The more leads you have, the higher the chance of converting them into sales, right? Wrong!
Conventional marketing and sales strategies have emphasized lead quantity for a long time. Traditionally, marketers used to prefer attracting a high volume of contacts during lead generation thinking more people would convert.
But recent research has shown something quite the opposite. Studies indicate that 68% of B2B marketers demonstrate a clear preference for generating high-quality leads over a high volume of leads.
There’s a fine line between lead generation and qualified lead generation services. Below, we’ll discuss the difference between both and how all lead generation services are not equal.
Lead Generation vs Lead Qualification
Lead generation is a marketing tactic to capture prospects’ interest in your products and services with the end goal of converting them into loyal customers. As such, marketing agencies tend to think that it’s all about quantity.
On paper, it does make sense. But is it really? Let’s find out!
Why Lead Qualification Matters?
Lead generation is pretty simple. You attract prospects with the goal of converting them. So, you’ll naturally think the more people you have, the higher the chance of generating sales. But why do 70% of B2B marketers demonstrate improving the quality of leads as the most critical objective of lead generation then?
Let’s explain this with an example.
It’s a pleasant summer day, and the air smells fresh and full of opportunities. To make your day even more enjoyable, you plan to go fishing. But as you reach the river, it’s all dried up—what a disappointment.
But as you were about to leave, you saw two signboards. One of them reads: There are 100 fish in this water hole. 5 are big fish, 15 are medium-sized, and the remaining 80 are small-sized. The other signboard reads: This water hole contains 40 big fish.
Which water hole will you choose? At first glance the option may seem obvious, but let’s dive into this further.
For obvious reasons, you’ll choose the first water hole. It has more fish, so it would appear that you have a higher chance of catching more, selling more, and earning extra. Consider you caught 2 big fish, 5 medium-sized and 10 small fishes. You sold the big fish for $300 each, medium-sized (each) for $100, and someone bought 10 small fish lot for $50.
Now, what if someone fishing from the second fishing hole caught 10 big fish in the same amount of time as you? They’ll make a whopping $3000 in a single go – far more than $1150.
That’s precisely the difference between lead generation vs lead qualification.
What Is a Quality Lead?
A quality lead attracts prospects genuinely interested in purchasing your products and services. On top of that, they have the authority and cash to do so.
The real trouble is that marketers think someone intends to purchase merely because they clicked on the ad. In reality, they just might be:
- Doing window shopping
- Bored on a Sunday night and scrolling through their phone aimlessly
- Landing your page because it says, “Sign up for a gift.”
- Sharing fake information for point 3.
Despite their disinterest and unsettled motives, once they sign up or press send, all the visitors become leads. But only a few – in fact hardly any – leads intend on becoming customers. Fortunately, lead qualification services are advanced enough to separate quality leads from the dreck.
Lead Generation vs Lead Qualification
As stated earlier, a qualified lead is more likely to convert than someone who signs up out of boredom or other reasons. The question, however, is how to generate qualified leads? When analyzing quality lead, several factors count in. Below, we’ll discuss some.
Behavioral data reveals a lot about the intentions of your visitors. Simply put, did they visit your blog? Have they streamed any webinars? Did they fill out a form on your website? Addressing such questions gives an insight into how people interact with your ads, website, and services. Typical behavioral data includes:
- Social media follows
- Social media likes
- Website visits
- Form fills
- Webinar clicks
Of all lead quality elements, this one is the trickiest. Perhaps it’s not easy to dive into the psyche of each individual – everyone tends to think differently.
Take Netflix, for instance. Every user has their own distinct dashboard. The platform uses the watch history of every user to recommend what they like. The same goes for products and services too.
Lead qualification determines if the person at the other end craves your service or products. Everyone engaging with your products and services thinks differently and consumes content per their unique mindset. Generally, psychological metrics include:
- Belief system
- Ethics and values
The Five Minute Rule reveals the importance of timing. The study unfolds that when the B2B sales team responds to a lead within 5 minutes, they increase the chance of engagement and conversion.
So, the quicker the response, the higher the lead quality. Likewise, the prospect data needs to be updated to be authentic. For instance, a lead may get a promotion, change company, or get engaged. Therefore, getting timely information is crucial to target the right people.
Demographics typically inform you about your ideal buyer personas and customer profiles. They offer an efficient way to target the right prospects – the ones who are more likely to convert. Standard demographic metrics include:
- Company industry
- Employee position
Cold Vs Warm Leads
Leads are generally divided into two types: cold and warm. A cold lead is someone who has never interacted with your business and doesn’t know about your products and services. They need more nurturing and patience.
On the flip side, a warm lead has already contacted your company and is familiar with your products and services. They might have followed you on social media channels, answered your ad, or signed up for email listings.
For obvious reasons, converting warm leads is easier than cold ones. Therefore, they are certainly more valuable. Qualified lead generation services ensure that warm leads meet specific criteria, making them fall into the “warm” lead category.
For instance, maybe they showed interest by responding to a phone call or an email, or perhaps they matched your buyer persona.
Geographics also play a vital role in evaluating quality leads. For instance, a lead might fit into the criteria of an ideal customer, but can they actually purchase your products and services? If not, they aren’t a quality lead – even if you have thousands of them.
Consider you are targeting organizations in France with English-only software. Do you think it’s a good bet? Probably not.
Similarly, software designed for companies in California shouldn’t be marketed in Pennsylvania. Considering geographical features helps you determine lead quality. Common geographical metrics include GIS (Geographic Information System) and company location.
Qualified Lead Generation Services
Qualified lead generation services ensure that leads are “quality leads” and deserve the sales team’s time to interact and sell.
In all honesty, finding quality leads can be overwhelming, especially if you run a large organization and have lots of other business-related stuff to look into. Fortunately, you can outsource this daunting task to a company that handles the entire process for you.
Sapper Consulting takes the lead generation burden off your shoulders, from searching for contact information to emailing to explaining your products and more.
Our company specializes in generating “quality” leads that actually convert. Here’s how our reliable lead generation procedure works.
The first step of B2B lead generation includes an exploratory call. It is more like a survey to dig deeper into your company and its unique goals. We understand the importance of knowing your organization and what it offers to prospects.
Regardless of how wide or narrow your market may be, we utilize valuable resources to discover and interact with your target audience. Each prospect fits the standard of your buyer persona. Besides, we measure each customer profile against our criteria to deliver precisely what you need as a company.
We believe in developing more human-like connections. We focus on personalization rather than automation and, for this reason alone, craft messages unique to your ideal customers. Our goal is to inspire your prospects to take action by leveraging emotions and real-life analogies into our content.
Our entire B2B process blends to create enticing content for your target prospects. But the story doesn’t end here. We believe in the power of conducting A/B testing to further narrow down our approach for your ideal customers.
We craft each touchpoint for their unique personality to understand them better and deliver businesses the quality we promise.
Once we create a successful campaign, our efforts do not end here. We keep track of responses, open rates, and reply rates to examine our campaign’s success closely. We believe in closed deals that come from quality leads instead of quantity (leads) that do not contribute to your business.
Types of Lead Generation
There are several tactics involved in lead generation – whether you plan to manage it in-house or decide to outsource. All lead generation types – one way or another – impact the conversion. Common types include:
- Social media. With over 3.6 billion users, social media is an excellent platform to acquire leads. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin are popular online platforms to target ideal customers.
- Email marketing might sound old school in a fast-paced world like today. But it is a highly effective way to target the right customers whether you use opt-ins or cold outreach.
- Cold calling is yet another efficient way to acquire quality leads. Professional cold callers know they need to contact several people to find qualified leads.
- Webinars offer a great way to share valuable content with your audience. Educating your prospects offers them tangible value, and they are more likely to convert.
- Advertising is the most common lead generation method. But not every company knows how to utilize it properly. Placing targeted ads on Facebook, Google, Linkedin, and other online platforms can help acquire leads. This often works along with email marketing because once the customer responds to an offer, they have to provide an email address.
Quantity leads on paper sound tempting. “We generated 13,000 leads last week” will undoubtedly gain more traction than “We generated 200 quality leads last week.”
However, considering the fishing example, only a few out of those mixed-quality leads will convert and profit you. Quantity per se isn’t a bad thing. But does it even matter if the leads won’t convert?
What does convert, however, is quality leads. At Sapper Consulting, we offer qualified lead generation services to ensure your leads become your long-term, loyal customers.