From Cold to Gold: How to Measure Lead Quality

December 7th, 2023 by Gi Levet

SI - Measuring Lead Quality

Key Insights

  • Quality of digital marketing leads always trumps quantity of leads.
  • Knowing the differences between high-quality and low-quality leads helps you determine the quality of your own leads.
  • Ongoing measurement is a multi-step process that gives you a consistent pulse on the quality of your sales leads.
  • Several tools can help you with DIY lead tracking and scoring, such as Google Analytics and CallRail.

Leads are the lifeblood of digital marketing, offering valuable insights and opportunities to connect with potential customers.

However, to actually see the impact of these leads, you need to understand that not all leads are created equal. Having leads doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dominating your industry.

The idea “The more the merrier!” works well for click-through rates and conversions. When it comes to leads, quality trumps quantity. Having a funnel of incoming leads might look good on paper, but it’s the high-quality leads that drive business growth.

That’s exactly why 79% of marketers identified generating quality leads as their main goal, according to Semrush research.

But how do you know the quality of your sales leads?

Two words: ongoing measurement.

When you keep a steady pulse on the quality of your leads, you can:

  • better optimize your marketing strategies.
  • ensure efficient resource allocation.
  • boost your conversion rates.

In this post, we’ll discuss how to measure lead quality, why it’s so important, and what it can mean for the success of your marketing campaigns.

What Is Lead Quality?

A lead in digital marketing refers to an individual or entity that has expressed interest in a product or service, typically through an action or engagement online. This could be through activities such as filling out a contact form or downloading key content on your site.

“Quality” pertains to the potential of a lead to convert into a customer.

There’s a spectrum of lead quality, akin to the classic temperature scale (from cold to hot). These lead quality categories include:

  • Unqualified: Unqualified leads are those who have shown some level of interest in your products or services but have not been vetted to determine if they are a good fit for what is being offered. These leads may lack the necessary budget, authority, need, or timeline to make a purchase. Unqualified leads require more time and resources to nurture and qualify, and there is a higher likelihood that they may not convert into customers.
  • Qualified: Qualified leads have passed a certain evaluation threshold, indicating they are more likely to be interested in and capable of purchasing the product or service. This evaluation might include verifying that the lead has the budget, authority, need, and a specific timeline — ensuring a higher chance of conversion. Qualified leads are generally more informed about your product or service and have shown genuine interest, making them easier to convert into customers than unqualified leads.
  • Ideal qualified: Ideal qualified leads represent the best potential customers, meeting all the criteria that define an ideal buyer for the product or service. These leads have the budget, authority, need, and timeline to partner with you. They also align with your target market and buyer persona. They are highly likely to convert and have a strong potential to become long-term, valuable customers. Nurturing and closing deals with ideal qualified leads tends to require less effort and resources, providing a higher return on investment.

Assessing High-Quality and Low-Quality Leads

Knowing the key differences between high-quality and low-quality leads helps your sales and marketing teams determine the quality of your leads.

At first, we recommend starting your lead assessment as a manual process. This will help you familiarize yourself with your leads and help you define what quality looks like for your brand. Ideally, you can automate your lead ratings from then on.

Let’s put this into perspective with an example.

Say you’re a higher education marketer responsible for ensuring your institution’s undergraduate programs attract and enroll the most qualified and interested students.

To effectively do so, you take a look at three main qualifiers/differences:

Behavioral differences

  • High-Quality Leads: Engage actively with content, often returning to your university’s website multiple times. A high-quality lead interacts more with calls-to-action and may spend longer durations on key pages. They frequently participate in admission/open house webinars, download course catalogs, or engage in live chats with admissions counselors.
  • Low-Quality Leads: Display passive or erratic behavior, like bouncing quickly from the website. These leads have limited interactions with the site’s main features or content. They rarely engage in deeper interactions, such as signing up for campus events or accessing gated content, such as program requirements.

Level of purchase intent or interest differences

  • High-Quality Leads: Display a clear interest in specific courses or programs, often inquiring about curriculum details, faculty, or research opportunities.
  • Low-Quality Leads: Express a vague or general interest, like “I’m thinking about studying business somewhere.” Low-quality leads rarely ask detailed or specific questions indicating deeper interest.

Demographic and target audience differences

  • High-Quality Leads: Often fit the typical age range and academic prerequisites of the intended program. These leads may hail from regions or schools that frequently send students to your institution. They possess a strong academic or extracurricular background aligning with your program’s focus.
  • Low-Quality Leads: Might fall outside the typical age or academic background suitable for the program. They may have educational aspirations that don’t match the institution’s offerings.

Once you’ve assessed the criteria of your leads, you have a blueprint to apply to future measurements.

SI - Measuring Lead Quality

Importance of Lead Quality in Digital Marketing

Lead quality is the secret sauce of online advertising success. But it’s not just because better leads = higher probability of more conversions.

Measuring lead quality is an involved, insightful, and impactful process. When you take the time to measure it, you can benefit from:

  • Efficient use of marketing budget and resources: Optimizing toward lead quality allows for a targeted approach, maximizing the impact of every marketing dollar spent. This reduces wasted budget on unqualified leads, ensuring more resources are directed toward potential conversions.
  • Direct influence on sales efforts and productivity: High-quality leads increase the efficiency of your sales team, enabling them to close deals more effectively. This reduces time spent chasing leads with low conversion potential, increasing overall sales productivity.
  • The link between lead quality and customer lifetime value: High-quality leads are more likely to become loyal customers, leading to repeated sales over time. This increases overall revenue for your company, as these leads not only convert but can also advocate for your brand, bringing in more potential customers.

How does lead quality impact conversion rates?

Lead quality plays a pivotal role in conversion rates, as it directly influences a potential customer’s likelihood to purchase or engage with a product or service.

High quality leads align with the target demographic and have demonstrated a clear interest in what a company has to offer, both of which sets the state for a smoother conversion process. These high-quality leads tend to move more quickly and efficiently through the sales funnel because their intent to purchase is clear and strong from the outset.

As a result, there’s a reduced chance of these leads dropping out or losing interest mid-funnel, ensuring that your sales team’s efforts are concentrated on prospects with the highest likelihood of converting.

How to Measure and Monitor Lead Quality

Measuring the quality of your leads can be a tough nut to crack, especially if you’re a first-timer. But it doesn’t have to be.

To help you get started, we’ve developed a set of best practices for assessing the quality of a lead:

Define your ideal lead

Create a profile of your ideal lead, considering factors like demographics, location, interests, and behaviors that align with your product or service. It’s important to be as precise as possible in this phase since this profile serves as the cornerstone for your lead quality assessment.

Think of it as sketching out a detailed buyer persona that embodies the characteristics of someone who would not just be interested in, but most likely to benefit from and purchase, your product or service.

Implement lead scoring

After you’ve crafted your ideal quality lead, implement a lead scoring system that assigns points to various lead attributes and behaviors.

For example, a lead visiting a pricing page might get more points than one just reading a blog post. A lead that matches your ideal customer profile in terms of demographics might also receive higher points.

This scoring system acts as a quantitative method to gauge lead quality, enabling your teams to prioritize their efforts on the most promising leads and, thereby, optimize the overall efficiency of your sales process.

Track engagement metrics

Use analytics tools (HotJar is one of our favorites) to monitor how leads engage with your content. These lead qualification platforms provide insight into key data points, such as:

  • Which web pages your leads visit
  • How long your leads stay on your site
  • What actions your leads take (e.g., downloading a whitepaper or signing up for a webinar)

By meticulously tracking these lead quality metrics, you gain an insider’s look into which pages and pieces of content your leads resonate with the most, helping you refine your marketing strategy.

Evaluate the lead source

To understand the value of your leads, you need to pinpoint where they come from, such as social media platforms, organic search results, or referral programs.

And, just like the leads themselves, not all lead sources are created equal.

From the data you gather, determine which sources generate the most qualified leads using your ideal lead persona and scoring system. In evaluating your lead source, you set yourself up to allocate your marketing resources to the channels that yield the best results — ultimately enhancing your overall lead generation strategy.

Monitor conversion rates

You need to monitor how long it takes for leads to move through the funnel and become customers.

Quality leads often convert faster than low-quality ones.

If the majority of your leads are quickly progressing through the sales funnel, it’s a clear signal that A.) they’re qualified and B.) you’re doing something right with your strategy.

Regularly review and refine

It’s important to keep in mind that lead quality isn’t static. How your ideal lead looks today may change just a few years down the line.

That’s why you need to regularly review and adjust your lead quality criteria, scoring methods, and evaluation processes to ensure they align with business objectives and market changes.

Just like digital marketing strategies, the lead assessment tactics that evolve over time are the ones that have the greatest impact on your bottom line.

Tools and Software for Evaluating Lead Quality

If you’re overwhelmed with all that lead measurement entails, there are tools at that help with the heavy lifting.

At Search Influence, we recommend a these platforms to streamline lead tracking and scoring:

  • CallRail: For call tracking and lead source attribution
  • CRM systems: HubSpot and Salesforce for lead management and scoring
  • Google Analytics: For website behavior and conversion path analysis

All of these tools offer granular insights that you can use throughout your lead quality measurement — from creating your ideal lead to tracking conversion rates.

If you’re still not sold on measuring your own leads, you can consult an experienced lead-tracking agency to do it for you.

Lead Tracking With Search Influence

According to Hubspot, over 50% of marketers across the globe find generating leads and traffic their most challenging task. Is it yours?

Search Influence offers expert analytics and lead tracking services to help you make more informed decisions about targeting your ideal lead. When you work with us, we’ll help you know the impact of your marketing efforts with everything from website form and call tracking to comprehensive reporting and ROI analysis. We’ll identify your target audience, track all interactions, and pinpoint the best opportunities to improve lead quality.

Don’t let the complexity of your leads leave you in the dark.

Contact us today to explore the depth of our lead tracking services and tap into our industry-leading expertise.


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