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There are many ways to gauge Marketing Qualified Leads. Likewise, there are many ways to gauge Quality Leads. We know you’re busy, so we will make this easy. To identify and maintain Quality Leads, we recommend one simple task:

Consistently talk to real customers

According to KatelynBourgoin.com, marketers who conduct regular audience research perform 466% better than those who only do so on occasion. And yet, 65% of marketers don’t conduct audience research.

Why is that?

As a marketer, you may want to talk directly to the customers, but first you must find the time to do it. Once you find the time, ensure Sales and Leadership personnel are on board with reaching out to customers. Finally, find an effective way to have these conversations.

If you don’t get all three of those tasks accomplished, you will have to resort to other ways of getting the information you need. Reaching out to the sales team, reviewing website analytics, conducting keyword research, or social listening can all be good ways to ascertain this information.

While the above methods can be helpful, they aren’t as impactful as speaking directly to your future, current and past customers. Namely because those methods won’t tell you what a customer cares about and why they will or won’t do business with you.

You need the exact words, phrases and stories from customers to develop empathy, which helps you create marketing that resonates with your intended audience.

Driving higher quality leads

Once you answer the questions listed below, you will be able to drive higher quality leads.

  • How do your customers really use your product or service or what do they like about it (i.e., the benefits they find the most valuable)?
  • What’s holding them back from purchasing?
  • What are the exact words and phrases they use to describe their problems and desires?
  • What are the emotions that are motivating them?

While you will probably still attract attention and interest in your product or service, most of the attraction will come in the form of tire-kickers, or leads who are never going to buy what you're selling.

As databox says, the crux is:

Understanding your audience

“The difference between getting a lead and getting a high-converting, quality lead is in understanding your audience on a granular, holistic level. This allows you to speak directly to their specific needs, wants and desires and meet them where they are.”

For some people in your organization, it’s potentially scary to go down this road. This approach forces us to question our core business assumptions, but it will help us find true product-market fit.

Before you speak with your customers, consider: What is the specific problem you believe your target market has, and what is your solution to solve it?

Ask your future, current and past customers:

How do you currently [desire of your target market]? This answer provides insight into what leads and customers try before they consider your product or service. In other words, it’s their path to finding you.

How is that working for you? Tell me more about that. This will bring out emotion and stories.

Why have those options have failed you? This tells you what’s lacking in alternative products/services and the gap yours can fill.

If you could improve your experience in any way, what would you do? The answer to this is a feature or benefit you may want to add to your product or service.

What’s the hardest part about [desire]? The answer to this is where you’ll find the problem this customer needs solved.

So, let’s say there’s no way you can get on a phone call or a video chat with a customer. All is not lost, as there is another option: Gather important intel by sitting in on sales calls.

You’ll hear:

  • Popular topics, pain points and problems, which can provide content ideas
  • Questions customers have, which may be something you could answer earlier on in the sales cycle through some form of marketing collateral
  • What materials salespeople are utilizing during the sales call/close, which tells you what types of content to create
  • The messaging that sales is using with the customers and if it’s aligned with messaging elsewhere like the website or in other marketing collateral
  • Whether this is a Qualified Lead (do they end up converting?)

If, as a marketing team, you’re constantly in this push-pull situation where the sales team asks for more leads, you deliver them, and they responds by saying the leads aren’t good enough. There’s no way around it –

You. Need. To. Be. Talking. To. Your. Customers.

Creating the right content, go-to-market strategy, product features and benefits- and sales-enablement programs all hinge on understanding your customers better than anyone else does. This is what will give you a competitive edge all businesses are desperately seeking. Because not that many businesses are willing to talk to their customers.

Sure, research might sound like it’s going to take entirely too long. But here’s the thing. Asking your leads, customers and past customers important questions and hearing their own words, problems, desires, challenges and reasons for choosing your business (over all the other choices out there) is time well spent.

You’re likely going to do research of some sort, so why not go to the source? Give the customers exactly what they’re looking for. Isn’t that what this whole having-a-business thing is all about?

If you’d like help creating marketing that resonates deeply with your customers, we can help. If we haven’t already had direct conversations with your ideal customers, we can help facilitate this so you can obliterate the competition and make more sales.