‘70% of leads we’ve collected were awful’: SaaS marketing experts sharing the best practices of lead qualification

‘70% of leads we’ve collected were awful’: SaaS marketing experts sharing the best practices of lead qualification

There is no better source for inspiration in marketing than real examples from its best representatives. Previously, we reviewed the best tactics to increase Visitors-To-Paid Conversion in Edtech.

This time we offer you to explore the entire cycle of lead qualification in SaaS marketing companies with Reeta Gautam and Polly Zaharova. 

After reading this article, you’ll know:

  • Early signs of starting qualifying leads.
  • What tools to use to qualify leads.
  • Examples of the lead qualification requirements.
  • Lead scoring best practices.
  • How to deliver leads to sales.

Now meet our experts:

lead qualification
lead qualification

Early signs of implementing lead qualification within your company

Polly Zakharova, Growth marketer at Dashly:

Just like others, we were indiscriminately glad to each lead. The increasing number of leads made our marketers happy.

Once on the seasonal sale, our Instagram Ads brought us a huge number of leads. Of course, we asked our sales team to call all of them. We were disillusioned when sales managers told us that 70% of that leads were awful: they didn’t reply to calls, didn’t want to talk, shared wrong data, etc.

That was when we decided to create ICP and start qualifying leads before delivering them to the sales team.

Reeta Gautam, Co-Founder & Marketer at REIN Digital:

The pivoting point where we decided to implement lead qualification was when we first realized that many junk leads were entering the funnel, making the whole process quite tiring and time-consuming.
The opportunity cost was not worth it, and a change was long due.

Lead qualification steps

Polly Zakharova, Growth marketer at Dashly:

In Dashly, we use two levels of lead qualification: marketing and sales. First is an automated process that is conducted via contact forms and chatbots. The second level is about sales reps asking potential client qualification questions.

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Get your free template of 30 Questions to Ask During Customer Interview

Reeta Gautam, Co-Founder & Marketer at REIN Digital:

We typically have the leads fill out a survey form before scheduling a call. This helps ascertain more context on the vision/ budget of the potential client, allowing us to prepare and target the right set of queries over the first call.

Where and when to qualify leads on a website

Reeta Gautam, Co-Founder & Marketer at REIN Digital:

For clients, the lead qualification process takes place via lead forms and chatbots, but we typically use survey forms for our own website.

Lead qualification form on REIN Digital website.

Polly Zakharova, Growth marketer at Dashly:

In Dashly, we ask qualification questions on the step when the website visitor is ready to have a one-to-one conversation. For example:

  • Requesting for the product demo on any website page.
lead qualification
  • Asking for a consultation on the pricing page.
  • Signing up for Dashly.
  • Scheduling a free consultation in the contact form on the Instagram Ads landing page.
Download the most popular lead qualification models and learn how to use them

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Download the most popular lead qualification models and learn how to use them

Tools to automate lead qualification on the website

Polly Zakharova, Growth marketer at Dashly:

Previously we used contact forms and pop-ups, but the last one showed a low engagement rate… Then I replaced pop-ups with a chatbot, that works perfectly on the pricing page.

Reeta Gautam, Co-Founder & Marketer at REIN Digital:

For clients operating mainly in the insurance and finance vertical, we primarily use a combination of lead forms & chatbots and simultaneously A/B test with ad copies and landers.

Find out how a chatbot can help you with lead qualification and scoring in our video:

Example of the requirements a lead should meet to be considered qualified

Reeta Gautam, Co-Founder & Marketer at REIN Digital:

A lead essentially needs to match the KPI (Key Performance Indicator) or the eligibility criteria set by the company to be considered qualified. Our requirements vary from domain to domain, and hence, our focus is always more on establishing relevant requirement expectations for the leads.

Polly Zakharova, Growth marketer at Dashly:

In Dashly, a qualified lead meets next requirements:

  • Since the first step to use Dashly is installing the relevant code on a website, the first and the most important requirement is a website URL.
url requirement

This fact defines that lead can use our tools.

  • The second requirement is a position within a company: sales, support, or marketing manager, CEO. Exactly they benefit from Dashly most of all. 
Survey: what is your function?
  • Company size and website traffic give us a clear understanding of what pricing plan to offer.
lead qualification
lead qualification

The variety of lead scoring models

Reeta Gautam, Co-Founder & Marketer at REIN Digital:

Yes, we use lead scoring with the help of the Data Science team for some of our fintech clients. We have also gotten ourselves a relatively high-quality score based on multiple factors like customer lead form input, location, browser, day & time, etc.

Polly Zakharova, Growth marketer at Dashly:

One of the fields our team is keen on is product marketing. Once we’ve collected our knowledge and published it in a book. It brought us many excellent leads; big companies, CEOs, CMS, PMMs shared with us their contacts when downloading it.

But none were ready to discuss the product when our sales reps contacted them. They just had no idea about the existence of the Dashly tools.

Since then, we have called prospects only if they have read our emails, visited the website, shared their URL, and good info about their post, company, etc. Each of these facts assigns a +1 score to a lead.

Get rich customer data in one place to personalize communication in every channel

behavior tracking

But at the core of our lead qualification scoring is a source:

  • If they come from the pricing page, the sales team responds to the request immediately because such people want an answer here and now. These leads have the highest SLA response time.
  • The second level SLA response time priority has leads from Instagram or Facebook Ads. When we don’t answer their request in 30 min, they forget about the ads they respond to.
  • People who have just registered in Dashly shouldn’t be called immediately. We give them time for onboarding and contact on the second day or week of Dashly usage.

How to deliver leads from Marketing to Sales

Polly Zakharova, Growth marketer at Dashly:

When someone leaves contacts in the dialog with chatbot, the info about this event goes to Dashly. Enriched with additional data about the pages and actions this lead did on the website, this information moves to our CRM. Thus, our sales team has a lead card with all the info about the user data, actions and pages visited. The last one serves as a context to start the conversation.

Read also: How to start a conversation with a customer: 25 welcome message ideas

Reeta Gautam, Co-Founder & Marketer at REIN Digital:

Our tech team has automated the delivery process for most clients, wherein the qualified leads either directly hit the CRM or a comprehensive and straightforward spreadsheet (for those who don’t have any CRM).

First steps in lead qualification for SaaS marketers

Reeta Gautam, Co-Founder & Marketer at REIN Digital:

A lead form/chatbot loaded with real, relevant, brief questions is the easiest way to access inputs with minimal human interaction. Having said that, one must also ensure continual A/B testing with an established content format until they finally reach a place that seems right (we got there after six shots!); D

Polly Zakharova, Growth marketer at Dashly:

  1. Check whether you need to qualify leads. If you don’t have too many leads and your sales team processes them in time ─ there is no point in this action.
  2. Listen to your sales reps’ conversation with a lead to define the question they ask. There is a part of the info you can provide about leads before the sales team will call them.
  3. Collect the list of questions you want to ask (1-5 questions are enough).
  4. Add it to the contact form or chatbot on your website.

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