Hint: It’s Not Because You Forgot the Magic Pixie Dust
Bad quality leads are one of the biggest challenges facing marketers when it comes to full-cycle lead generation. If your marketing qualified leads (MQLs) aren’t converting to revenue opportunities, it rarely has to do with the effort or strategy you put in place during a given marketing campaign. There are a lot of variables that go into MQLs becoming inactive or out-of-market.
One thing’s for sure: there’s no magic pixie dust you can sprinkle over your leads list to break that 2.35% conversion rate barrier. In order to reach that milestone, you really need to look at the origin points of the leads you’re generating, as well as the exit points.
The Origin of MQLs
Lead generation and demand generation are two marketing strategies essential to inbound sales. The goal of both is to generate awareness, activity, and opportunity around products and solutions—and they both start with a lead. An MQL to be exact.
When examining your MQLs and their value in the marketing funnel, it’s important to look at why they became an MQL to begin with. Putting your lead scoring aside, a prospect converts to a lead when you are able to address their need. At the MQL stage, which usually sits at the top of the funnel, those leads are not incredibly active in engaging with your content yet. You’ll need to warm them up somehow.
Keeping the MQL engaged from the top to the middle of the funnel is where a lot of marketers stumble. It’s only natural to want to convert your prospect to a sales qualified lead (SQL) as fast as possible. Pushing them, however, will more than likely drive them away from your brand altogether. That’s why it’s imperative to keep a demand generation mindset while nurturing your leads. You need to keep your prospects as educated and excited about your content as possible.
The Anatomy of a Lead
It’s also instructive to look at what comprises a lead altogether. Generally speaking, most MQLs have these things in common with each other:
- A pain point or challenge that has sparked further research.
- A topic or subject they’re looking for more info about.
- Industry, or workplace-based fatigue.
- A decision-making process they must follow.
- Someone they report to that keeps them accountable.
Your marketing nurtures and follow-up cadences should address some or even all of these. In reality, lead conversion is less about selling products or solutions and more about empathetic conversations that connect with the prospect. The old sales adage rings true, “People don’t care what you’re selling until they care ABOUT what you’re selling.”
Poor Outbound Activity Equals Leads Not Converting
If you’re still experiencing a lead conversion issue, it might have something to do with your outbound activity—the most powerful tool you have in your arsenal. It can also be the most dangerous and detrimental to your ROI. Why? Well, just think about how many emails you get a day…and compare that to how many you open. Strategic outreach paired with targeted outbound marketing is the remedy to this challenge, and it requires personalization.
Personalized outreach in both sales and marketing is a hot issue right now and for all the right reasons. If you don’t know a lot about your prospects, then you shouldn’t be reaching out to them. The good news is, it’s actually not that hard to learn about your leads. According to Salesforce, 98% of marketers say personalization advances customer relationships. And personalization starts with understanding your leads.
How to Overcome Poor Lead Conversion
If there’s any kind of magic pixie dust at play here, it’s a principle common to all of these tactics: quality. You want to generate quality leads and use quality outreach to convert the leads through the funnel. The best way to ensure the leads you’re generating are of the right quality is to rely on data-scrubbing and enrichment to ensure your leads are opted in and engaged with your content.
Data enrichment is actually becoming more accessible now as intent data continues to inform predictive analytics. This enables demand gen marketers to fill their database with buyers who are active rather than stagnant and uninterested. If you’re looking at the full cycle of lead conversion and addressing the challenges it presents to marketing ROI, intent data and AI-powered analytics would be a great place to start.
You can actually learn more about intent data, the power of behavioral and predictive analytics, and how opted-in leads overcomes the “leads not converting” problem here.