Sales is a complex business. it is a very wide field that requires broad knowledge to achieve set business goals. Good sales ratios are the ultimate foal but there are many stages to go through to achieve them and also many pathways to go through. So, to achieve profits from sales any good company must know how to approach the problem of sales to achieve this goal with minimum effort. This is why it is important to get a hang of the sales process, concept of leads, prospects, and customers. The first step is understanding leads. It will help you, or the professionals you hire such as the Link Department crew, shape your marketing effort for maximum efficiency. There are at least the top 7 types of sales leads that you should understand. The more you know about them the better your business success chances.
What are leads?
Sales leads are the potential customers that have expressed interest in our product or business or better yet any person or company that fits our sales profile. Sales leads can be indicative of potential sales and the creation of a long-term relationship between the company and the customer. You must orient your marketing and business activities towards creating a lead and then turning a lead into a prospect and then the customer. That said any lead that we have achieved a two-way communication and qualified becomes a prospect. Any other lead that has not responded to a direct contact remains only a lead. Once this communication is achieved and you learn about the leads’ needs and wants you can consider them to be prospects.
The top 7 types of sales leads you need
So, your marketing and communication activity must be aimed at achieving communication with defined leads. However, there are many types of leads. Not all of them deserve our companies attention. Those with a low likelihood to buy deserve less attention. Also, different types require different approaches from our sales department. Our marketing activity and strategy must be diversified to fit those particular needs. To properly direct and utilize your marketing resources you must get to know and learn more about these leads. The top 7 types of sales leads to keep an eye on are:
- Cold leads
- Hot leads
- Warm leads
- Information Qualified Leads – IQL
- Sales Ready Leads – SRL
- Marketing Qualified Leads – MQL
- Sales Qualified Leads – SQL
These are classified using a so-called BANT method that measures the lead’s budget, authority, need, and timing to make the purchase.
Cold leads do not express the interest in purchasing any goods or services but they fit the profile of a lead. They have the potential to make a purchase but they are probably unaware of the service/product or company that can satisfy their need. They might lack the budget, authority or do not fit the time frame for the purchase. Usually, this type of lead is the hardest to turn into a prospect. It may require too much time, investment, and effort to do.
Hot leads usually have the authority, budget, and need that they must satisfy. They also fit the time frame for the purchase as they already express interest in the goods or services. These leads require immediate reaction and attention. If their need is not satisfied they may reach out to competitors which are lost revenue and customer.
Warm leads are familiar with your services or goods and have the need to satisfy them. These may be the leads that you have already contacted but they were unable to respond. Maybe these leads lacked the budget or authority to respond to communication and the offer. If their circumstances change over time these types of leads can be easily turned into prospects by simple contact.
Information Qualified Leads – IQL
IQL is a lead that has communication with your company. It has an interest and is exploring ways of satisfying its need. This lead provides information, on your website or pool and provides information that helps qualify them. By using this information the sales team can make an effort to spark an interest and turn them into a prospect.
Sales Ready Leads – SRL
SRL is ready to do business and is usually handed over from the marketing department to Sales. These leads have all of the relevant information and are ready to make the purchase. These types of leads are specific because companies handle them differently. Some might keep them in the Marketing department until they become warmer while others might turn them for processing to sales immediately.
Marketing Qualified Leads – MQL
The next step from IQL is the marketing qualified lead. This type of lead is actively researching how your service/product can satisfy its need. MQL is learning about your offer and becoming familiar with it. This type of lead is not hard to turn into a prospect. A phone call or an email might be enough to turn them into a prospect. However, this might take some time and repeated communication.
Sales Qualified Leads – SQL
SQL is a decision-maker that expresses the interest to meet with the sales team. This lead requires immediate reaction as it is also hot. SQL requires additional information to make a decision between your company and the competitors. The sales department should take over to guide the lead through the sales process and the final offer.
Knowing your lead types is key for your marketing strategy and effort. Each type of lead requires a different approach and effort. So, knowing this is essential to creating efficient and rational marketing strategies that will be profitable without too much effort. This will also influence your online marketing effort and SEO strategy to increase traffic.
Knowing the top 7 types of sales leads is essential for any business endeavor. it is key to marketing, SEO, and sales. A good understanding of this issue will therefore be of major importance for your marketing effort.