Your leads are never defined by a single data point; there are a variety of factors that can affect their suitability, behavior, and buying needs. If you are content with tracking your leads based on one category, it’s much more likely you’ll miss a crucial detail that could determine whether or not they are able to internalize your value proposition and connect it to their issues.
Thankfully, tracking your leads across a variety of categories is a simple endeavor, you just have to be willing to put in the effort required to maintain the quality of your data.
By simply knowing where the lead came from, you can instantly discern a lot of information about them. For instance, if they came via a banner ad you already know about some of their browsing habits. If they filled out a contact form that followed from a CTA included with some of your content marketing, then you have an idea about what kinds of content they find value in. Or if they are courtesy of a referral, you can immediately leverage everything you know about the relationship between the lead, the referral source, and your own organization. Not only does tracking your leads by their source give you a jumpstart on your customer research, but it also allows you to better understand which lead development methods are working for your company (and why), and which ones need to be tweaked.
Level of qualification
Disqualifying certain leads is a necessary part of any effective B2B sales or marketing operation. While there will come a point in which the choice is binary — that is, either qualified or unqualified — the issue can often be more complex earlier in the process.
In the beginning of your interactions you may not have a clear answer as to whether or not your lead is worth pursuing further, which is why it is helpful to develop levels of qualification and track them accordingly. This way, you can identify your leads who may be teetering on the brink of disqualification and try to nudge them towards the qualified camp with some effective nurturing.
Sales cycle stage
Your leads have very different needs and expectations depending upon how far along they are in the buying process. They may have reached out ready to begin seriously considering a purchase, or they could have quickly clicked on an ad link out of curiosity. It should come as no surprise that leads expect to have their needs satisfied quickly, whether that involves quenching their curiosity or giving them a quote on a package. After all, companies that follow up with digital leads within five minutes are nine times more likely to make a sale.
Sales reps need to be able to determine what kinds of resources they will need access to in order to drive value in the interaction. When you organize your leads by their place in the buying process, then your salespeople will be empowered to deliver what they need as quickly as possible.
As we’ve seen, a big part of being successful in B2B sales is facilitating your sales team to get as much high-quality information about their leads as possible, in the shortest amount of time. The more they know about who their buyers are, the easier it will be for them to make informed decisions in an instant that could define relationships for years to come.
There is potentially no category of organization that can tell a salesperson more in a brief moment of time than a buyer persona. If your reps have studied the details of your various personas, then they should be able to internalize numerous data points in an instant, such as demographic info, past buying behavior, estimated budget, and so on. Using buyer personas has been shown to decrease lead conversion time by 72%, so the faster your reps are able to make use of them, the more valuable they will be.
Number of interactions
Relationships can be defined not just by length, but also by the number and quality of interactions that have occurred within it.
Within a three-month period you could have one lead who reached out for information once and then retreated to investigate numerous options and discuss them with other decision makers. It’s also possible to be in contact with a lead who has had several in-depth discussions with the sales team about their needs. These two hypothetical buyers have both known about your company for the same amount of time, but they obviously need to be treated differently.
When you organize your leads by their approximate number of touchpoints, you can quickly assess their level of familiarity with your brand and your products, and therefore leap into a more substantive discussion.