Leads: Quantity Versus Quality

Gathering leads is essential to the growth of any industrial business. Leads come from many sources – tradeshows, events, ads, and more. Many judge the effectiveness of their lead gathering campaigns by the number of leads generated… but is quantity the best way to measure that?

All your marketing efforts aim to generate high-quality leads that convert into paying customers. Quantity is important, however, if your marketing efforts bring in a thousand leads yet only one or two convert into customers, then the odds are good you wasted a lot of marketing dollars. On the other hand, if your efforts brought in 100 leads and half converted into customers, you will be quite busy indeed. On average, 1 in 10 leads will convert into paying customers. So the higher the quality of the lead, the better the return you will get on your marketing investment.

The chance of converting a high-quality lead is much higher than converting any other leads you receive. Striking a balance between quantity and quality is the key to better results and increased sales from your lead generation efforts.

What is a high-quality lead?

Lead quality, as you can probably guess, measures the specific value of each lead. A high-quality lead is one that has already expressed interest in your product or service and is highly likely to convert into a paying customer. A low-quality lead is one that isn’t really interested in what you offer and is not expected ever to become a customer. So, how do you differentiate a high-quality lead from a low-quality lead?

What is lead scoring?

Lead scoring assigns a score to each of your leads based on specific interaction criteria. Some companies call these “hot” or “cold” leads, some assign letter rankings, and some use numerical rankings, but all boil down to whether or not the particular lead is ready to become a paying customer.

The interaction criteria, and thus the rank for the lead, can come from various sources. Sources such as: 

  • Whitepaper downloads
  • CAD drawing downloads
  • Clicks on ads on industry directories
  • Form submissions (RFQ or contact)
  • Newsletter subscription signup
  • Email opens or clicks
  • Website page visits
  • Social media engagements
  • Sample requests
  • And much more

Your job shop invests a lot of time, energy, and money into generating leads to turn into new customers. As we have stated, a high-quality lead will more likely become a paying customer.

How does lead quality affect your ROI?

Focusing on the quality of your leads rather than how many leads you generate helps you build better relationships with these potential customers. This increases the chance they will buy from you, customer loyalty, and the lead’s ultimate lifetime value to your company.

Despite the smaller number of leads you may receive, they are highly targeted and very interested in what you have to offer. This means you will spend significantly less money grabbing that new customer while simultaneously gaining higher ROI.

So, how do you find and target the high-quality leads you want?

  • Set achievable goals
  • Target the right people
  • Work with an expert

Set achievable goals

In a nutshell, your marketing team is responsible for finding high-quality leads, while your sales team is responsible for nurturing those leads. These two teams must coordinate their efforts so that each team knows exactly what they are responsible for and in what time frame. This collaboration is vital to the overall ROI on each lead. Make sure that each team has specific goals, objectives, and reasonable time frames to work from.

Target the right people

We have spoken at length about your “ideal customer” and here is where knowing them is critical. When you know who you want to target, you can more easily find where they would be so that you can target them. Would advertising in an industry directory be the best place? Maybe an ad in a trade publication would work better. Perhaps they prefer social media, and a LinkedIN campaign would work best. Knowing where to focus your advertising dollars to get in front of an interested potential customer and get them to click on your ad or otherwise interact with you will significantly benefit your industrial company.

Work with an expert

Achieving just the right mix of quantity and quality is challenging. The sales and marketing teams need to work hand-in-hand to rank each lead; it can also be a good idea to hire an outside expert to strike the proper balance between the two teams. This expert needs to speak both teams’ languages and find solutions to harmonize the lead nurturing process.

If the quality or quantity of the leads your job shop generates is insufficient, your business will likely suffer. There is no single formula for the right mix or how to achieve it. Your company needs to experiment to find the right balance that works best for your specific shop. Gathering a lot of leads looks great on paper but be sure to prioritize the quality of lead over the quantity – you won’t regret it!

All industrial – all the time!

With over 30 years of experience, The Rico Group specializes in helping industrial manufacturers and job shops grow their businesses and diversify their customer base. We are your bolt-on marketing department. Our solutions give you the full capabilities of an in-house marketing department at a fraction of what it would cost you to hire a full-time marketing crew. We know how engineers think and what they are looking for. We know your processes, equipment, and materials. We also know that you have very little time to take away from your production and getting your customer’s orders delivered.

Interested to see what your current digital marketing efforts are really doing for your company?

We offer a free comprehensive analysis of your company’s online marketing to give you insights into what your true digital footprint is and how you can improve it. The report also comes with an in-depth competitor analysis and a free expert consultation to review the report with you and answer any questions you may have.

Also, please grab a free copy of our comprehensive digital marketing success guide to help you accelerate your job shop’s growth. The guide walks you through the process of generating more qualified leads for your industrial manufacturing company.

Our industrial clients swear by our strategies – because they work.

Grow your manufacturing business with better marketing with The Rico Group.


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