Getting leads that result in sales is a holy grail item. What owners and sales staff desire most are quality leads without any mess. Just provide sales-ready leads is the desire, but few want to know or deal with the complexities of generating qualified lead generation. They just want the leads…the sales-ready ones…the good ones.

However, we believe you want to know the ins and outs of how lead generation works, so here it goes. Let’s begin by discussing why all leads are not equal and how to avoid confusion.

Myth 1: Traffic Results in Leads

Getting traffic and getting leads are not synonymous. This fact stops few from keeping the myth alive. This story lives on but is fading as non-marketers see that traffic just isn’t the same as leads. This is illustrated by Google’s devaluation of websites based upon traffic alone. They realize that traffic is not a reliable indicator of site value. Google has aggressively gone after sites that pay for traffic in an attempt to increase their SEO ranking.

Traffic from those in the 3rd world with no buying capability or intention should make it clear that mere traffic alone will not generate leads.

Yet, even domestic traffic is no indication of success. Want leads? Let’s say you have massive ads giving away a free car for any product. Do you think that all that traffic would result in leads interested in your offering? Unlikely. Most are interested in that free car. Yes, a lot of traffic but not necessarily quality traffic. In the future that traffic is extremely unlikely to convert on your forms into leads unless they want to get more free stuff.

Quick Lesson? Unqualified traffic is a waste of resources and can actually be detrimental

Myth 2: Targeted Traffic Results in Qualified Leads

Although less obvious than the first myth, the second is equally flawed. The idea that targeted traffic obtains qualified leads may be true but rarely is. A better approach is to consider what “targeted” means. That term can be very big.

We often ask business owners who their target audience is. Their response is something like, “anyone who…..”. They start from an unrealistic perspective in their target audience. We have to go through a discussion for them to realize that they must narrow their search. Here’s a real-world example….

qualified-leads-padWe talked to a home builder and asked him who his audience was. His answer? “Anyone looking to buy a home”. Immediately it is obvious he isn’t really thinking this through. He only builds homes in a specific area and not anywhere. He does not build any style, price, or material construction home. Quickly it is realized that his audience is pretty narrow. His previous notion of targeted traffic before would result in a lot of disqualified leads. If we took his answer and ran a PPC campaign based on his input we’d end up throwing out leads.

Quick Lesson? Qualified leads require qualified traffic

The Buyer’s Journey

We still aren’t quite home free because qualified leads do not mean sales-ready leads. Yet, this is where the buyer’s journey can help us out.

moving through buyers journeyWe know that shoppers go through different buying stages. By treating them appropriately we can move them through a process. As an aside, the higher your sales price the more segmented your audience typically is (because purchasing is usually slower and more considered). This makes them better suited for stage-based content.

We had a meeting with a customer who told us he did not like “tire kickers that wanted information and not purchase”. I got his drift but that thinking is also problematic.

Gartner found that customers are more than halfway, 57%, through the purchase process before they have the first meaningful contact with a seller.

People shop. Just because they aren’t sales-ready does not mean they are poor prospects. The real issue is how to manage the situation. Before proceeding there must be an acceptance that early-stage prospects are future customers.

One key concept that stands between someone and the notion of shopping as a process is old binary sales and marketing concepts. The notion goes that someone is either ready now or needs to be made ready. That the choice to buy is like an on-off switch. In fact, everyone is more like a dimmer switch that moves freely between one level and another.

Say Goodbye to “Buy Now or Goodbye”

By leveraging an old binary approach while doing modern internet marketing, you are losing a lot of the traffic that you are paying for. This is a massive mistake.

We need to extend the non-binary approach to modern shopping (buyer’s journey) to all marketing efforts. This means building relationships, addressing questions, and most importantly accelerating their time to purchase by educating and providing them with special offers that match their desires.

The buyer’s journey model allows for the segmentation of prospects by their distance to purchase. Content combined with technology assists in the identification of where someone is in their buying process. Items such as valued content located behind a form, and other techniques. allow for the identification of status and delivery of content to move someone through a process in a desirable fashion.

Disqualified or Unqualified?

It’s necessary to keep your data clean and understand the difference between disqualified and unqualified. A disqualified prospect is a determination that they are not a customer either in the short term or long term. They are not currently, and unlikely to be in the future, in the market for our offering. Unqualified is very different. It’s typically a temporary status applied to someone who, at this point in time, is not qualified to buy. In fact, sometimes a prospect may be unqualified today but qualified next week (due to budget/funding).

Seeking Leads that Convert to Sales?

Research has shown that 96% of website visitors are not ready to buy, and that only 2% (on average) convert on the first visit.

 (Source: Marketo)

There really is no better way best to getting leads that result in sales than by aligning your marketing efforts to your buyer’s journey. If you are guided by the buyer’s journey you will focus on customers and what they need during their buying process. By answering their call you will naturally create an affinity and responsiveness to your prospects. The result is that you will build relationships and pipeline and abandon the defunct binary “buy-now or goodbye” approach to marketing.

Need help?

74% of deals are awarded to the sales rep and company that was first to add value and insight. (Source: Corporate Insights)

We are experts in assisting companies in getting leads that result in sales. This is accomplished by utilizing the buyer’s journey, building content, and driving targeted traffic to your business. We can convert your website visitors into leads all throughout their shopping experience thus accelerating your sales revenue.

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