When it comes to leads, quality beats quantity.

Qualified leads have certain attributes and show interest in your product or service through their actions. But qualifications can vary from business to business. For example, someone who viewed your pricing page and requested more info on your product might be considered qualified. For another business, qualifications might include someone who is of a certain age group and signs up for email updates.

There’s no point in spending money and time to attract and follow up with unqualified leads who are not interested. Instead, focus on your valuable, qualified leads who are in your wheelhouse and likely 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 want to understand your visitors, ask them for more information — but do it strategically. You don’t want to bombard your leads with all sorts of questions on the first opt-in form. They may feel overwhelmed and, as a result, leave forms unfinished. So, keep those initial questionnaires quick and simple.

The time to ask for extra information is at the end of the buying process by gathering post-purchase customer feedback. You’ll get data that tells you what you’re doing well, what you need to improve on, and who’s buying your product. For example, send an email asking for reviews after customers have had a chance to use your product. If you’re savvy on social media, post polls and surveys on different platforms to collect feedback from your social circles.

Once you’ve collected a couple of reviews, make sure to engage with customers. If you notice that someone is particularly enthusiastic about your brand, request an in-depth interview, testimonial, or case study. If a customer is unhappy, work with them to resolve any issues.

Valuable first-hand data can help you refine your marketing strategy so you can better understand and identify qualified leads.

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 your lead flow helps internal team organization while decreasing time spent on pointing each lead in the right direction. According to a study by Xant, quick lead response times can make all the difference between closing the sale and missing out. In fact, conversion rates are eight times more successful if the first contact call occurs within five minutes.

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 so everyone ends up with the same number of leads over time.

3. Score Your Leads

Lead scoring is a system that automatically ranks your contacts by set criteria or in response to a particular action they take, all of which are 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. It’s a good idea to check out your company’s past successes to help determine specific actions that customers took before they purchased and set your qualifying threshold.

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 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 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

Find the most qualified leads by carefully selecting where you advertise. A good first step to selecting your advertising platforms is determining 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 those 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’s a recap of strategies you can use to stay focused on qualified leads:

  • Collect customer feedback.
  • Route your leads to different people on your sales team based on actions, location, time, or anything else, to ensure a faster follow-up experience.
  • Score your leads to determine when your sales team can convert qualified leads into 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 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.