In the previous article, I introduced some questions to ask as you clean up your HubSpot CRM. Today, I want to discuss some easy tweaks to increase the quality of your B2B leads from start to finish. This article presupposes you're using a marketing automation and CRM tool like HubSpot, Marketo, or ActiveCampaign.
Qualify leads in the Ad/Opt-in Copy
The first step sounds simple but it’s actually quite difficult to implement correctly and that is to qualify leads in the ad copy. So often, it seems like marketers want to target everyone possible… forgetting that the more targeted the ad, the higher quality the results. The reason for this is that generalized ads get more leads than more targeted approaches. If this wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t call marketing a “funnel”!
To qualify leads in your ad copy, you can call out a specific location, or buyer role, or even problem. What you want is for your ideal buyer to say, “That’s EXACTLY what I was looking for” and click.
Make Form Fields Required
Another way to create higher quality leads over time is to make form fields required in your opt-in forms. So instead of allowing a form to be submitted with an email only, you could require that leads fill in their name, too. Or even their organization or interest level. The caveat here is that the more fields you put into an opt-in form, the fewer opt-ins you’ll get. The upside? Those who take the time to fill out your opt-in forms are more likely to be higher quality leads.
Ask for the business email
In addition to requiring required form fields, you can also ask for the business email. This is important because HubSpot will automatically populate a contact’s business based on their email domain. And if you’re using Account-Based Marketing in HubSpot, you’ll be able to see the number of contacts at a company if those contacts are using their business email.
Segment or Score Leads at the Opt-In Level
Another option I really like to implement is segmenting leads from the opt-in onward. For example, let’s say you’re a consultant who wants to target two very different personas: other businesses and consultants who want to do what you do. The content for these two personas is so radically different that you definitely want to segment them early and often. I’ve also seen lead scoring being implemented at the opt-in level, with certain industries or buying roles given more weight than others.
Segment and nurture leads based on lead quality
You could also bucket your leads in Hubspot based on quality, and nurture them differently. If you have HubSpot Enterprise, for example, you could use HubSpot’s predictive lead scoring AI to bucket leads based on HIGH/MEDIUM/LOW likelihood to close, and then reach them differently. Low likelihood leads could be nurtured for longer along earlier stages of the buyer’s journey. Medium likelihood leads should get a different nurturing sequence more focused on comparing solutions and digging deeper into success stories. And the high likelihood leads could get sales involvement and bottom-of-funnel (BOFU) sales enablement content. The trick here is to treat leads in each stage of the buyer’s journey differently so you can nurture them appropriately.
Which brings me to the next recommendation: lead scoring.
Use Lead Scoring
The sixth recommendation I have for increasing the quality of your B2B leads is to implement lead scoring with the help of both your marketing and your sales team. Lead scoring is when you quantify the quality of a lead based on attributes they have or interest they exhibit (through engagement with your marketing and sales team). The goal of lead scoring is to identify non-qualified leads from qualified leads and see who is sending buying signals and who isn’t faster — all on autopilot. (That’s the benefit of marketing automation like HubSpot.)
And when you create this lead scoring, make sure to review the lead score periodically with the sales team to make sure that the leads marketing says are “Marketing Qualified Leads” are actually good leads. Over time, marketing and sales will be able to reach more alignment and the lead score will improve.
Regularly cull the database of low engagement leads
If your overall lead quality and conversion rates are low, then it’s likely that you may have too many unqualified or poor leads in your database. Regularly removing low performing leads can help improve your conversion rates, increase the overall quality of leads in your database, and improve your email deliverability.
Get a COS/CRM system like HubSpot.
While I admit that HubSpot lags in some areas (*cough* page building), it more than makes up for it in its ability to give organizations the ability to see all of their marketing data in one place. That 360 customer view and “single source of truth” is so, so valuable for organizations. And even better, it’s generally more affordable for organizations (especially if you qualify for entrepreneur/startup discounts) than other platforms. And if you can’t afford HubSpot, I highly recommend ActiveCampaign for it’s ease of use, powerful automations, and affordability.