Anyone who’s ever had to sort through lists of leads knows that lead quality often matters more than their quantity. Even thousands of leads wouldn’t amount to anything, except lots of wasted time, if they are not a good match for your product or service.
At the same time, being too picky and filtering out too many potential leads from your funnel will severely restrict your volume, even to the detriment of successful conversions.
So there is a balance somewhere, which is good to keep in mind when constructing your conversion funnel. The flow of leads should be stable enough to keep your BDRs busy, without overwhelming them or letting through low-quality leads that would never convert to actual customers.
Let’s explore a few proven ways to increase lead quality in your conversion funnel today.
Tip: Instantly increase lead quality with the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning by using Lift AI — a unique buyer intent solution that integrates into your existing tools and provides accurate lead scores for every website visitor, even if they are completely anonymous.
How to Increase Lead Quality - The Traditional Way
When planning out your inbound lead generation, increasing traffic might yield more SQLs on an absolute basis, but without thinking about lead quality, your conversion rates are likely to plummet.
Historically, the best way to increase lead quality was to (1) focus on the right metrics and (2) think about how your leads compare to your ICP (ideal customer profile) early in the conversion funnel.
The first step in the process is to define or revisit your ICP. Is your ICP description attainable? Are your estimates of the number of ICPs in the market correct? Talk to your sales team and see how close good leads come to resembling the ICP. It’s possible that the definition should be relaxed (or in some cases tightened) to better represent the market.
The second step is finding at what stage of the funnel your lead quality is inadequate. Go through the analytics and see how many website visitors become leads. Then see how many leads become opportunities. After that, track how many opportunities end up closing. Finally, estimate the average time and nurturing efforts required for successful customer conversions.
The third step is to find where your lead quality is at its lowest (fewest conversions or longest time to convert). For most companies, the answer is the initial website traffic. Thus, increasing the quality of the website traffic will result in higher quality leads overall.
How to analyze web traffic for conversions
The problem with web traffic is that it’s anonymized and only analyzed in aggregate. While most companies run ads, work on their SEO, and get word-of-mouth referrals, they can only successfully de-anonymize those visitors who convert to leads at a later date. The rest, perhaps 95% will stay anonymous forever.
So marketers attempt to circumvent this limitation with tactics including:
- Create custom landing pages for different sources of traffic. You can then create more tailored experiences for specific audiences.
- Ask visitors to self-select into separate funnels based on industry or other attributes. This will most likely require changes to your web UX.
- Greet visitors with live chat to engage more of them at an early stage. Engaging as many visitors as possible is a lot of work, but it also tends to get the best results in terms of finding out who your visitors really are.
- Enable pop-up prompts with quick questions, surveys, or polls. Make sure they aren’t intrusive and can be resolved with a single click.
Introducing more steps for your website visitors to go through might negatively affect your conversion rates and create more work for your sales team (in the case of live chat), but most companies are willing to make that tradeoff to get more information and increase lead quality across the board.
However, the latest advances in AI make it possible to know who your web visitors actually are without sacrificing any conversions.
How to get next-level lead quality with AI - the new way
For years, assessing lead quality has been mostly manual work — talking to customers and deciding whether they are or not a good fit. At best, customers could self-select themselves. Regardless, these tactics are time-consuming and prone to errors.
Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, never stops. It can aggregate massive amounts of data and process virtually unlimited amounts of traffic to determine buyer intent in real time.
As a result, AI tools can save companies time on manual processes (or designing new processes), improve accuracy, and increase lead quality — all at the same time.
The best (and only) example of a real-time buyer intent solution in action is Lift AI.
Lift AI is powered by a unique machine-learning model trained on billions of data points and over 14 million live sales interactions. Leveraging its data sets, Lift AI can instantly analyze any visitor on your website and determine how likely they are to buy your solution. It does so by processing the behavioral signals of each visitors in real-time and asinine them a “buyer intent score” between 0-100 (where 100 is extremely likely to convert).
This process works even for completely anonymous visitors that haven’t been previously recorded in your CRM, ABM tool, or other marketing tools.
As a result, you can instantly know which part of your audience is ready for conversion, skipping the whole nurturing stage.
Lift AI buyer intent scores can be integrated into practically any tool throughout your marketing stack, from MA systems to CRMs to live chat.
For example, live chat supercharged by Lift AI offers unique opportunities to segment traffic into cohorts with high and mid-to-low buyer intent. High buyer intent visitors can then be connected directly to your live BDRs (who have the highest chance of converting visitors vs any other tactic), while mid and low buyer intent visitors can be shown your nurturing funnel as usual (think chatbots, resource recommendation, etc).
This is critical — using Lift AI can increase your lead quality right at the web traffic stage, without any laborious involvement.
In fact, within 90 days, Lift AI tends to improve chat conversions up to 10 times. Take a look at Lift AI customers case studies from Formstack (MRR up by 422%) and PointClickCare (up 400%) to see for yourself.
Just think how much effort increasing lead quality used to take and compare that with accuracy and convenience of leveraging artificial intelligence in tools like Lift AI. The future is here, and it’s up to us to take advantage of it.