When it comes to leads, quality beats quantity.

Qualified leads are those who meet certain attributes and have shown interest in your product or service through their actions. For example, someone who viewed your pricing page and requested more info on your product might be considered qualified. In another business, someone who is of a certain age group and signs up for email updates might be considered qualified.

There’s no sense in spending your marketing dollars and your team’s time to attract and follow up with unqualified leads who are not interested or anywhere near ready to buy your product or service. Instead, focus on your valuable, qualified leads who are in your wheelhouse and likely to be ready to buy.

Here are five ways to determine who your most qualified leads are so you can better manage your team’s time and resources.

1. Ask Leads for More Info

If you have a web page that collects leads for your business by asking visitors to share their contact info, you can add fields to the form to gather more information about them that’s relevant to the purchasing decision.

For example, if you sell to businesses, you might know that businesses with fewer than 50 employees are not likely to become your customers. On your opt-in form, you could add a dropdown field for “business size,” and then prioritize following up with those who have 50 or more employees.

Make sure to gather information that specifically relates to your selling process. If you’re selling a product for dogs, asking them what kind of pets they have might be helpful, but asking them how many pets they have is likely not.

Qualifying leads using fields like this will save time and resources, and storing this information on your leads gives anyone on your team the ability to easily assess them and their position in your sales funnel.

2. Use Lead Routing

Your sales representatives lose valuable follow-up time when leads aren’t sent directly to the appropriate member of your team. Lead routing is the process of distributing leads among your sales team in a formulated way.

Automating this flow of leads helps internal team organization while decreasing time spent on pointing each lead in the right direction. According to Tom Pierce from Power Router, quick response times can make the difference between closing the sale and missing out. He says, “Ensure that you have processes in place in your routing strategy to pause and play assignments for rep’s who aren’t available.”

In Ontraport, you can assign incoming leads to a lead router to easily distribute them to different users in your account, better leveraging your team’s time. For example, you may have both full-time and part-time employees on your sales team. Using Ontraport’s Weighted Random lead router to assign leads to users by percentage, you could have one full-time user in your account receive 50% of the incoming leads while two other part-time users each receive 25%. Alternatively, with the Round Robin lead router, you can evenly distribute leads to each of the users who are in the router you create. This way, everyone ends up with the same number of leads over time.

3. Score Your Leads

Lead scoring is a system by which your contacts are ranked automatically in response to a particular action they take or if info in their contact record meets a set criteria, all of which is determined by you. The resulting score is used to prioritize your contacts and pinpoint how far along they are in your sales funnel.

With lead scoring, you can quickly judge how hot a lead is. For example, you could set it so that your leads get 10 points if they visit a tracked link to your sales page, 10 points if they open an email you sent, and 10 more points if they list their job title as “CEO.”

Once their score has broken the threshold that you set to qualify them as a great lead, a task can be automatically triggered for your team to respond accordingly. In this example, you could make it so that whenever leads reach a lead score of 30, an automated task is fired for your team to give them a call. Be sure to look at your company’s past successes to help determine specific actions that customers took before they purchased, customizing the scoring process to your specific company.

4. Qualify Leads With Tripwire Products

Sometimes called “splinter products,” tripwire products are inexpensive products that are easy to sell (meaning that leads will buy them without needing to talk with your team).

Tripwire products help encourage clients to purchase your main product by giving them a taste of what you offer and showing them your willingness to offer value at such a low price. When a lead purchases your tripwire product, you know that they’re serious about what you have to offer, and you can qualify them accordingly.

For example, say you’re in the life-coaching business. You could sell an ebook for $10 that contains some of your best strategies. When leads buy that ebook, you know they’re far more likely to buy your coaching services because they’ve already taken an action that indicates a strong interest. When people pull out their wallets and buy something from you, they become much more likely to buy again — so you know that it’s worth your time to follow up with them.

Make sure that your tripwire product is a good example of what your customers get from your main product. Give them information or tools that are useful to them, but don’t give away too much of your main product. Be sure that your tripwire product is worth much more than you’re asking for it, to show leads your high value. A few examples of tripwire products are discounted consultations, discounted first month subscription, ebooks or sample-sized bottles of your product.

5. Use Better Traffic Sources

You can be sure to find the most qualified leads by carefully selecting where you advertise. A good first step to selecting your advertising platforms is to determine where your leads are currently coming from. Using UTM variables, you can track your lead sources by adding parameters to the end of a URL. This information allows you to see when a lead comes from Facebook, a Google search, an ad campaign, or any other site. Looking at where your leads are coming from will help you decide where best to spend your advertising budget.

Consider the type of advertising or promotion you’re paying for. A general rule of thumb is: the cheaper the lead, the poorer the quality. For example, maybe you’ve noticed that inexpensive ads, like Facebook Audience Network ads, can bring a staggering number of visits to your lead capture page and a decent increase in new leads. However, these new leads are not necessarily within your target audience and might not be interested in your products and services.

A better strategy might be to use Facebook retargeting ads. Retargeting campaigns produce better leads because they are targeting those who have already engaged with your business online — either by visiting your content pages or joining your email list. Retargeting is cost-effective because it only shows your ads to targets who are most likely to click through.

The Final Takeaway

While mass targeting and all-over-the-place advertising might have been your method in the past, implementing just one of these simple tools into your sales funnel could reduce wasted time on unqualified leads.

Here are some specific ways that staying focused on qualified leads will benefit your business:

  • Ask leads for more relevant information so you can determine which leads are better suited for your product or service.
  • Route your leads to different people on your sales team based on actions, location, time, or anything else, to help you provide a faster follow-up experience.
  • Score your leads to track their progress through your funnel and determine when they become qualified leads so your sales team can convert them to customers.
  • Use tripwire products to pinpoint serious customers and focus on selling them your main product or service.
  • Experiment with different traffic sources to find the high-quality advertising spaces that send you high-quality leads.

About Megan Monroe
Associate Editor Megan Monroe is a graduate of Santa Barbara’s Westmont College where she studied Philosophy and Communications. After working for several local small businesses (where she gained firsthand experience with the frustration of manual segmentation and follow-up), Megan joined the Ontraport Growth Team. When she isn’t writing marketing copy, social media posts or educational guides for entrepreneurs, she enjoys taking advantage of the Central Coast's amazing wineries and cooking without following a recipe.