That’s great. People are showing interest in what you have to offer, be it a content download or a newsletter sign up. But are they ready to buy? Probably not.
These people are sometimes known as marketing qualified leads (MQLs) – they’re different from the rest of the world only in that they have responded to one of your calls to action or CTAs.
You want them to move on past the top of your sales funnel, though. You want to convert them into sales qualified leads (SQLs).
That means turning your content downloads into real customers; seeing those webinar signups actually enter your sales pipeline.
How to do it then?
Read on to find three secrets for converting marketing leads into sales leads.
Before anything else, align sales and marketing
Let’s set a foundation before going into the three secrets.
Here’s a common situation: the sales team says the leads they get from the marketing team are bad, but marketing claims that sales doesn’t follow up long enough or something worse. It’s a mess.
Studies have shown that when marketing and sales work as separate silos, they waste budget and resources, costing companies millions of dollars. On the other hand, a report found that when you successfully align sales and marketing, you generate 32% higher revenue, retain 36% more customers and achieve 38% higher win rates.
Sounds perfect, right?
The idea then is to have sales and marketing work together with common goals. Some companies fuse them as one team, others bring them together to work in one common space or office, others simply improve communication between them (a.k.a. smarketing).
The most important thing, however, is to focus on the customer. Both marketing and sales should work on a unified customer journey for the same buyer persona – the teams should move customers along the same experience, the same funnel, and even track the same KPIs.
For example, there’s no point in marketing launching a campaign to reach out to young male Latinos in California, while sales cold calls Midwestern white mums. Alignment, please!
With that in mind, let’s examine the three secrets to convert MQLs into SQLs.
1. Implement an omnichannel outreach
Just as you’d want to align sales and marketing, you’d want to align all your outreach channels.
First, you must use every available channel to connect with your leads – calls, chat, email, SMS, social media, you name it. Then you must make the experience consistent and complementary through all those channels. That’s omnichannel marketing.
When the messaging leads get from your outreach is consistent and always focused on taking them through a particular journey, the chances of they becoming sales qualified leads, increase dramatically.
2. Go for multiple touchpoints
People would almost never buy from you the first time you reach out. It takes several follow-ups or touchpoints.
Research shows that you need around 8 touchpoints to make a sale.
For example, after they’ve entered your funnel and you’ve got their contact information, follow up through different channels. Send an email with useful information. Follow up a while later with a call or an SMS. Retarget them through social media ads or start a conversation on LinkedIn.
3. Use outbound on inbound leads
As you can tell, these three secrets are closely related and this third secret emphasizes a point I just made about following up.
Many companies rely heavily on content marketing, a type of inbound marketing, to attract leads to their site and build brand awareness.
Inbound leads are your hottest leads, no doubt about it. So why not prioritize them and use outbound (i.e. outbound calling, direct messaging, etc) to ensure you get ROI from your marketing campaigns?
Don’t be afraid of combining the two approaches. While inbound will generate MQLs, your outbound efforts will convert them into SQLs, further qualifying them and moving them down the sales funnel.
Closing hundreds of new deals, growing your revenue and bottom line – those are the results we all want.
It all comes down to conversion and how well you integrate your marketing and your sales processes. So, put these three secrets into practice and watch your efforts turn into results.
About the Author
Diego Pineda is a Senior Content Creator at CloudTask, a managed workforce provider for growing companies looking for Sales, Customer Success and Customer Support solutions. Their mission is to find prospects, nurture leads, close deals, and satisfy customers, to enable you to reach your business goals.