Prospecting and qualifying leads is always a bit of a battle for sales and marketing teams. How do you identify which leads are likely to become opportunities and then deals?
The short answer is lead scoring.
It's important for marketing to practice scoring leads in order to deliver high quality leads to the sales team. And that's exactly why every business needs a lead scoring process that utilizes a prospect fit matrix.
What Is Lead Scoring?
Lead scoring is the process of comparing a lead's qualifications and demonstrated behaviors to past sales to assess the lead's likelihood of converting into a customer.
There's a variety of elements and factors that can be used to calculate this assessment:
- Job title
- The content they're reading
- Number of website visits
A lead can display a diverse range of behaviors and possess particular attributes that will qualify them as a good fit or not.
It's important to note that this process isn't just a fun game of ranking leads from least to worst. Lead scoring helps improve the handoff between marketing and sales.
The sales team will be able to engage with prospects on a more knowledgeable, personalized level since they'll start interactions with a remarkable amount of background information and a solid grasp of where the prospect is in their buyer journey.
What Is a Prospect Fit Matrix?
Prospecting can be tough, so having a prospect fit matrix developed to help define which leads are a good fit and which aren't is invaluable.
It's tricky trying to decide who's interested, who's not, what signs warrant nurturing, who can be pulled from the pipeline period, and so on.
Traditionally, leads fall under three umbrellas:
The criteria for each category depends on your business' unique definition of a qualified lead. Not every lead is equal and not every company's opinions on the matter are either. Make sure that your marketing and sales teams are on the same page on what you're looking for in a prospect.
There are three specific areas of criteria that you want to look at in order to make your qualifying process more efficient:
These are the key characteristics of your ideal prospect.
You'll want to describe your perfect customer as thoroughly as possible. Consider their financial aspects (revenue and funding), company size, business model, sales cycle, online presence, and other relevant details.
Who is your dream customer and what makes them perfect for your business?
These are the individuals within that perfect company that you want to interact with. Who is your preferred point of contact?
For most businesses, that person would be a decision maker. Examining titles and positions is important here, especially in relation to company size and scale.
C-suite executives, owners, and vice presidents are all top picks for engagement. But those in the middle, like supervisors and managers, are a great means of support and influence to decision makers.
Defining the ideal contact's characteristics will help further define how relevant a lead may be.
What degree of engagement have they displayed with your business?
Here's where you'll want to lay out exactly what behaviors indicate what degree of investment from a lead based off of past sales. Does reading blogs rank them as a low or medium lead? How about downloads? Email opens? Are their session times low?
Website visitors are always going to navigate your site in fluctuating levels of engagement, and they all demonstrate interest in different ways. But you'll want to have a set criteria list of specific online behaviors to look out for when defining a good fit and a bad fit.
4 Steps to Develop Your Prospect Fit Matrix
Creating your own matrix is relatively easy, especially since it's critical that you customize the criteria to your business. Once you know who you're looking for, developing, refining, and referencing your prospect fit matrix becomes second nature.
1. Define Your Ideal Customer.
Using the criteria examples and practices listed above, it's time to actually lay all your cards out on the table. Start big and work your way down into greater detail.
Identify your target audience first so that you have a clear understanding of who you're best served to provide value to. From there, start listing out the specific characteristics and details of your perfect prospect so you have a template to go off of.
2. Learn Who Is Visiting Your Site.
Using web tools, like a great CRM system, you can see who is coming to your site, from where, what they're looking at, and how often. Tracking this data will help you better understand who your audience is and what they're looking for.
3. Filter Companies by Your Criteria.
Here's where most of your time gets put in. With your list of website visitors, start examining their characteristics from top to bottom. Remember, you're looking for business, contact, and behavior details.
Pay close attention to company size, location, how recently they were on your site, and what industry they're in.
There's plenty of other elements to key in for, but these will at least help you start ruling certain visitors out if they don't meet your general criteria.
Depending on your CRM, you may even have filter options that can either reorganize the list by priority for you or hide "poor fit" organizations completely.
Zero in on visitors that meet your criteria of a good fit and have expressed an interest in your company. You'll want to contact them immediately, rather than just nurturing them.
4. Set Notifications for Good Fit Prospects.
People love personalized, one-on-one interactions. If you're able to set alarms or notifications for when your ideal prospects revisit one of your pages, make sure your sales team is leaping at the chance to engage with them.
Hit them while the iron is hot and send a personalized email or reach out in real time with live chat software. Let them know that you're excited to see their interest and offer them something of value for free to incentivize a response from them.
Keeping a tight lid on who's coming and going on your site will help prevent you from missing out on opportunities or waiting for eggs that will never hatch.
Creating a matrix that's built for your company, sales model, and audience will help set your sales team up for success.