A marketer practically goes through a trial by fire to find qualified leads for the sales department.
Nonetheless, despite their best efforts, they need effective strategies at the bottom of the funnel to generate more SQL.
Because regardless of how many MQLs you generate, 79% of them veritably fail to convert into SQL. To keep leads from fizzling out, brands run multiple campaigns at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
If you are new to the concept, learn the difference between MQL and SQL here.
Your company’s revenues depend highly upon your SQL numbers. Therefore, it is imperative you have a game plan in mind to meet your target.
I am sharing nine strategies that have so far driven significant results.
1. Run Direct Email Campaigns
Recently, I received a string of emails from WordPress about the new sales deal they’re offering to their existing customers.
While currently, I am not ready for a paid plan, there’s a possibility I might purchase a hosting service in the future. And when that time comes, I would likely go for WordPress as I am now relatively more familiar with its products.
Direct email can help you generate 65% of your SQL. They are personalized, targeted, and customized to their audience’s needs.
Furthermore, the email metrics also show how to identify MQL and SQL. For instance, if you were a hosting company and got my lackluster response to your mail, you’d have shifted your content from direct sales to lead nurturing.
If you’re interested in exploring this option, here’re a few email techniques to get more SQL.
- Write a catchy subject line. You can boost 50% of click-through rate by drafting a persuasive title.
- Use colloquial language and concise content. Readers usually skim large emails.
- Include clear CTA. Prospects abandon the page if they aren’t sure how to proceed.
- Automate your email to improve productivity. Tools like Mailchimp make it easier for you to send bulk emails to a large customer base.
2. Filter Out Unqualified Leads
Putting all your efforts into a qualified lead, only to realize your quarry was merely a curious visitor is a nightmare for a salesperson. Filter out your unqualified leads to help you keep your focus entirely on SQL.
Generally, the marketing team uses lead scoring to weed out generic traffic. It is a method to rank the status of your prospects. You compare your lead’s characteristics against your buyer’s persona and remove those who fail to meet your criteria.
If you take my previous WordPress example, my shopping patterns and professional interests are two indicators to identify my position as an MQL. As a freelancer, I use WordPress to showcase my portfolio and would unlikely turn to SQL, unless I decided to start an affiliate site.
While WordPress, undoubtedly, can afford to run extensive email campaigns, a small business would struggle with a tight budget. In such a case conducting a lead scoring, particularly after a short email campaign, might notably increase your SQL number.
You can calculate your lead score by observing your visitor’s online behavior and personal information. It is a tedious process, I know, but several tools are available to automate your task.
Keap is one such sales app that calculates the lead score of your prospect. There’s an option in it by the name of Manage Scoring where you can set up your perquisites and place the actions on auto-pilot.
If you’re looking for a CRM plus sales software that really works, Keap is something you should definitely try. It has a diverse range of features on audience segmentation.
3. Add A Leadbot to Your Site
Leadbot is an AL assistant similar to a chatbot. It gathers data on your behalf to identify sales-qualified leads.
Think of it as a smart questionnaire. Just as a Sales Person seeks information through survey forms, a leadbot pry the answers from your visitor with well-placed queries. Any data you wish to obtain, feed it to your leadbot and let the AL do the heavy work.
Astonishingly, you can try different scripts for each page.
Here, let me give you an example.
Drift is a sales automation platform that provides multiple services, including a chatbot, to improve the user experience.
When I visited the site, a bot suddenly appeared, greeting me with an inquiry and solving my problem, which naturally was their product.
While I was meandering around, the same bot materialized, pitching me about their virtual event program.
At every page I explored, the leadbot trailed behind, shooting questions after questions to evaluate what catches my interest. It was a highly engaging experience for me and a resourceful action for the Drift. I learned about the brand, and Drift collected my personal data.
57% of professionals believe chatbots bring high ROI to the business. Install them on your site to increase your SQL.
If you require further details on LeadBot, look up Drift. The brand offers valuable information on Chatbots.
4. Offer Freemium to Get More SQL
Freemium is a sure way to generate more SQL.
For one, you can quickly gain MQL at a relatively low cost because no one rejects a free service. Second, a person using freemium will be a confirmed MQL as no curious visitor will operate free software merely to avoid boredom.
With an MQL within your reach, you’d have a higher probability of converting them to SQL through upselling or cross-selling.
Take Mailchimp, for example.
When the email service company announced its freemium plan in 2009, Mailchimp received a massive boost in its ROI that year. Today, freemium is one reason MailChimp has a strong customer base.
Get inspiration from famous brands and add freemium to your pricing strategy to increase your SQL.
Here are a few ways to implement a freemium strategy.
- Offers a lifetime-free plan with limited features. It’s a common technique most SaaS companies employ.
- Provide 100% free services. Popular apps like Skype use this model to cross-sell their products.
- Partner with a third party and sell your product through their freemium, like WordPress Ad-ones.
5. Adopt Cold Calling Strategy
Cold calling is a traditional method of generating leads by reaching your prospects through a phone call or in-person meeting.
This sales pitch technique may seem like a thing of the past, but trust me, companies still use it to scale their business.
In fact, you’d be surprised how many successful companies have built their customer base with cold calling.
Did you know Travis Kalanick, co-founder of Uber, when he kick-started his company in 2009, he earned his initial clients via old-fashioned phone calls?
Despite its obsolete nature, cold calling is an effective lead generation strategy because 49% of prospects respond positively to phone calls.
For B2B organizations, cold calling is practically essential as their products and services often require in-person sessions.
Explore this option to get more SQL.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you make a cold call.
- Buyers typically take five calls before they consider your proposal. So be patient in the face of rejection.
- If you run a B2B business, make sure you schedule your call between 3 to 5:00pm. It’s the time when the work pace is relatively slow.
- Prepare a script in advance for your call. It will help you stay focused on your task.
I am sharing a few cold-calling scripts with you. A sales automation company called Xant has created the templates.
6. Use Long-Tail Keywords
SEO optimization is a clever demand generation strategy to capture generic leads, but you can also employ this tactic to increase your SQL. All you need to do is, narrow down your research and pick long-tail keywords from your list.
Long-tail keywords are phrases visitors type into the Google bar to search for a product or solution. Unlike general keywords, long-tail keywords are very specific and imply the person has already gone through the buyer’s journey.
Meaning, prospects use long phrases when they are looking for a particular product. So, optimize your landing page with long-tail keywords to generate more SQL. As long-tail keywords generally have low competition, they will draw only qualified leads to your site.
You can hire an SEO expert to find relevant keywords and start building your content around them. Or you can do it yourself using tools like SEMrush.
SEMrush gives you a clear picture of your keyword worth and your competitor’s interest in that keyword. Plus, it has tons of other features and SEO tools to help you get more organic traffic.
AnswerThePublic is my favorite tool to generate long-tail keywords. It pulls up questions real people ask all over the web.
7. Optimize Bottom of the Funnel Content
Bottom of the funnel content not only converts MQL to SQL but also grabs new qualified leads, ultimately increasing your SQL.
At the bottom of your funnel, you actively persuade your leads using creative methods to buy your products. For instance, Cardinal Digital Marketing, and SEO agency, gained 18% of its customers by merely publishing testimonials and attracted 40% of new prospects with case studies.
Some businesses offer gated content like free templates or eBooks on their landing page – many posts comparison blogs to highlight their product features.
Share testimonials to establish trust in your brand, case studies to showcase your product in a positive light, and compelling CTA to prompt action.
You can also study your competitor to analyze which BOFU content might help you get more SQL.
8. Engage Your Social Media Audience
Social media is a powerful platform to generate most of your leads. You can map out a full-fledged marketing plan for your buyer’s journey, from brand awareness, interest stage to sales.
3.96 billion people are on social media currently, and nearly 40% of businesses rely on it to increase their revenues. Take advantage of this incredible resource pool and create strategies to guide fans toward your sales funnel.
Luckily, as your marketing department has already gathered the followed-through brand awareness, you don’t have to start from scratch.
Get insight into your lead’s behavior from the previous Ad’s response and customize your post to drive your SQL to click the CTA link. Posting sharable content will allow you to evaluate which MQL is ready to convert into SQL.
If the number of qualified leads appears below the mark, run LeadAds with discount offers to attract SQL outside your fan base. Discounting is a proven technique to gain paying customers.
9. Automate Your Sales Process
Do you recall, in my third point, I encouraged installing LeadBot on your landing page? Sales Automation tools like LeadBot optimize your time and help you efficiently run your process.
By automating your tasks, you can reduce the chances of errors and generate more SQL with minimal effort.
The B2B software tracks your site visitor data, removes unqualified leads, and presents SQL that might be ready to convert. This app, to some extent, ignores the manual task of identifying potential customers.
Similarly, Survicate, another automation software, gathers feedback from your buyers by email or links forms. With Survicate, you can quickly compile your prospect data.
Automate your time-consuming jobs with available sales tools to keep your focus on important matters. Good Luck!
To contrive some of these strategies, you may have to work together with your marketing team.
So, if you are on shaky terms, I suggest calling a temporary truce to get the job done. You can always go back to the old ways later.