We all want more customers, and for many businesses, that means more leads. And, just as importantly, it should mean high-quality leads.
For any businesses that have a lead generation and nurturing process, it’s crucial to know how to identify, track, and optimize for quality leads that are more likely to convert, convert fast, and/or convert at higher values.
No one knows the importance of successfully identifying and tracking high-quality leads like Gary Amaral, Co-Founder and CMO of lead scoring tool Breadcrumbs. So today, we’ve compiled some of the best advice that Gary had to offer about lead quality, and attracting and optimizing for stronger leads.
Gary Amaral is the Co-Founder and CMO of Breadcrumbs, a revenue acceleration platform based on a co-dynamic lead scoring and routing engine living at the intersection of marketing and sales. Gary has extensive experience as a change agent, and creative marketer focused on measurable results, accomplished at developing and implementing high-impact strategies.
So many businesses focus on the sheer number of leads entering the pipeline, but that approach isn’t quite correct.
According to Gary, you need lead quality and quantity for long-term success and scalability.
“It’s about the right combination of both,” he said. “One great lead a month won’t cut it for most companies, but conversely, 1 million awful leads that don’t convert aren’t helpful either.
“The objective of any good go-to-market (GTM) leader should be to improve their funnel math continuously and not just from a Conversion Rate Optimization perspective, but from a unit economics perspective, where you’re filling the funnel to what comes out the other end. The cost of Customer Acquisition and Lifetime Value on either end of the funnel should be the guiding lights.”
You need to look at your sales data to see whether you have quantity or quality, or both (or, in a worst-case scenario, neither).
It’s easy to get stuck in the idea that you should focus most on a few aspects of the customer journey, whether it’s customer discovery or acquisition, but tracking the entire customer journey is essential.
Gary actually said that thinking one part of the path to conversion was more important than the rest was one of the biggest mistakes that customers made.
“The clue is in the name “journey.” Every step along the way is important; if at any point there is a feeling of being lost, unsupported, or ignored, it won’t matter how great it was before or after your overall results will be worse off.”
He explained the importance of tracking the entire customer journey.
“The concept of a customer journey is an important framework because, if used properly, it can align an organization strategically and tactically in its efforts.
Most agree that being “customer-centric” is the best way to build a growing, profitable, and enduring company. If you're going to be customer-centric, then having a thematic view of how customers engage with your organization is essential in understanding where you are serving them well and where you are letting them down.
Ultimately, a customer-vendor relationship is about value exchange. If you ensure that the customers— and I include prospects in my view of a customer journey– are getting an optimal experience at every stage, the logical extension is that you should get the optimal ROI.”
The entire customer experience is important, from discovery all the way to retention— and it’s just as important to track what happens at each stage to best understand how you can optimize that journey for the types of customers you want to reach.
In order to best track high-value leads, you first need to be able to identify them. A combination of demographic fit and high-intent actions are crucial to identifying leads and understanding who is actually most likely to convert.
When it comes to identifying strong leads, finding prospects that align with your core audience personas or ideal customer profiles (ICPs) is a good first step.
“A fit analysis is key, especially in post-product market fit scenarios,” Gary said. “If there is conviction around your ICP and personas, then Fit assessment provides the necessary focus and prioritization to maximize conversion.
By tracking the fit of your current customers, you can also learn a great deal about who your business is actually reaching, too.
“Funny enough, it’s also a great tool to surface shifts in the market, changing buying behaviour and often leads to identifying potential new targets for growing businesses.”
Regardless of fit, there are some actions that users take when they’re more likely to convert, or at least heavily considering it.
“Buying behavior is super similar across verticals and market segments,” said Gary. “Some great starting points and examples of obvious signals include:
- Engaging with Bottom of Funnel Content
- Hitting pricing pages or product demo pages
- Clicking on Book a Demo or Free Trial CTA’s
- Increasing recency and frequency of engagement in general
- Keyword or search intent that aligns with purchase intent”
The high-intent actions will vary based on the type of business. Subscribing to an email or adding an item to a cart, for example, is a great indicator for an eCommerce business. Booking a demo is huge for SaaS brands.
Sometimes, though, identifying high-intent actions can be challenging.
“This falls into two categories: the obvious and the non-obvious. As far as the obvious goes, I don’t think it’s a giant leap to assume that most contacts engaging with bottom-of-the-funnel content, pricing or implementation-related content, demo, or trial are likely very high intent.
The non-obvious is often related to how the lead came to you, which campaign or tactic was the source. In many instances, there may be use case based content that provides a strong signal of intent with a certain persona or market segment.”
Using specialized tools— including behavior tracking through web analytics with behavior tracking or lead scoring— can help you see typical paths to conversion and flag different actions that are ultimately a strong signal of intent, whether they’re obvious or not.
Once you’ve identified high-intent actions or signals of valuable leads, you can start to optimize your customer journey to encourage more of those actions. Data plays a central role in all of this.
“Web analytics are essential to understanding some of the key digital touch points along the customer journey,” Gary said. “Looking at user flows, points of entry, drop-offs, and dwell time and finding relationships between how these elements interact should provide ample ideas for experimentation and iteration.”
And when it comes to optimization, data is a good start but you’ll also need to be patient with testing different strategies and tactics.
“Just like all optimization efforts, it’s about experimentation, iteration, and refinement, but in general, I think there are a few key elements to drive action from higher-quality leads:
1. Make sure your definition of high-quality leads is crystal clear and well-understood across the organization - this will get all GTM team members marching in the same direction.
2. Develop content and multiple touch points across the entire customer journey so that leads have something to interact with and don’t fall into a content blackhole forcing them to look elsewhere (your competitors) to fill that gap.
3. Fight the urge to create barriers between you and your prospects/customers. In fact, do the opposite - give them as many options as possible to get in touch with you or consume resources in a format they prefer.
4. Finally, listen to your prospects and customers. Solicit feedback from them, especially if they are closed lost leads or churned customers, because they will certainly point out the gaps in their experience.”
While so many businesses focus on generating as many leads as possible, casting as wide of a net as possible, knowing how to identify and track high value prospects is essential for the long-term scaling of your business. You can have marketing, product, and (if relevant) sales teams cater to those customers, even solidifying your place in the market accordingly.
In order to do this, remember that accurate, up-to-date and high-quality data is the most important thing you need here. With the right web analytics tools and data analytics software, you’ll be off to a good start.
Want to learn more about growing your business with quality data. Check out MyTracker’s blog here.