As much as we’d like to be able to, we can’t just send our messaging campaigns out to everyone and expect results. You won’t sell swimming lessons to someone afraid of water. You need someone who wants to learn how to swim. That’s where lead sifting comes in.
Finding the right leads for your campaign takes effort, but trust us, it’s worth it. As a business owner, you’re a busy person. You have a million things to do: answering emails, managing employees, and keeping track of finances. You want the selling process to go as smoothly as possible, lest you get swamped into trying to sell to people who have no interest in your product or service.
Abraham Lincoln said it best: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” The same applies here—spend time finding the right leads, and the selling process will be much smoother and quicker.
So roll up your sleeves, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get sifting!
Why Filter Leads?
Before we dive into the nitty gritty of lead sifting, let’s go over why we need to filter leads.
For starters, sending out your campaign messaging to everyone, even those with no interest in what you offer, is just a huge waste of resources. Your messaging will fall on deaf ears, leading to a low conversion rate and increased costs, hurting your bottom line.
Additionally, sending messages to the wrong leads can harm your business’s reputation. No one likes being bombarded with irrelevant information, and receiving such a message can leave a negative impression of your brand.
When was the last time you enjoyed hearing someone shouting at you on the street to buy their product? Exactly.
Last, you can better polish your messaging by filtering leads. When you have a targeted audience, it’s easier to tailor your messaging to their specific pain points and wants.
The process of filtering leads makes everything that comes after it, from crafting a marketing message to the actual selling process, that much smoother and more successful. Saving time and money, you can invest elsewhere in activities that will bring you a higher ROI.
Here’s an explanatory graph to help you visualise how to consider lead filtering:
The more targeted and specific your lead pool is, the higher chance of a conversion.
Now that we’ve covered the why, let’s get into the how.
How to Find the Perfect Leads for Your Business
Before starting, let’s assume you already have a list of leads. This could come from past customers, a lead generation campaign, purchased lists, or other sources.
Lead filtering is a mix of art and science. There’s no one-size-fits-all method, as every business will have its own specific criteria for what qualifies a lead as “perfect” for its campaign. That being said, there are certain steps you can take and questions you can ask yourself to start honing in on the perfect leads for your campaign.
Study Your Product Carefully
The question you need to ask yourself isn’t “how can I sell my product/service to everyone”, it’s “how can I sell my product/service to the right people?”
Take some time to study your product or service. What are its unique selling points? Who would most likely benefit from it, and what pain points does it solve for them? And how can you best communicate your offer’s value to the people who need it most?
This is a crucial step in lead filtering, as it sets the stage for the rest of your process and helps you hone in on what qualities make a lead “perfect” for your campaign.
Identify Your Target Audience
Once you have a clear understanding of your product or service, you can begin to narrow down your target audience. Who do you want to sell to?
Some questions you can ask yourself in this process include:
- What industry does my target audience work in?
- What is their job function or role?
- What is their demographic information (age, gender, location)?
- What pain points and needs can my product or service solve for them?
A common way of going about this is by creating customer personas. These are fictional representations of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.
By creating a few different personas, you can have a clear picture of who you want to target with your campaign and what qualifications make them the “perfect” lead for you.
But don’t get too bogged down in details — at least when making your first personas. As you go through the lead filtering process and collect data, you can continue to refine and add detail to your personas.
Evaluate Your Leads
Once you have identified your target audience, it’s time to evaluate your leads. Go through your list and ask yourself: does this lead fit the criteria of my target audience?
This evaluation process can also involve looking at other qualifiers, such as company size or budget. For example, if you sell a high-priced enterprise solution, you want to filter out small businesses or individuals who likely can’t afford your solution.
Or, for example, if you sell augmented reality software for architects, you want to filter out anyone who isn’t in the architecture industry.
You can also use lead scoring in this process, which assigns a numerical value to each lead based on predetermined criteria that indicate their likelihood to become a customer. This can make it easier to prioritise and focus on your “perfect” leads.
Remember that filtering leads doesn’t mean discarding ones that don’t fit your criteria 100%. It’s about finding the right balance and deciding which leads are worth pursuing.
Another important factor to consider when evaluating your leads is ensuring you’re only reaching out to the decision-makers. There’s no point in putting time and effort into crafting a pitch and conducting outreach to someone who doesn’t have the authority or influence to make a purchase.
Continually Refine Your Process
The lead filtering process is not a one-and-done deal. As you continue analysing your campaigns and gathering data on what kinds of leads convert best, you can continually refine and improve your process.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different criteria or use a combination of methods, such as surveys or lead scoring. The key is always thinking about how you can better connect with the right people rather than just trying to sell to as many people as possible.
By investing time and effort into lead filtering, you’ll ultimately be able to save time and resources in the long run by only focusing on high-quality leads that are likely to convert into customers.
Remember, the goal here is not just to make a bigger list of leads but to make a more targeted and valuable list. Quality over quantity, always.
Now that you have a clear understanding of your target audience and have filtered out the perfect leads for your campaign, it’s time to start planning your outreach strategy.
With the right leads in hand, you’ll be able to tailor your messaging and communication approach to resonate with them. A great starting point is automated campaigns that use technology to efficiently reach out to your leads and make a lasting impression.
But don’t forget about the human element as well — personalized, one-on-one communication can also go a long way in building relationships with your leads and turning them into customers.
Sifting through leads and finding the perfect ones for your campaign may seem daunting, but with careful planning and continual refinement, you’ll be able to connect easily with the right people and see success in your campaigns.
And remember, this isn’t a one-and-done process — continually review and adjust your lead filtering criteria as needed to ensure the best possible results. You won’t get it perfect the first time, but that’s okay. We’ve all been there. Keep refining and improving, and you’ll be well on your way to success.
If you need a tool that takes your filtered leads and lets you craft personalised outreach at scale, check out Salesloop today — you can get started for free. We make it easy to connect with leads and turn them into customers. Give us a try today. Happy selling!