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Marketing does play a big role in sales development, however a whitepaper download doesn’t generate a closed deal. It’s critical to focus on how both MQLs and SQLs convert into revenue. Knowing your target market and their behaviors will help you pinpoint which leads need to be nurtured, and who is ready for a sales call.
Using Emails to Turn MQLs Into SQLs
A well-timed and written email can be a powerful tool for converting prospects. How often you send your emails and how you space them will depend on your industry. Only by split-testing can you tell whether your emailing strategy is working.
Assuming you use a 3-mail sequence, this is how your emails would look:
Email 1: Thank you email
Thank them for visiting your site and offer them additional material than can engage them further with your company and website through calls-to-action; sign-up for newsletter, attend a webinar, include a “contact us” link to schedule a call, etc.
Email 2: Follow up 1
This can invite prospects to events or offer material to download. If you have already progressed in your sales flow, this email could be a follow up on their inquiry or their company’s pain points.
Email 3: Follow up 2
You don’t have to sell all the time, instead use this opportunity to educate your lead through your mailing sequence; send them relevant links, news or articles about your company or industry. You can also share a case study that will influence how they see your company.
Using Phone Calls to Turn Marketing Qualified Leads into Sales Qualified Leads
Just because a prospect is willing to talk doesn’t mean you’ll get to wrap things in one day (or even a week), this might take quite a while if your only strategy is Inbound.
Marketing qualified leads have identified themselves as more engaged, but they’re not quite ready to buy. Depending on your sales cycle, you may even have multiple levels of MQLs.
Only very specific, high interest activities should trigger the promotion of a prospect to an MQL. These include bottom of the funnel offers such as demos, free trials, detailed buying guides, or additional sales-ready actions.
Therefore, it is not advisable to pester your prospects with phone calls, you will need to ensure you don’t lose their interest, along with all the nurturing involved. Phone calls should come in once a lead has been qualified through continued nurturing, and that lead is now a promising prospect.
What Needs to Be Addressed in an MQL Call?
Good question. First, it’s not a sales call. It’s a call to determine one of three things:
- The lead is ready for a demo/sales call
- The lead needs further nurturing in the funnel
- The lead is a suspect
Any phone call you make should edge your prospects towards the ‘Purchase’ call-to-action, here’s a guide to make sure you optimize your phone opportunities:
- Script the questions to be asked beforehand
Questions should help you learn about the customer’s problem. Script also includes answers aligned to your benefits and sales unique proposition.
Don’t talk over your clients. Let them tell you about their business pain points. The biggest key is to listen, not just for their direct answers—but the tone, too.
- Script follow up questions based on what they tell you.
Avoid overselling your company. It’s likely the customer is evaluating similar products, so unless they specifically ask questions to learn more, try to stick to the script.
- Recommend additional material that you tell them will answer a few of their questions or educate them further.
- Save and collect all contact history in you CRM.
When calling a prospect, the sales team should bring up all the client’s browsing history and email communication and leverage information from that history to close the sale.
Comments like “I’m not sure why you are calling me”, “where did you say you were from again?,” “how did you get my details?” are not great things to hear. They may signify that the lead capture campaign may not have been targeted correctly or that prospects need more nurturing.
Also listen to your reps calls, make sure they are setting an agenda that gives them permission to ask questions to understand the prospects intent. 4% of folks in any given market are actively looking for solutions. 46% are poised to buy, but they have a variety of other things to do and focus on. It is the marketer’s job to move folks from the 46% to the 4%.
Once sales has followed up with MQLS and found them high quality, they become SQLs, this metric is also known as Lead to Opportunity Conversion Rate. When marketing helps sift through the dirt to find gold, sales can work on what they do best: turning it into revenue. For most B2B SaaS companies this happens in 5–15% of the MQLs.