There's a sweet spot in sales. It's when a prospect's needs perfectly align with your offerings. But when you fail to find it, you end up chasing the wrong leads.
The good news? More than half of sales reps saw improved lead quality this year. But one question remains: how did they do it?
Let's look at a few strategies sales professionals are employing in 2022 to achieve better lead quality.
How to Improve Lead Quality Research in 2022
1. Lean into your CRM.
Here are the biggest benefits of having a CRM, according to HubSpot's survey of 1,000+ sales professionals:
- 33% say its ability to track leads.
- 22% say its detailed analytics and reports.
- 21% say its ability to provide crucial customer insights.
- 19% say its ability to identify opportunities.
Because the "ideal customer" differs from company to company, it doesn't make sense to use the same scoring criteria as everyone else. For example, one company may prioritize demographic scoring, while another focuses on interest level.
A CRM with lead scoring capabilities allows you to customize your own criteria. And, it typically uses a point system to score each lead.
For instance, every time a lead engages with your business (opens an email, downloads a content offer, etc.), their score increases. But if they live outside your service area, for example, their score decreases.
Let's fast-forward to the moment you call a prospect for the first time. Before you even pick up the phone, you can access their score in your trust CRM, review their past interactions, and gauge their interest level. With this insight, you can personalize your pitch and hit the ground running.
2. Get your sales and marketing on the same page.
These stats point to a simple truth: sales and marketing are most effective when they play together. When they're at odds, nobody wins.
To align these teams, you need to ensure they're aiming for the same target. For instance, if you were to ask both teams, "What is a qualified lead?" would they come up with the same answer? If not, you need to first define what is — and isn't — a qualified lead.
Eventually, you want to get to the point where your sales team can inform your marketing team on how to attract leads. After all, your sales team should have intimate knowledge of your customer's pain points, buying habits, needs, and challenges. This is powerful information that marketing teams can use to tweak their approach.
3. Focus on lead nurturing.
Lead nurturing is the process of developing and strengthening relationships with prospects at every stage of their journey. And in 2022, prospects are seeking a multi-touch approach.
According to HubSpot's 2022 Sales Strategy & Trends Report, 33% of sales reps average 2-4 interactions with prospects throughout the sales process. In second place, 26% of reps report 5-7 interactions on average.
On top of that, 84% of sales professionals communicate with a prospect on multiple channels, such as email, phone, social media, live chat, and text.
4. Revisit your buyer personas.
How can you improve lead quality if you don't know what your ideal customer looks like?
For instance, if you start calling anyone and everyone, you'll probably come up empty-handed — or attracting the wrong leads.
This is where buyer personas come in. They indicate who is most likely to convert, how they typically make purchasing decisions, and what messages are most effective.
A deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to your sales outreach, follow up, and really anything related to customer acquisition. The strongest ones are based on market research and insights you gather from your actual customer base (via surveys, interviews, etc.).
With a better picture of your buyer personas, you can alter your strategy to speak directly to their needs.
Back to You
If your sales pipeline is full of leads but no sales, you may have a problem with lead quality. But by powering your sales strategy with the right tech — and tweaking your approach — you can start identifying and converting the right leads.