re selling.
Also look at how you’re approaching the lead channels. The channel might be fine, but what you’re doing with that channel might be wrong in terms of your target customer.
Look at each channel and figure out how to find your customer. Then look for ways to filter out those that aren’t the best fit.
3. Add More Filters
Successful people have filters. They have to because their time is their most important asset.
Derek Sivers wrote a great post about Filters.
In the music industry, record labels have filters for finding new artists. They don’t want to look into every wannabe musician out there. That’s impossible. So they need ways to filter so they’re only seeing the best of the best prospects.
Here are some simple filters:
- Longer contact forms
- More answers to common questions on your website
- Higher pricing
- More steps in the sales process
- Automating some of the early stages of the sales process
- Making people call instead of contacting via email
- Requiring in-person meetings instead of calls
Again, you want to find a balance of not shutting down all leads, but getting a higher quality of leads. You may not want to add tens of filters, but a few will probably help out.
The key is adding filters that truly help you find the best leads.
4. Look For New Lead Channels
Getting back to #2 a bit here.
Let’s say that you realize now that Pinterest is not the best lead channel for high quality leads. This means that you need to find new lead channels.
You know who your target customer is now.
Go to Google and start searching for places that your target customers are spending their time. Online and offline. Who do they follow in the media? What influencers do they trust?
If you have current customers send out a survey (maybe multiple) asking them these questions. What they’re interested in. Their hobbies. Favorite websites. Favorite social media.
Anything that clues you in on where their attention is. Then go to those places to find your new lead channels.
5. Be Upfront With The Deal Breakers
Just like in dating.
When you’re dating you probably have a few deal breakers.
Non-smoker. Must love dogs. Brunette.
Whatever it is. You probably have a few.
There are also likely deal breakers for you and your prospective clients.
Instead of going through the entire dance of the sales process just jump right to the deal breakers.
Some common ones you can ask:
- Do you have a budget for the price we offer?
- Do you have time to go through our initial process?
- Is everyone on your team bought-in to this strategy?
Your leads might also have some deal breakers. Price is a common one. Put the price or price range on your site. Let them see it and leave if they really can’t afford what you’re offering.
Maybe you’re a web designer and you only work with a specific CMS. Put that on your site.
Anything that might break the deal…just cut to the chase.
It’s frustrating when you’re wasting time on leads that will never work out. If you find that things are out of whack in this way then it’s time to improve the quality. Try the tips above and start working back to a good balance. It is possible that you’ll go too far in the other direction, but if that happens just ease back on the tips above until you get back to a good balance.