Sales qualified leads (SQLs) are the foundation of any successful business as they are the prospects who have high-intent and readiness to sign up for your service. Now, this is a key component to pay attention to if you want to scale your business.
You may ask yourself, but how do you generate more SQLs for your business? And how do you attract and nurture marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and convert them into sales qualified leads who are most likely to convert into customers?
Let me share some proven strategies that can help you increase your SQLs by 13% or more.
Strategy #1: Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
The first step to increasing your sales qualified leads from marketing qualified leads is to define your ICP in a detailed description of the type of customer who is most likely to buy from you. It includes demographic, psychographic, behavioral, and situational characteristics and allows you to tailor your messaging and value proposition to match prospects’ needs, pain points, goals, and challenges.
What information do you need when creating your ICP?
- Industry or niche
- Company size and revenue
- Role and decision-making authority
- Main goals and challenges
- Preferred method of communication and sources of information
- Buying criteria and process
Pro-Tip: We like to use tools like HubSpot or Salesforce to segment leads based on various criteria.
Once you have your ICP, use it to filter out the unqualified leads and focus on the ones who fit your criteria.
Strategy #2: Lead Gen Optimization for Your Site
Can you guess what one of the most powerful tools for generating SQLs is? You guessed right! Your site can showcase your value proposition, educate prospects, build trust and credibility, and capture their contact information.
But not all sites are created equal. To optimize your website for lead generation, including marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads, you need to follow some best practices.
Best Practices and Tips To Optimize Your Site for SQLs
- Clear and compelling headlines that capture attention and communicate benefits
- Engaging and relevant images and videos that illustrate your solution
- Testimonials and case studies that demonstrate success stories
- Clear and concise content that addresses the pain points and goals of your prospects
- Strong and specific calls-to-action (CTAs)
- Landing pages that are conversion-optimized
- Forms that are user-friendly and ask for the minimum info
- Chatbots that provide instant answers and guidance
- Analytics and tracking tools that measure your site performance
After optimizing your site, you can expect to increase your traffic, engagement, and conversions. Generate MQLs and SQLs interested in learning more about your solution.
Strategy #3: Score Your Leads
Through a lead scoring system, you can score each lead based on their level of interest, actions, and readiness to buy. It helps to prioritize leads and identify ones most likely to become SQLs.
Factors of a Lead Scoring System for MQLs and SQLs
- Demographic: Relate to the characteristics of the lead, such as industry, company size, role, location, etc.
- Behavioral: Actions of the lead, such as website visits, email opens, content downloads, webinar attendance, etc.
- Situational: The context of the lead, such as budget, timeline, urgency, authority, etc.
By assigning different scores for each factor, you can create a scoring system that reflects the value of each lead.
Pro-Tip: You can set a threshold score through your CRM that indicates when a lead becomes an MQL or SQL.
MQL >= 30pts
SQL >= 40pts
Strategy #4: Email Marketing for Lead Nurturing
If you ask us what the most effective way to nurture leads and get them to move along the sales funnel is email marketing. Communicating with your leads regularly provides valuable content and persuades them to take the next step.
How to Nurture Marketing Qualified Leads and Sales Qualified Leads
- Segment leads based on their characteristics, behaviors, and interests
- Personalize emails with the name, company, and other relevant details of the lead
- Use catchy and relevant subject lines to get the lead to open the email
- CTAs should be clear, specific, and action-oriented
- Use automation tools that send the right email at the right time based on the lead’s behavior and stage in the sales funnel
- Analytics tools that measure your email performance and conversions are a must
By nurturing your leads with email marketing, you can build rapport and trust with your prospects, educate them about your solution, and persuade them to take the next step.
Strategy #5: Get Leads While They’re Hot
As a final strategy to increase your MQL to SQL conversion rates, you must follow up with your leads promptly and persistently. This means that you should contact your leads as soon as possible after they show interest in your solution and continue to follow up until they are ready to sign up or opt-out.
According to a study by HBR, companies that contact their leads within the hour are seven times more likely to convert them than those who wait. And companies that contact leads more than once are more likely to close deals than those with a one-time interaction.
How Do You Follow Up With Your Leads Effectively?
- Through multiple channels of communication, such as phone, email, social media, etc.
- Using a CRM that helps you organize and track your leads
- Open-ended questions that get information and feedback from the lead
- Unique value propositions that highlight the benefits and outcomes of your solution
- Objections handling techniques that address concerns and doubts
- Closing techniques that ask for commitment and action from the lead
By following up with your leads promptly and persistently, you can increase your chances of converting them from MQLs into SQLs and customers.
Ready to Increase Your MQL to SQL Conversion Rate?
Increasing your SQLs is easier said than done. It requires a strategic approach that involves defining your ICP, optimizing your website, implementing a lead scoring system, nurturing your leads with email marketing, and following up with them effectively.
Applying these strategies can increase your SQLs by 13% or more, resulting in the scalability you seek for your business.
If you need guidance in creating a strategy to increase your SQLs, let’s book a session where we can help you create and execute a customized plan that suits your business goals and needs.