As marketers, we invest a ton of time and money in lead generation…and it can be difficult to see the return on the investment and marketing efforts.

Converting leads into sales with varying sales cycles and evolving buyer’s journeys is a modern marketer’s daily challenge. In fact, an alarming 79% of leads are never converted into sales (MarketingSherpa).

How can you increase that conversion rate, get the sales team to love you and avoid missing opportunities? Lead qualification services can help you maximize your marketing efforts and ensure that the right leads are being sent to your sales teams.

Combined with effective lead nurturing services, you can remain top-of-mind to your leads no matter where they are within the buyer’s journey. Follow these strategies to create integrated campaigns that will get you the most out of your efforts and boost your sales.

Define and Instrument Your Sales Funnel
Converting leads into sales doesn’t just happen – it takes a strong strategy, time and unwavering persistence to guide the lead through the buyer’s journey from start to finish. To have a successful sales funnel your company needs to create a repeatable formula that can be adapted, personalized and customized for the various types of clients and personas you encounter. This will help your marketing and sales teams have a common understanding of the strategic actions that need to be taken during lead qualification, lead nurturing, and the sales handoff…paving the way to converting a new client.

Lead nurturing is an integral part of converting leads. This involves determining the best channels for lead follow-up, the time frame you are guaranteed to do it in, and what types of value offers you will provide to compel action. These value offers are crucial to stay top-of-mind with your lead, build the business relationship, and ultimately capture their interest in your product or service. Sophisticated lead nurturing services through marketing automation technology can simplify and instrument this process by ensuring you are reaching your lead at the right time, right place and with the right message.

Next, you will need to define a process for qualifying your leads. During this stage you will find different metrics that your company will uniformly use to determine where a lead is in the decision cycle. It’s very important to clearly define your lead qualification levels so that both marketing and sales are talking the same language. Since many leads require multiple follow-ups before making a decision, lead qualification will work in tandem with lead nurturing to ensure your prospective customers are getting the attention needed along their journey.

Lastly, you need to determine an efficient way to seamlessly transfer the qualified lead to the sales team. This involves making sure your sales team has all of the background information on your lead and knows everything about the relationship your marketing team has been building with them during their nurturing cycle.

Respond Quickly to Leads
Research has shown that the speed at which you respond to a lead directly impacts your conversion rate. According to a study from Dr. James Oldroyd, contacting leads within 5 minutes increases their chance of entering the sales process by 21 times, versus contacting them within 30 minutes.

This is why it is crucial to ensure you have the right team in place to handle your inbound leads and provide them with that outstanding service that will keep them coming back. It is important for your company to set a standard for your response time and stick to it. While it may not seem like a huge deal if you respond slower every now and then, it can damage your reputation and prevent future customers from contacting you.

Align Sales & Marketing Teams
There is no marketing without sales, and there are no sales without marketing. In today’s digital landscape, companies can’t afford to keep their departments in separate silos, and open communication is critical to success. Businesses who align their teams are 67% better at closing deals and show 20% growth in annual revenue.

Your company can achieve alignment by creating a shared definition of a qualified lead, layering in an expert lead generation service to qualify your leads, integrating marketing automation and CRM software, and keeping your communication open and transparent.

Televerde is a gold sponsor of the B2B Content2Conversion event February 15-17 in Scottsdale, Arizona. We’ll be hosting a workshop called “From Contact to Close: Integrating the Digital, Nurture and the Human Touch.” We will be at booth 34. Come join us! http://www.content2conversion.com/workshops/from-contact-to-close-ramping-up-database-acquisition-and-marketing-workshop-d/.

How does your team use lead qualification services and lead nurturing services to its advantage? Share with us by tweeting @televerde, or comment on our LinkedIn page. To get in touch with one of our experts, contact us today.

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