Marketers feel that sales don’t care enough about existing content and simply let it go unused. Sales teams say that marketers aren’t doing enough to deliver quality leads that show signs of purchase intent.
The rift between sales and marketing dates back to the earliest days of online marketing (probably earlier).
It’s a vicious circle that business leaders tried to solve by introducing marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs). Finally, an opportunity to get sales and marketing on the same page. Right?
Not exactly. It’s time to leave MQLs and SQLs behind in favor of conversation qualified leads (CQLs)—an approach built around great customer experiences.
Treat Prospects Like Real People
If you’ve been around since the online marketing first emerged, you may remember a time when lead generation seemed fairly simple. You could purchase expansive lists of leads and let your sales team start sorting through to schedule meetings.
Except those “leads” were mostly ineffective (surprise). That’s when we started forcing prospects to fill out forms. If we could just get website visitors to provide some information, we could deliver more qualified candidates to sales.
Forms, MQLs, SQLs—these were all created for our own benefit. What happened to the customer along the way? While we qualified our prospects, customers were left with frustrating experiences and interactions that never quite aligned with their needs.
In the age of the smartphone, people (both B2C and B2B buyers) expect everything readily available at their fingertips. And in just about every situation, their expectations are met.
If you aren’t treating prospects like real people (as opposed to a checklist of MQL criteria), they’ll go to your competitors. Customers have all the power and marketers need to adjust accordingly.
Enter Drift and the concept of CQLs.
Benefits of CQLs with Drift
Recognizing the inefficiencies of MQLs and SQLs, Drift coined the idea of conversation qualified leads through live chat. According to Drift, CQLs are:
People who have expressed intent to buy during a one-to-one conversation with either an employee at your company or an intelligent sales assistant (bot).
Conversations are the core building blocks of successful marketing and sales. And with the help of Drift, you can build a bank of CQLs that delight the sales team and close the age-old gap between your two departments.
The Drift platform facilitates this concept by putting chat enablement directly on your website. With Drift, you can interact with potential customers right as they visit the site, rather than reaching out with nurturing campaigns well after the visit. This gives you an opportunity to pitch your products and services in the moment and unlocks benefits such as:
- Shorter Deal Cycles: B2B organizations are accustomed to spending weeks and months closing a deal. Using Drift to generate CQLs can turn that time into hours or days because you have a more direct path to purchase intent insight.
- More Human Engagement: Chat is the most natural form of communication in the smartphone age. Having Drift on your website lets you have more casual, conversational interactions with customers that feel far less disruptive than cold calls and emails. Generating CQLs is more intuitive and natural than forcing customers to fill out MQL forms.
- No Off-Hours: With extensive automation features and intelligent bot assistance, you can make sales at any time of the day or night. Whether a bot completes the sale or schedules a meeting through automation and calendar synchronization, you can make sure prospects are engaged in some way regardless of when they visit.
- Seamless Bot/Human Handoff: Drift’s automation features can seamlessly transfer prospects to a human agent when certain criteria are met. You can set the trigger points for the transfer and integrate with Slack to continue conversations live.
- Script Customization: Drift lets you write your own bot “playbook” so the automated script has the look and feel of your brand. You have the freedom to ask any necessary questions to determine if a lead is good or not.
When you master the art of bot placement and script-writing, you can have on-demand conversations with prospects and qualify them for the sales team.
Modern marketers are successful when they focus on the customer. And when you substitute SQLs and MQLs for CQLs, you know you’re engaging prospects in a way that provides the most intuitive experience. Your customers have the power and the best way to sell your products to them is to have a one-to-one conversation.
Want to learn more about implementing a strategy for generating CQLs? Contact us today and see how we can help.