| May 10, 2024 | | 6 min read

Secrets to Boosting Lead Quality for Maximum ROI

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As an agency owner, lead generation is part of the job. While having a system that regularly generates lots of leads is a great start, it’s just as important to optimize for high-quality leads. 

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Lead quality is a measure of the potential value of the lead and how well-aligned it is with your agency's goals. Acquiring and nurturing leads uses agency resources, so the more you can direct those resources to highly qualified, high-value leads, the more your bottom line will thank you. In this blog post, we’re covering all things lead quality, from which metrics to track to how you can optimize your lead generation process to send more of your dream clients your way.

What is lead quality?

Lead quality refers to the likelihood of a prospect becoming a paying customer and the potential value of their business for your agency. However, depending on your goals, you might be interested in additional measures of quality on top of conversion likelihood and potential customer lifetime value (CTV). 

Understanding lead quality is important because it empowers you to focus your marketing agency lead generation efforts on the best possible prospects. This enables you to maximize your return on investment (ROI) and to work with clients who are well-aligned with your vision, values, agency brand, and goals.

Characteristics of a high-quality lead

The specific characteristics that are valued in a client can vary from one agency to the next, but they generally include the following: 

  • Alignment with your ideal customer profile (ICP): They closely match your target audience and ICP. The closer they are to your ideal client, the likelier it is that your solutions are well-suited to address their business challenges.
  • Engagement with your content: Engagement with your lead magnets, website, social media accounts, and other content shows an active interest in your agency, and indicates they value the solutions you offer.
  • Budget and CTV: Your lead’s budget should be aligned with your available pricing packages. The higher their likely CTV is, the more revenue they’ll generate for your business.
  • Decision-making power: When dealing with a contact at a potential B2B client, the more decision-making power they have, the better.
  • Timing: When leads enter your pipeline, they may be at an early point in the buying cycle and unprepared to make a purchase. As they progress through the pipeline, they represent a higher quality lead since they’re closer to converting.

Differentiating high-quality from low-quality leads is an important consideration, especially as your agency scales and you may have hundreds or thousands of leads in your pipeline. 

The best way to do this is by using a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, which draws on real-time lead behavior data and other metrics to automate the lead ranking process.  This lets you focus on the important part: closing more deals. Focusing on quality frees up resources from less promising leads and helps you boost your agency’s conversion rates and lead generation ROI.

Important metrics for lead quality

You know a CRM is your best friend when it comes to lead ranking, but what metrics should you prioritize? Make sure these factors go into your rankings.

Conversion rate

This is a measure of the percentage of leads captured by your lead generation system that successfully become paying customers. If you tend to generate 120 new leads per month and close 10, your conversion rate would be around 8%. 

This is a useful number for gauging the effectiveness of your lead nurturing and sales capabilities: you might have an excellent lead magnet that gets you lots of prospects, but if your conversion rate is low, it means there’s a bottleneck somewhere after the initial lead capture.

This can mean you either aren’t capturing appropriate leads that align with your ICP, your lead nurturing emails aren’t delivering enough value to prospects, or your sales strategies need tweaking to boost conversions.

Sometimes, the key to higher conversions is as simple as responding to leads faster. Check out this video that walks you through how to do just that:

Respond to Leads Immediately with AI-assisted Web Chat | Weekly update | December 7, 2023

Cost per lead

Capturing leads isn’t free. From advertising to networking and beyond, there are many types of lead generation—but they all come with a price tag. 

The ideal cost per lead can vary considerably depending on your marketing niche and the price of your services. If your average CTV is high, you can afford a higher cost per lead than an agency that focuses more on delivering affordable services to a large number of clients. However, no matter what your CTV is, it’s always wise to optimize for a lower lead acquisition cost to improve the ROI of your efforts.

Customer lifetime value

This is one of the most important lead quality metrics since it represents how much revenue a lead will bring your business throughout your relationship. 

While you may not have this data yet if you’re just starting your agency, it’s a good idea to start collecting it. High lead quality is generally correlated with a higher CLV, since these customers tend to stick around long term and buy multiple solutions from your agency. 

Return on investment

As with all digital marketing activities, it’s essential to measure the ROI for your efforts. This protects you from overspending on leads and running into the potential problem of spending more to acquire a lead than they’re worth.

How to best measure lead quality

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to measuring lead quality. A combination of these methods will cover your bases as a marketing agency.  

  • Use lead scoring techniques: To do this, come up with the criteria most relevant to your agency and assign a numerical value to leads for each criterion (for example, you might rank them from one to ten). Then, add up the scores to determine which leads should get the most urgent, dedicated follow-up. This can work for small agencies with a low number of leads
  • Analyzing lead source and engagement data: Your inbound lead generation strategy might include many sources, and some may deliver better lead quality than others. Track where your leads come from and prioritize those from high-value sources.
  • Use a CRM: The gold standard of quality scoring is a CRM that integrates with our other marketing software to pull all lead data to a single location. To automate lead generation and easily measure lead quality, a CRM is a must.
  • Conduct ongoing A/B testing: No matter how you find digital marketing clients, A/B testing your lead generation and nurturing process will help you optimize all the important metrics, like cost per lead, conversions, and ROI. 

How to improve lead quality

If you’re finding the quality of your leads is less than ideal, don’t worry: attracting your ideal clients is possible. Here’s how.  

  • Target the right audience segments through market research. Revisit your research to gain a better understanding of your ideal client's challenges, competitive landscape, and goals. This will help you improve your messaging and lead magnets and come up with more effective lead generation ideas.
  • Optimize your landing pages and lead capture forms. Test different variations of your landing pages and intake forms. Continue refining them to find a design that maximizes lead capture.
  • Implement better lead nurturing strategies. Enhance your lead nurturing email flows to provide high-quality content and plenty of value. This builds trust with your audience, so you can close more business.
  • Personalize your communication and content. Make your messaging and content more impactful by using personalization methods. Try different audience segments, and include content based on user behavior for a more tailored experience. 
  • Align your marketing and sales teams for better lead qualification. Make sure the handoffs between marketing and sales are seamless and pleasant for your prospect. They should never feel unsure of their main point of contact at your agency. 

Leads you should consider disqualifying 

Improving your lead quality isn’t just about uncovering those high-quality gems, it’s also about knowing when low-quality leads aren’t worth the effort. It can be tempting to pursue every lead when growing your business, but if they aren’t likely to convert, you’ll just waste valuable time and resources. 

Keep an eye out for these red flags: 

  • Low engagement with your content and communications
  • Inadequate budget
  • Lack of decision-making power
  • Poor reputation in their industry
  • Unrealistic expectations of what your services can achieve

An effective method to efficiently disqualify leads without wasting your time or theirs is to send them a simple questionnaire to capture the above information before they get passed on to sales.

About the Author

Lawrence Dy is the SEO Strategy Manager at Vendasta. His career spans from starting as a Jr. Copywriter in the automotive industry to becoming a Senior Editorial Content Manager in various digital marketing niches. Outside of work, Lawrence moonlights as a music producer/beatmaker and spends time with friends and family.

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