All Leads Are Not Created Equal
There is value to every lead. Even a simple download or follow that includes a specific request not to be contacted is at least a validation of the value your marketing is bringing to your target audience. It’s also a reaffirmation that you still hold that prospect’s attention and will get future opportunities to convert them to a proper lead. Having said that, this is an example of a low level lead that can turn into something but doesn’t warrant a lot of time spent in immediate conversion. It’s important to be honest about the quality of a lead so that they can be prioritized into categories for appropriate next steps.
The most common way to categorize leads is through a temperature system from cold to hot. Below are some basic descriptions and an example of appropriate next steps.
|Cold||A simple download, newsletter sign up, or follow that requests no follow up.||
|Cool||A simple download, newsletter sign up, or follow that is neutral to a follow up.||
|Warm||A download, sign up, or social follow that specifically requests a follow up (Priority given if it includes some potential problem indicators that your product or service can solve).||
|Hot||Attendance at an event or registration for a tool / trial account (Especially if it includes some potential problem indicators that your product or service can solve).||
Now that we have a gauge of quality, why does it matter? In a perfect world, with unlimited resources, it wouldn’t. Every marketing lead could be treated with the same priority. However, most trainers, consultant, and professional coaches don’t have the luxury of infinite resources.
Ranking the quality lets you design responses, either in person or systematized, that a lead warrants. This prevents wasting too much time or effort on a low quality lead and ensures that high quality opportunities are addressed in a timely manner. It can also help prioritize calls to action if your marketing matrix can only support a limited number of offers.
Of course, quality is often a bit of a judgment call. Some leads might blur the lines a bit. However, it’s important to let the prospect’s request gauge the quality rather than how we perceive the person. For example, many times trainers, consultants, or professional coaches place a priority on a person from a big name company with not much stated interest over a person from a smaller company who is expressing more need because they perceive greater potential opportunity. It’s impossible to know that before engaging a lead so it’s best to prioritize by what we know rather than what we hope/suspect.
Lead quality forms an important bridge between marketing and sales and having a realistic interpretation with suitable responses helps both function better.