It may take more time to educate and nurture some of your prospects, but don't lose hope nonetheless.
By Liz Lemarchand, MediaDev
It seems to me that more and more companies are looking for sales accepted leads (SAL) without necessarily understanding that in order to build a viable pipeline of opportunities, you must educate and nurture prospects over time. Maybe it’s due to the fact that humankind is experiencing an increasing need for instant gratification; our attention spans ever decreasing as we become accustomed to getting what we want, when we want it. When it comes to sales, however, it’s unrealistic to expect that one “touch” will get you a qualified business deal in the B2B world, especially when end-users are savvier than ever before. In fact, prospective buyers have just as much information as your sales reps!
In today’s world, hard-sales approaches very often fail as highly-savvy consumers are expecting reps to accompany them in their buyer journey, being there to help, orient and recommend without being pushy and impatient. Because of this, it’s important for businesses to keep the bigger picture in mind when it comes to marketing so that they can establish best practices for the long haul.
Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are prospects (decision-makers in the target accounts of your choice) that have expressed an interest in learning more about your offers. They may be leads that were generated through outbound telemarketing tactics or inbound inquiries. Either way, they have been exposed to your offer (at least once), and are likely to have read some of your content (either because they received a copy by email or downloaded it online). MQLs are likely to be more highly qualified than other prospects, and as such, are judged as “more likely to become a customer compared to other leads,” according to HubSpot.
Here are our top three reasons why MQLs are good for your business:
3. MQLs come with residual benefits
Investing in MQLs is good for your business because it takes education and nurturing into account, and generates a higher level of trust for your brand over a longer period of time. Most prospects don’t have a project to acquire the type of software you’re offering right now, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t in the future. Increasing awareness about your brand means that down the road, you will certainly increase the number of inbound inquiries you have. By reaching out to prospects in a helpful way and cultivating their interest over time, those same people will be more likely to contact you when they’re ready to go to the next level.
2. MQLs mean faster deals later
It may sound counter-intuitive, but educating prospects over time will actually help you close deals faster when those prospects are ready to move forward on an acquisition project. Why? Because they’ll already know the key benefits of your solution, your value proposition and unique selling points since you’ve taken the time to explain it to them. They will already be convinced it’s the right solution and they’ll implement it much faster than they would have otherwise.
1. MQLs gives sales reps better prospects to work with
Knowing which leads can generate the biggest opportunities helps businesses fine-tune their marketing and sales priorities. Do you want to invest more resources trying to convert leads from hundreds of inquiries, or would you rather nurture quality leads from a small group of high-potential buyers?
Patience is a virtue and it goes without saying that if you want to develop a robust pipeline of sales opportunities, you need to put in continual effort over time. As they say, no pain, no gain!