A quality lead is the personal details of a potential customer who’s probability of becoming an active customer is higher than any alternative activity within that industry. The purchasing of commercial leads and recruitment of new customers may be conducted in raw form (unprocessed sweep method) or following filtering and/or sorting and/or improvements of the raw leads. There is no single formula for determining the optimal course of action for a particular business (purchasing of raw leads or segmented filtered leads) because the marketer must decide where it is that he prefers to concentrate his efforts and resources in terms of cost benefit for the company.
Management of Quality Leads – Operations, Monitoring and Control
Tracking of leads on the Internet and management of inquiries: The implementation of sales processes by sales teams or customer recruiting teams, and the execution of sales to existing customers, are key issues that are ofter left relatively neglected by smaller businesses. A quality lead is a customer who arrives at the business in good timing, with intentions to take on a consumer approach and purchase the product / service on the spot. In the virtual world, the cost of each lead, following calculation of advertising costs and time invested in management of employees, is defined as cost Per Action (CPA).
Management of Inquiries: The management of inquiries and allocation of customers to milestones of sub-closings are key factors in efficient operation of a business’s customer recruitment process. In most cases, the milestones involved in closing of deals in service orientated businesses include setting of customer appointments at the company offices, execution of physical meetings and closing of the deal. There are other intermediate steps and statuses such as “For completion at later time”, “No answer” – which are designed to achieve the current milestone while managing employee time in an optimal manner. When it comes to the arrival of potential customers at the company offices, many companies suffer from inadequate effort (for more details regarding the commitment to arrange such meetings see separate article).
Loading of company costs and their impact on operation of leads in the business: In most cases, businesses that employ workers at higher hourly costs prefer to reduce operating costs by purchasing quality leads only. By contrast, businesses that employ workers at a lower hourly costs prefer to purchase larger quantities of lower quality low-cost leads, and this in order to reduce the hidden unemployment in their workforce. In such cases it is the employees who filter the various inquiries and provide their managers with customer portfolios that invlude quality leads only, such that the managers are able to manage their time in a more effective manner.
In order to transform the flow of visitors from landing pages following publication of a campaign for quality inquiries, it is necessary to address several parameters that are used to define the quality level of leads:
Obtainment of Quality Leads – Lead Quality Parameters
Duplication of Leads: This occurs when website visitors make the same inquiry several times through different sources. There are companies who are willing to pay for duplicate leads despite their being received from several different sources, the argument being that any customer who takes the time to make inquiries through several different websites is a higher quality lead representing a customer who is more ready to complete the purchase.
Improvement of Leads: These are leads that pass quality control and sorting for better compliance with specific business activities. There are basic questions that the customer must complete before being forwarded to the business. Customers who do not match the core activities of a particular business will not have their details forwarded to that business and may have them forwarded to other businesses who are better suited to fulfill the basic needs of that customer. Those persons who are responsible for improving leads hold great power over the chances of closing a deal and correct switching of telephone calls to the service provider prior to commencement of the selling procedure. It is for this reason necessary to ensure a systematic improvement process that is suitable for all business departments that purchase leads.
Exclusive Leads: Leads may be provided to a single business with exclusivity, or to many businesses at once. An exclusive lead is one that is forwarded to a single business by the advertiser. There are business sectors in which the exclusivity of leads is essential for determining the quality of the lead. Generally speaking, these are fields that are characterized more by emotional selling than rational selling. By contrast, there are other more-rational sectors where potential customers typically contact a number of businesses in order to solve the “cognitive dissonance” they experience when choosing their product or service. In such sectors the obtainment of quality leads is not very effective.
Segmentation of Leads: Leads may be segmented and filtered on the basis of geographic location, demographics and even psychographic profile (rare). The pricing of leads is always influenced by a combination of demands based on parameters that are required from the customer. One could never define the preferred choice for any particular customer or the optimal level of segmentation required when purchasing leads without first analyzing the business, and this because each and every business is organized in a different manner and operates with a pulse that differs from all other competitors.
Filtering of Leads: There are fields in which customer recruitment costs are relative high. In such fields it is common to filter customers who arrive at companies in order to avoid wasting unnecessary time on customers who are less relevant to that particular business.
For example, a business operating multiple branches across the country, offering a wide range of services, would prefer purchasing its leads without any filtering and/or segmentation because such activity is carried out within the company, with a better coverage of leads. By contrast, smaller businesses that operate one branch – or a limited number branches – would prefer to purchase leads that are better suited for their core activities, including various levels of segmentation mentioned above.
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