Posted by Brian Berg Google+
Today, most large B2B corporations engage in multi-channel marketing, with a wide variety of digital channels augmenting and even supplanting traditional routes like advertising, PR, trade shows, telemarketing, customer events, business to business mailing lists and others. Just because the channels through which customers and prospects are making contact have diversified, increased and changed does not mean that the fundamentals of qualification are different. Marketers must still deliver properly qualified leads to sales if they want to do their job properly.
All too often the providers of digital channels claim to generate ‘qualified’ leads. But just because a ‘lead’ comes from a digital source does not make it qualified! Few marketing managers would have sent a list of all attendees at a trade show stand straight to sales without filtering and qualifying them first, so why should a brochure or whitepaper downloaded be treated any differently?
We are all aware that the great advantage of the new channels that have emerged in the marketing world. Instead of receiving a single touchpoint from a prospect, perhaps a visit to your store after receiving a direct mail piece, it is likely that he or she will effectively be making contact in several ways maybe, a couple of click-throughs to your landing page, a white paper download, a question on Facebook and attendance at an exhibition.
If you take any one of the previous touchpoints in isolation, they will almost certainly not be properly qualified. Worse, they will have the effect of ‘infecting’ the real leads as once a salesperson sees a few bad leads, he or she tends to ignore all the others from the same source.
Additionally, many digital leads are essentially of the “pull” variety, generally taken from accounts that have been carrying out web research and are showing interest in the product or service your company offers. Some may already be in your database or your previous business mailing lists, but many others you will know nothing about, making qualifying the leads even more essential.