5 Ways to Maximize Lead Quality [GUEST POST]

No matter your industry, you know that not all leads are created equal, which means generating leads isn’t enough; you need to generate quality leads so as not to waste time and money. How big a deal is lead quality? A 10% increase in lead quality can create a 40% jump in revenue, according to Marketo.


What is Lead Quality?

Lead quality is a measurement of how likely a given lead is to convert to a paying customer or how much revenue potential that a given lead could generate for your company. Since a lead is essentially just information you’ve attained on someone who is interested in your product or service, it makes sense from a business perspective to rank all those leads.

By measuring lead quality, sales teams can focus on specific leads instead of inefficiently allocating resources attempting to convert low-quality leads who have little interest in becoming paying customers, or who present little potential for revenue. According to Salesforce, companies that have a method for scoring leads have an ROI of 138% versus companies without any lead scoring criteria.

Related: Classification of Sales Leads: Hot, Warm or Cold

Each company takes its own approach to measuring lead quality. However, a common method is to assign a score to leads based on certain criteria, such as the B.A.N.T criteria (budget, authority, need, timetable). However, B.A.N.T is mostly used within B2B marketing, and even there, debate rages about the ongoing relevance it. B.A.N.T assumes telephone contact with leads, which is not a valid assumption in a marketing world dominated by online marketing.

Other possible lead scoring criteria include:

  • People who have downloaded lead magnets from your website
  • Leads who have browsed through product pages, checkout carts, or pricing pages
  • People who have emailed or phoned your sales teams to inquire about your products/services
  • The revenue potential of a given lead

Companies can segment their leads based on a set of lead scoring criteria by integrating marketing software with customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

Related: Not Just an Address Book: 4 Hacks to Turn a CRM into a True Sales Tool

It’s important to note that not all leads with high likelihoods of conversion are high-quality leads by default—leads might be very likely to convert but present poor earning potential. This is one of the biggest issues with the idea of lead quality—different people have different definitions of what exactly constitutes quality. It can be helpful, therefore, for marketing and sales personnel to work together to develop sensible lead scoring criteria that they agree on.

A high volume of bad leads is the fastest way to clog up your sales funnel. If you’re casting too wide of a net, it’s time to re-evaluate how and where you’re getting leads, what constitutes a good lead and why some leads go cold so fast. Here are a few tools to help you maximize and improve your lead quality.


#1 Define what a qualified lead is

#1 Define what a qualified lead is

Who determines what’s a good lead in your company? If you don’t know, or if you think it’s the wrong person, it might be time for everyone involved in the sales process to sit down to define a qualified lead for your business.

Is it simply someone who falls within your target market? Is it based on behavior when visiting your website? Maybe it’s someone that agrees to hear your pitch in person.

If your sales team is expected to follow up immediately on every nibble, you’re taking time away from the qualified leads so it’s important to define what a qualified lead is.


#2 Identify where leads come from

#2 Identify where leads come from

Where do you get your best leads from? Identify your lead sources so you can fine-tune your lead generation process.

Consider using a tool like Google Analytics or Oktopost to look at your metrics and determine where your quality leads come from and what campaigns, referrers, and channels are paying for themselves.

Knowing the information, you can devote more time to channels that are most effective and may even consider eliminating channels that aren’t filling your lead pipeline.

Related: The Five BEST Sources Of B2B Leads Prospects


Check out our latest Marketing Infographic

A Visual Guide to Telemarketing Performance Metrics [INFOGRAPHIC]


#3 Deploy data enrichment tools

#3 Deploy data enrichment tools

To connect with prospective customers, you need to a way to reach them. You can search LinkedIn, run Google searches, and scour social media channels for leads, but it takes a lot of time to find the right people, and then, find their contact information.

Related: Why Customer Profiling Could be the Best Investment your Company Makes

Ease some of this workload with data enrichment tools that can help you build a list of leads along with credible contact information. Here are a few tools to consider:


Turn domain names into full company profiles and add contact information right into your Salesforce account to convert leads faster. Lusha can even automatically enrich all your contacts and update your contacts in spreadsheets.


Increase your volume of clean, actionable leads thanks to the missing data that InsideView automatically adds to incoming leads as they’re inputted into your CRM and marketing automation systems.


Streamline your sales funnel by connecting your third-party apps to pull together data, then create your own set of rules to clean the database with Openprise.

Related: The Essential Checklist to Finding a Decent Leads Database Provider


#4 Use lead generation tools

#4 Use lead generation tools

Rather than find leads yourself, have them come to you. How? Use a few lead generating tools, like these:


Create custom sweepstakes, sign-up forms, and contests that can be added to Facebook pages and websites to generate leads, which are then integrated into an email service provider.


Find quality leads on Twitter with this all-in-one app that combs tweets to find locals with purchase intent, allowing you to reply with an offer.

Related: Best Marketing Tools to INCREASE Sales Leads Production


#5 Prioritize your leads with management applications

#5 Prioritize your leads with management applications

As you generate leads, you’ll need a way to manage them. Try these tools that can help you prioritize leads and track important metrics like cost per lead:


Help your sales reps determine who to call and when, thanks to this sales acceleration solution that sorts, prioritizes and re-ranks sales leads in real-time.

Really Simple Systems

Track cost per lead, per opportunity and per sale to calculate your ROI with this lead tracking app.

Related: 5 New Year’s Resolutions to Refine Your Marketing Analytics Stack

Wrap up

By identifying what a qualified lead is, making a list of your best lead channels, and integrating several tools, you’ll be able to reach more prospects than you thought possible. Lead generation is a time-consuming process, but if you’re taking a strategic approach you’ll likely see an impressive return on your investment.


Use the Psychology of Free Stuff to Generate Leads

Nothing is more irresistible that anything that is free.  In an article on, Vinay Pantakar highlighted how to use this psychological response of buyers towards free items as a part of their marketing strategy.

Let’s take a look at how we can take advantage of this overused marketing jargon and generate leads. Don’t worry, tips are free of charge.

If you’ve ever worked in advertising, you’ll know the power of the four-letter F word … Free.

Free samples, free trials, buy one-get one free.

The thought of getting something for nothing is what makes people line up to avoid spending a couple of bucks, like when Krispy Kreme launched in Cardiff, Wales, and had more than a thousand shoppers lining up for over two hours to get free donuts. And I’m pretty sure that’s a mild example.

More proof comes from Duke professor Dan Ariely in a paper written at MIT:

“His study of 398 MIT students measured people’s reaction (and overreaction) to two different products: Hershey’s candies and Lindt truffles. Under normal circumstances, the Hershey’s products are already significantly cheaper than Lindt products — and the latter also have an air of exclusivity or cache, too. By all measures, the Lindt item has a higher value. Yet, when asked to choose between a free Hershey’s product or a dramatically discounted Lindt candy, the vast majority of students opted for the item that was free, even if it wasn’t objectively the best deal.”

Ariely says that the word free “gives us such an emotional charge that we perceive what is being offered as immensely more valuable than it really is.”

As strange as it seems so far, I’m not here to talk about food. Free is also something people want and expect on the Internet.

Searching for popular words like ‘book’, ‘blog’ and ‘game’ in Keyword Planner reveals that a large chunk of the searchers want these things for free.

the Psychology of Free Stuff

And aside from blogs, books and games, what else do people tend to want for free?

the Psychology of Free Stuff


The answer? It’s things of value, that would usually cost money.

This is especially apparent from the fact that people want free TVs.

Free stuff can be hard to resist and increase sales by up to 2000 percent, but is met with a great deal of skepticism. As much as we love free stuff, we want to feel like we’ve earned it:

“When people pay for something, it gives those people a sense of accomplishment, pride, and ownership, meaning they’ll value the goods or services more and complain less.”

So, how do we balance the power of free stuff with the problem that people find value in transactions?

This is the part you’ve been waiting for.

Content Upgrades

Content upgrades offer useful resources on a transactional basis, and the currency is an email address.

With so much for free on the Internet already, it’s unlikely anyone will pay for your content. You can, however, get their email address and their permission to be marketed to in one go …  As long as you’ve got something they want.

Have you seen calls to action embedded in blog posts? They look like:

the Psychology of Free Stuff

Those are content upgrades. The perfect balance of ‘paying’ with your email address and getting something for ‘free’ has got some crazy results. Backlinko’s Brian Dean increased conversions by 785 percent in one day by using them. BloggerJet’s Tim Soulo increased conversions by 300 percent over the course of a month.

So how can you do the same?

Using Content Upgrades to Generate Leads

A content upgrade, in case you’ve never signed up for one, or used one yourself, is an additional piece of bonus material. Examples include checklists, PDF files, email templates, workflows, videos and extra items in a list post.

The difference between content upgrades and lead magnets is that content upgrades are highly focused and relevant to the article they’re found in, while lead magnets are generic downloads like free ebooks which appear in the sidebar of every blog post, regardless of its content.

Content upgrades need to be obvious, valuable and relevant to work. Plugins like Content Upgrades Pro take care of making it obvious, leaving value and relevance left to figure out.

Content Upgrade Ideas

To be clear once again: Content upgrades have to add value to the post they’re attached to.

You can think of them like bonuses, or extensions. Every time you create content, think “How could I extend this?”.

Here are some examples of how I would offer content upgrades to fictional articles:

Case Study: How I Increased Subscribers by 311% Overnight
Content upgrade: A .pdf Checklist of the Exact Process Used

How to Use Flat Design to Create a Beautiful New Website
Content upgrade: 41 Flat Design Icon .png Files

Pitch like a Pro — Get Your Startup Noticed by Journalists
Content upgrade: 25 Attention-Grabbing Subject Line Templates

5 Words Copywriters Shouldn’t Ignore
Content upgrade: 3 More Words, and Why They Work so Well

One tactic often used is to talk about how your readers can get the same results as you, then offer exactly what you did as a content upgrade (or, the other way around).

A bad approach to content upgrades, however, is to leave out anything of worth from the main content. It won’t get shared if it isn’t good in the first place, especially not on the merit of a downloadable item only part of your readers will see.

For a good place to start, go back through old content that gets a lot of traffic and add a content upgrade. You know the original piece is good enough already, so you’re not hiding value behind an email address wall, but you’re definitely harnessing the power of free stuff to build your list, generate leads and make sales.

So, go and check out your high traffic posts and start brainstorming ways you could make them better.

The ROI is so high, it’s hard to resist.


Finding ways on how to generate leads? Watch our video

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Speaking of FREE stuff, grab a copy of our FREE EBOOK The Ultimate Lead Generation Kit Ebook! Updated with links to the best and latest techniques that will help generate quality sales leads for your business

 The Ultimate Lead Generation Kit Ebook


In B2B Lead Generation, it’s the Offer that Makes or Breaks


Although it’s been repeatedly depicted in movies and novels, you really can’t trick people into buying things they don’t want or need. You can’t hypnotize them and make an army of loyal customers. The best you can do is motivate them, persuade them or stimulate them. And how do you do that?

I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” – Don Vito Corleone, The Godfather

Why is that line so famous? Aside from the fact that Marlon Brando uttered it, the line also presents a solution to most of our problems when dealing with other people. To get their attention, or to get something out of them, make them an offer – one that’s hard for them to pass on.

In essence, that’s what lead generation is all about.

It’s a delicate process, and it involves understanding the people that you’re selling to. In Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing, it gets even trickier – this necessitates an even deeper discovery of how these prospect companies engage themselves in vendors and potential business partners.

Is your product or service what they WANT?

A lot of businesses have something that customers can benefit from, or things that would help them reach their goals. Sometimes, businesses even have thing that customers NEED.

However, if customers don’t WANT these products, everything else won’t matter anyway.  For instance, you’re an IT vendor trying to sell the latest email marketing automation software to a company, and this software is an absolute necessity – it cuts costs, manpower and increases efficiency. However, if that particular company doesn’t want your product despite how perfect it is, you’re still going to have a difficult time to convince them.

What are the offers that prospects bite?

Now if the awesomeness of your product doesn’t seem to be enough to convert a prospect to a customer, you have to come up with an offer. What they would want is an offer that:

  • increases business response but lowers risk
  • reduces cost but adds urgency
  • improves operations, services and deals
  • raises profits and generates public curiosity
  • widens perspectives but zeroes-in on the goal

If a prospect is able to see any of these offers, they have no choice but at least consider your business. In the end, it’s all about presenting them what they desire, because when it comes to weighing things, it’s easy to convince them of what they need, but it’s difficult to impose on what they want.