Not sure what to do with your marketing qualified leads? The benefit of a nurture approach can be huge for your ROI, once you understand the rules of engagement.
Understanding the customer journey enables you to progress your prospects through to a sales qualified status. Download our Customer Journey Mapping Framework here to get started.
Nik Sproal: Talk to me about marketing qualified leads, what are they?
Erica Sachse: So it’s a new phenomenon in the market. Before you treated all leads and sales leads with the opportunity to sell to them.
But the buyer journey has changed and prospects are coming in earlier and earlier, because they are doing more research online, and this has created the need for a marketing qualified status.
NS: What is a marketing qualified lead?
ES: Someone who comes in and maybe is not ready to purchase within the next 3 months. So they are not ready to speak to sales, their time frame is maybe 6 - 12 months.
Their finances - they’re still trying to work that out, or they’re just still researching the market and don’t know when they’re going to be ready.
NS: Ok, once you’ve got a marketing qualified lead, what’s the next key thing you want to do?
ES: You want to determine what stage they are in. Are they in interest? Are they in consideration? And then you want to put them on a nurture campaign which offers them information that is going to adjust the key questions they have at that stage.
So this can be a served via email, you can sometimes use SMS, potentially even events and webinars in order to introduce this education content.
NS: And what’s the goal of nurture program?
ES: The goal is to understand when they are ready to actually speak to sales. So you can do that through appointment request, through call back requests, through coming through a specific product launch. Those are key indicators that a marketing qualified lead is ready to move in to that sale qualified status.
NS: And obviously it’s where behaviour leads scoring based on the actions they’re taking through the information you said.
ES: Absolutely! And you want to use that in order to have personalised sales conversation with them. So you want to look at what emails are opening, what products are they looking at your website in order to- when you do make contact have that conversation that says, we know you’ve been engaged with this. This is how we can take you to that next step.
NS: And for the industry, what are the benefits of the an approach like this?
ES: So, the key benefits is that if you’ve been providing value to these prospects for months before they even speak to sales, then they’re gonna be most likely they convert with you on the sale.
We know that prospects are inquiring on a bunch of different projects and so to be able to own that customer’s mindset and decision making process, it’s gonna give you the best opportunity to get that sale.
NS: And obviously, you know, makes it a much more efficient sale because you’re not constantly topping up the funnel to find the opportunities.
ES: Right, because generating a new lead is much more expensive than nurturing an existing.
NS: Fantastic! So to wrap up, three key things to take out of this:
1. Defining what is a marketing qualified lead
2. Understanding what the rules of engagement are with the marketing qualified lead
3. Nurturing them effectively until they are ready to be a sales qualified lead
ES: You got it!
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