Making the Most of Your Marketing-Qualified Leads
Marketing-qualified leads can be a boon to businesses looking to grow their sales pipelines. Presumably, the prospects have already shown genuine interest in what a company has to offer, shortening the road to a potential sale.
But what if these leads aren’t quite so marketing-qualified after all? It’s an awful feeling to reach out to a prospect you believe is curious about your company’s services, only to be told: “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Or, worse, what if these marketing-qualified leads are legitimate, but you lack the time or resources to pursue them? Talk about squandering a golden opportunity—it’s like winning the lottery and not bothering to claim your prize.
VSA recently helped a large technology client with multiple divisions overcome both these hurdles. The company partnered with VSA on a warm calling campaign, hoping to follow up with prospects who had downloaded materials from their website or attended webinars.
The challenge was twofold: ensuring the leads were legitimate, and if they were, making sure they didn’t get away.
Here’s how we helped our client achieve both those goals:
1. Vetting the leads and providing immediate feedback
Not every outside marketing firm delivers the goods. Maybe they didn’t provide the promised number of leads. Or maybe the leads they did provide just weren’t very promising.
In this case, our client used multiple platforms to produce its leads, and asked VSA to help determine which platforms were most valuable. We quickly realized one group of targets wasn’t really qualified to discuss the client’s services, feedback that proved vital to the campaign.
We were also able to share other details of our conversations with prospects, such as which titles were most worth talking to or which assets piqued the most interest. Based on our discoveries, the client was able to go back to its marketing firms and tell them which types of leads it no longer wanted.
2. Matching the client’s schedule
Not all lead-generation schedules are created equal, especially during a warm-calling campaign. The frequency of incoming leads can vary widely. Fortunately, VSA’s flexibility allows us to sync our calling and email cadence to our client’s schedule, ensuring maximum production value from the program hours.
By staying in constant communication with this client and understanding its needs at all stages of the campaign, we could determine the ideal number of hours to devote to the program each week. Whether we were ramping up the hours or temporarily slowing down, we were always flexible enough to adjust.
3. Responding to leads in a timely fashion
There’s nothing worse than letting a warm lead turn cold due to a lack of immediate attention. A prospect who downloads a white paper really needs to be contacted while the information is still fresh. Unfortunately, a company’s sales team is often far too busy to get to all of them. That’s where VSA comes in.
In this case, we were able to respond to new leads and follow up with old ones in a timely and efficient manner. Our experienced program manager and trained team of business development representatives (BDRs) knew which leads to prioritize, making it significantly easier to set qualified sales appointments for the client.
4. Customizing the message
In pursuing these leads, our BDRs already knew exactly what steps prospects had taken to learn about the client. That made it easy to personalize the conversation when we got them on the phone. Rather than just say where we were calling from, we could specifically reference the webinar they attended or the asset they downloaded. The same customized messaging applied to emails we sent out.
Personalizing the conversation like this can go a long way toward making the prospect feel special—and more inclined to continue the relationship with the client.
5. Customizing the reporting
From these conversations with prospects, we were able to determine which assets were most well-received and which leads were most interested in learning more. We then shared this valuable information with the client, making it easier for them to strategize as the campaign moved forward.
We were also able to silo the reports so that each division of the company could address their own production needs.
Once we determined which leads were most effective, the campaign was an overwhelming success. We set dozens of appointments in just a few months and have gone on to partner with other divisions within the company.
Our success has not gone unnoticed, as other companies have since launched similar warm-calling programs with us.
There’s no guarantee that marketing-qualified leads will convert to sales-qualified leads. You first must learn which leads to prioritize, and then have the skills and experience to be able to move them through the pipeline.
At VSA, we’ve repeatedly demonstrated we have these skills. If your company needs a hand pursuing leads at any stage of the sales process, give us a call. Warm or cold, we’re always happy to help.