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Seven Ways to Acquire Sales-Qualified Leads (SQLs)

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Clients go through a sales funnel, beginning with getting acquainted with your business. They land on the website, discover goods and services, and compare prices with others. Thus, they gradually become SQLs. That’s where we need to answer the question, “What is a sales-qualified lead (SQL)?”

These are people or companies interested in your offer and ready to talk to sales professionals. They’ve already engaged with the company via marketing channels. Your task is to convert them now. A smart strategy on your end can help them make a final decision and become your customers. How can you ensure people will become your sales-qualified leads? This article will focus on the ways to expand your client base and maximize efforts.

How to Generate Sales-Qualified Leads

When prospects begin their journey, a marketing team should raise their interest. They aim to convert visitors into marketing-qualified leads (MQLs). Marketers should be aware of what can attract attention to the product. They need to show relevant offers, expertise, and solutions to common pain points. When prospects are ready to proceed to another stage, they go to a sales team. That’s where people turn into SQLs. Let’s look at top tips to find such people and win more sales.

1. How to Leverage Modern Tools for Qualifying Sales Leads

You can use conventional ways to find prospects, such as cold calls or meeting clients in person. But you need to integrate and centralize multiple sales and revenue channels.

Let’s take social media as an example. They assist in reaching out to individuals and better targeting your audience. So don’t overlook a robust online presence and work on expanding it. But to gain and process a larger number of sales-qualified leads from many touchpoints, you need CRMs.

What Is CRM?

CRM (customer relationship management) is a platform to unify data and track customer activities. As a result, employees’ work becomes more efficient. They can faster access data on previous purchases, interactions, and other touchpoints. Top names include HubSpot, Zoho, Salesforce, Freshworks, etc.

A CRM allows you to automate a lot of your marketing, nurturing, and lead conversion efforts. And it’s one of the strong sides worth considering, isn’t it? Let’s say part of your work still relies on the fax. You can reduce the bulk of the manual work by integrating faxing in Salesforce.

2. Why You Need Sign-Up Forms & Landing Pages

Suppose a customer clicks on an ad or Facebook link. Where do they arrive? It’s a landing page. So you should organize it properly to convert as many leads as possible. Increase sales lead numbers by creating a landing page. Invite them to sign up, subscribe to email newsletters, or preorder something.

It’s not the same as a standard product or checkout page. The landing page meets your customers at the very top of the conversion funnel. That is, they begin their research and leave information to connect with a business. These data include:

  • prospect’s name;
  • email;
  • phone number;
  • job position;
  • the company size;
  • among other things.

They help determine whether that lead is a qualified one. By employing this information, you can nurture that prospect closer to a sale. Don’t think your visitors will spot your call to action (CTA) somewhere in the website’s depths. By the way, a CTA is a button or link telling people what to do. So it needs to be as prominent as possible.

Organize this page to reduce any friction on the customer journey. Here is an impeccable example of the Netflix landing page. It doesn’t overload visitors with unnecessary fields or too much content. It contains an FAQ section and stays as concise as possible to convey the desired message.

Screenshot taken on the official Netflix website

Alt tag: Netflix landing page with best practices for efficient sales-qualified lead acquisition 

3. Tips on Acquiring Sales-Qualified Leads Using Email Marketing

So you have your lead’s email and other records. What do you do with them next? Maintain the fire of your communication through emails. You can predefine scenarios and launch drip (also known as automated) campaigns.

They are ideal for onboarding and telling the leads about your products and services. And that’s where a CRM can also do you a favor. For example, you may customize and personalize email templates for automatic sending.

Email marketing isn’t limited to making initial impressions. Leverage it to establish long-term relationships with clients as well. How can you go beyond one-time sales? Come back to your customers from time to time:

  1. Provide them with discounts during holiday seasons.
  2. Congratulate them on birthdays.
  3. Show personalized products according to their purchase history.

4. How SEO Helps Attract Leads

You need to win the race, so make sure your website is visible to clients and search engines. To do it, you should handle SEO (search engine optimization). SEO is essential for “organic” lead generation and store promotion. It unites various strategies to ensure a high website’s position in search results. Thus, you can save money on advertising to find the needed leads. In this case, you should:

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  • exploit relevant keywords in your website content;
  • optimize the product name using a long-tail keyword or phrase;
  • avoid duplicate text in the description;
  • structure your piece with H1-H6 headings;
  • don’t forget about internal and external links;
  • make content simple to find in the navigation menu or search.

These are just some of the basics. But the work doesn’t end with one-time optimization. Remember to systematically improve the design and add links to other site pages.

5. Why A/B Testing Is Important for Lead Generation

How can you address your audience in CTAs or organize the text? A/B tests give insights, e.g.:

  • which variants perform better;
  • get the most clicks;
  • are more reasonable to use on the website.

For example, you don’t need to guess which wording is more persuasive, “Add to Cart” or “Add to My Cart.” Instead, you run two versions simultaneously for different groups of people. Half of your audience sees the first option, and the other comes over the variant with a personal pronoun. Moreover, you can test the color of CTAs, shapes, and page layout.

6. How You Can Benefit from a Live Chat on the Website

You may have noticed chatbots on various websites, from travel agencies to eCommerce businesses. They pop up from the right corner to answer your questions faster than a customer service specialist. To illustrate what I mean, I provide the following screenshot. It’s the Vainu chatbot performing the following functions, including:

  1. Telling about the tool features;
  2. Connecting you with technical help;
  3. Providing tips for using Vainu tools.

Screenshot taken on the official Vainu website

Alt tag: A chatbot on the Vainu website helping to acquire sales-qualified leads

You can have a simple chatbot on the website. It uses predefined scripts to match them with the input. Prospects can resolve the issue by clicking buttons or typing the text into the window. Unfortunately, these solutions fail in complex situations, leading to user frustration.

How to Ensure Better Communication with Chatbots

The development of chatbots shows no signs of slowing down. Software gets more sophisticated and answers visitors’ questions in challenging circumstances. There are much more chatbots can do apart from being online 24/7, saying “hello”, and providing basic information.

Modern chatbots can conduct sentiment analysis to understand users’ feelings. They comprehend oral speech when there is much noise around speakers. They offer relevant products. That’s why having a chatbot increases your chances of winning sales-qualified leads.

7. Pointers on Referral Marketing

Referral marketing relies on loyal customers to promote a business. It’s when your clients tell others about how your company helped them and why it’s reasonable to follow their advice. They generally send a particular link to order from your website or spread positive word of mouth.

This type of marketing may not bring you dozens of qualified leads in a moment. But, leads from referral marketing show greater trust. Why? Because people receive the advice from someone they know and are more likely to buy from you compared to coming from ad campaigns. 

Provide an extra nudge to your existing clients for a referral. You may give them free products or access to premium features for some time. Other perks cover gift cards, discounts, cashback, etc. Look at the screenshot below. Outdoorsy emails its clients to offer money to them and their friends in exchange for a referral.

Screenshot taken from the newsletter from the official Outdoorsy website

Alt tag: A letter from Outdoorsy leveraging referral marketing for obtaining sales qualified leads

How Can You Acquire Sales-Qualified Leads?

There are several types of leads. Sales-qualified leads show the highest interest in your products or services, so they are closer to making a purchase. Your sales team needs to step in and persuade them to perform the desired action. How do you find such leads? Build a powerful landing page and improve website rankings. Employ software like CRM for more effective lead generation.

Once you start attracting leads, continue to improve the strategies. Resort to regular A/B testing. Use to discover the best options and convert even more visitors not only into leads but into clients. Furthermore, don’t hesitate to ask clients you’ve “won” to suggest your firm to their friends and business partners. That’s your opportunity to use referral marketing to its fullest.

What’s your preferred channel to attract leads and convert them into customers? Share your experience, join the discussions in the comments below, or sign up for a newsletter to receive the latest guides.

About the author

Kate Parish is the chief marketing officer at Magento optimization service company Onilab with over eight years of experience in Digital Marketing in eCommerce web development. Kate always aspires to broaden her competency in line with cutting-edge global trends. Her primary areas of professional interest include SEO, branding, PPC, SMM, Magento PWA development, and online retail in general.