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January 21, 2007

Lead Scoring: Don't throw away the low scores

Mike Wallen, CEO of The Lead Dogs, defines lead scoring as "a method of classifying a sales opportunity by assigning points to responses from qualifying questions based on the importance of each criteria (response) in determining a sales opportunity's overall value (score)." Once your leads are scored, you'll use that score to determine if you should transfer the lead to sales; nurture the lead further; or you might want to just discard the lead if the score is too low.

However, don't be so hasty to trash leads with low scores. Bill Babcock of Babcock & Jenkins details the 5 most common lead scoring mistakes, including throwing away leads that have a low score. His survey found that except for the truly unqualified leads (students and competitors, for example), 80 to 90% of the respondents within a year's time had bought a solution, be it from the client or from a competitor. So, those low scoring leads could very well translate into a sale for you, instead of your competitor, if you engage in a comprehensive lead nurturing program and give those leads the necessary time to ripen.

January 05, 2007

Online Lead Nurturing: E-mail is the Key

Call me impatient, but I want to launch my lead nurturing strategy while I have a client engaged with my offers. Two excellent ways to execute your online lead nurturing campaigns are through "link maps" and automated and triggered e-mail messages.

A link map provides a helpful navigation tool that directs the user to take additional, logical next steps along the buying process. So, for example, once you've made your business case through the download of a white paper, consider creating a 'link map' to the next logical options. This may include links to your Web site, to case studies, product literature or even a product demonstration.

Triggered e-mail messages are effective and welcome if they are executed directly after a content download. In additon to directing customers to additional content, consider directing them to your sales person for an immediate discussion. Nothing gets your sales staff more excited than clients who e-mail and call in-bound based on your lead generation strategies. Score inbound inquires very high on your lead spectrum.