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What is a Quality Lead? Definition and How to Measure

To close sales, you need leads.

On the surface, that can seem obvious. But it goes deeper than that. It’s not just about having leads. You need the right leads to close sales that generate profits.

If you have 100 warm-to-cold leads in your pipeline and none close, you’re not doing yourself any favours. However, with 25 qualified leads, you can see a bountiful return.

When it comes to leads, we’re not focusing on quantity. We’re talking about quality.

But what is a quality lead? How can you identify them? And how can you make sure that your business can generate these profitable prospects? 

Read on to find out.

What defines a quality lead?

First, let’s talk about what we mean by “quality lead.” Here are a few common characteristics of high-quality leads that B2B sales teams worldwide should be looking out for.

1. Expressed interest

A quality lead’s first and most obvious characteristic is that they’ve expressed interest in your company and what you offer. This interest could come in completely cold, where the lead contacts you out of the blue. 

But this could also be someone encountered through video prospecting, advertising, and cold calling. These prospects might have expressed interest in the offer cooked up by your marketing team. That interest makes them a quality lead. 

Someone clicking on a Facebook ad and following it through to your landing page or website would also be a great example of a quality lead showing interest.

When users arrive at your website, there’s a high chance they’re already interested in your company. 

The next step is making sure they convert into sales. You need to be ready to capitalise on the interest of a quality lead. For this reason, it’s crucial to optimise your website with engaging copy and content. 

You can use an article writer to create original articles for your blog. One of the benefits of an article writer tool is that it can optimise your content for search engines. It does this by adding keywords, which will organically draw in more interested parties.

Of course, sometimes it’s not interest in your company that qualifies a lead, but an interest in the kinds of products you sell.

For example, let’s say you sell youth sporting goods. While looking for quality leads, a member of your sales team is perusing social media communities for the parents of student-athletes. On that page, your sales associate sees a father inquiring about where to find the best quality football cleats and shin guards for his son. 

This person hasn’t directly contacted you for information. However, they’re still a quality lead. They’re someone actively searching for a product you sell. Reaching out to them or commenting on the post could be enough to get you a sale. 

2. Fits your audience profile

You should already know who your ideal customers are. You should have identified these demographics based on factors like age, geographic location, gender, marital status, budget, etc.

When you have a lead that fits perfectly into one of your buyer personas, you have a quality lead with a high likelihood of conversion.

Buyer Persona

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These quality leads are valuable because they’re more likely to engage, purchase, and become loyal customers. 

For Clean Origin, a brand specialising in man-made diamond engagement rings, couples who are about to get married fit into a major buyer persona. 

Here’s why these couples represent quality leads:

Purchase intent: Couples who want to get married clearly intend to purchase an engagement ring, making them ideal for Clean Origin’s marketing. They’re actively seeking a symbol of their commitment and are in the market for a high-quality diamond ring. Their intent to make a significant purchase aligns perfectly with Clean Origin’s offerings.

Product relevance: These couples are specifically looking for an engagement ring, meaning the products offered are relevant to their needs. 

Emotional connection: Engagement rings hold deep emotional significance, representing lifelong commitment and love. Couples invest time and effort into finding the perfect ring that symbolises their unique love story. 

By targeting this audience, Clean Origin can tap into the emotional aspect of the purchasing decision. It connects with couples on a personal level and offers a memorable and meaningful experience.

Clean Origin

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An important part of any buyer persona to remember is income and budget. It doesn’t do you any good to attract leads that can’t afford your service. They’ll lower your conversion rate and create erroneous work for the sales team.

If a lead hits every marker in your ideal customer profile except for the budget, they’re not a quality lead.

3. Needs your product or service

You can determine lead quality based on a customer’s pain points. If their needs match your offer, then you have a quality lead who deserves time and attention.

For example, if you’re selling bulk health club memberships to businesses, an office manager who just instituted a healthy living initiative needs your service. That makes them a quality lead. 

Customer Needs Analysis

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A company with a health club contract with a competitor priced lower or equal to yours with similar resources won’t have a strong need. It’d be a low-quality lead. 

For Termly, a platform that offers privacy policy generators, quality leads are those who actively seek to generate a privacy policy. These are people with a need for a specific service — one that Termly can provide.

Privacy and data protection have become critical concerns in an increasingly digital world. Individuals and businesses recognise the importance of following privacy regulations.

This includes the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Those who actively seek to generate a privacy policy are demonstrating a commitment to meeting legal requirements. It’s a move to safeguard the privacy of their users or customers.

This example is more than just a simple product that someone wants or a nice-to-have service. It’s something a qualified lead needs to remain compliant with the law. Someone starting a web-based business would then be a quality lead for Termly.

4. Ready to buy soon

Purchase intent is vital in determining quality leads, especially in commission-based industries like real estate.

Regarding high-value leads for real estate agents, there are a few different factors to consider.

First, the lead should be pre-qualified, meaning that they have expressed an interest in buying or selling a property and they’ve met specific criteria, such as having a budget and being pre-approved for a loan. Use requirements such as leads having online savings accounts to be sure they’re qualified.

Second, the lead should be in the market now, meaning they’re ready to buy, sell, or rent soon. 

Third, the lead should be a good fit for the agent’s business, meaning that they’re looking for the type of property that the agent specialises in, such as commercial real estate or rental properties.

5 ways to attract leads

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5. Potential to recur

Retention is the backbone of profitability. You don’t just want to bring in leads for one-time purchases.

It’s better to create loyal customers that will come back repeatedly. This retention creates a profitable base that lays the foundation for your business’s future.

5 ways to gain repeat customers

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Someone who needs your services temporarily is a good short-term lead. However, they’re not staying. That means there’s not a lot of opportunity for retention. This lead is more short-term, offering you a small boost in the present. But they won’t be a quality lead in the future.

How to measure lead quality

Many companies encounter a recurring problem after launching a lead generation campaign: identifying the quality of leads collected. 

That happens through a process called lead scoring. When scoring leads, you assign point values to specific actions. For example, visiting your website would be worth a set number of points. Living in the target area would be worth additional points. However, points get deducted if the lead lives outside your service area. 

Lead scoring

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It’s not easy to keep track of your lead scores. Fortunately, there’s software that can help companies understand this data, like composable CDP. This kind of software allows for the centralisation and efficient management of customer data, including leads. It can easily integrate different data sources, identifying potential and qualifying customers more accurately and effectively.

But that’s not the only tool you can use to identify quality leads. 

Real-time cloud accounting software like SoftLedger allows businesses to track their finances accurately with real-time data. It’s like a comprehensive diary that records all economic events affecting a company, including sales. In this regard, it helps to identify quality leads for retention and remarketing.

For example, through SoftLedger, you can track which current customers consistently pay on time or make substantial purchases. These could be indications of a quality remarketing lead. The software can also give you insights into which products or services are most popular. That provides valuable clues about what might attract more quality leads.  

Conversely, this software can help you identify less promising leads. Those consistently late with payments or making minimal purchases may not offer the same value as others.

If you’re working with an outside marketing agency, they can help you keep track of your lead scores.

Consider working with a full service email marketing agency specialising in managing and leveraging email lists. They can be critical players in acquiring and nurturing quality leads. 

Let’s break down how.

Imagine you run a sports equipment business. A quality lead for you could be a school district with a huge sports program and the purchasing power for high-end sports equipment. You may attract them through blog articles, social media, or local events. However, getting their attention is just the first step.

Once these quality leads come in, the agency keeps track of them and segments your quality leads accordingly. The firm you work with aids in maintaining contact with these potential customers. It sends targeted and personalised emails that keep your brand top of mind.

The firm nurtures quality leads toward a purchase by sharing information about the latest sports equipment, discounts, or useful tips. The more tailored the message, the more likely the lead will evolve from interest to actual purchase.

How can you generate quality leads?

Now that you know how to identify quality leads, it’s time to focus on how you can attract them. 

When it comes to generating quality leads, having effective lead magnets can make all the difference. A lead magnet is a valuable resource or enticing offer that businesses provide to potential customers in exchange for their contact information.

By implementing effective lead magnets, companies can capture the attention of their target audience and build a strong database of interested prospects.

Once identified and collected, leverage quality data using a CRM service to fuel marketing campaigns aimed at quality leads. You can create specific segments within customer audiences, sending out targeted and personalised messages. This approach improves communications and increases the chances of converting contacts into customers.

Additionally, you should be running targeted marketing campaigns, taking the qualities we’ve discussed above and directing your messaging in that direction. Platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads have advanced targeting capabilities. Using these lead magnets guarantees that the right people will see your content.

Quality leads: key takeaways

When marketing your products or services, you need quality leads. To review, a quality lead is someone who:

  • Has expressed interest in your business or services.
  • Fits into your buyer personas.
  • Has a need for what you offer.
  • Has immediate purchase intent.
  • Can potentially become a loyal recurring customer.

By focusing your marketing on these people, you’ll see an influx of higher-quality leads. These people are shopping with intent and will be grateful for your offer. Remember, just having a lot of leads won’t necessarily help your conversion rate. Keep the focus where it belongs, on quality.

If you follow the advice above, you can run highly targeted campaigns that increase profitability and create long-lasting customer relationships.

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