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The pursuit of high-value leads can feel elusive in today's intensely competitive marketplace.

Nearly three-quarters of B2B businesses prioritize lead quality; clearly, high-value leads are in high demand, yet the supply is scarce.

As we navigate an era of skyrocketing customer acquisition costs and brutal competition, attracting high-value leads can no longer be left to chance. It demands a strategic approach, a comprehensive understanding of your target market, and a ceaseless commitment to delivering value at every customer interaction.

The process of attracting high-value leads has evolved into a blend of science and art.

Successfully bringing those leads into your business ecosystem not only accelerates growth but also facilitates the cultivation of enduring customer relationships anchored in mutual success. So, let's dissect what constitutes a high-value lead and explore how you can craft a balanced, targeted approach to lead generation.

The What and Why of High-Value Leads

High-value leads embody two crucial attributes: alignment with your target audience and a strong intent to purchase in the near term.

Despite a plethora of lead-gen tools and technologies accessible today, many marketing teams still struggle to capture high-quality leads. Teams often find themselves expending too much effort chasing potential leads that are unlikely to convert. In fact, B2B research indicates that a staggering 80% of leads never convert to sales.

A common problem exists across B2B industries: the pressure to generate a high volume of leads, irrespective of the cost.

Although lead volume is a critical marketing metric, a singular focus on quantity, if not balanced with quality, can have a negative impact on results.

Optimal lead generation strategies strive to achieve scale without compromising quality. We must therefore ensure that every lead entering the pipeline, given the appropriate follow-up tactics, has a high potential to become a closed deal.

Accordingly, we need a highly targeted approach, deploying the right lead-gen tools and technologies and employing high levels of automation for seamless execution.

Five Steps to Generating High-Value Leads

1. Understand your target buyers

One surefire way to undermine your lead quality is to cast a massive net and hope for the best.

In the era of SEO and targeted ad campaigns, competitors will undoubtedly reach your best-fit leads before you do if you're not efficiently targeting them.

Begin by ensuring you have a firm grasp of your ideal customer profile (ICP) and buyer personas. Those frameworks describe the organizations and people who stand to benefit the most from your solutions. Then, engage those target buyers by creating content tailored to them and maintaining an active presence on the channels where they conduct their research.

2. Automate lead qualification

Lead qualification is the process of verifying that each lead fits your ICP and personas and demonstrates a readiness to purchase. Organizations typically employ three levels of qualification:

  • Marketing-qualified leads (MQLs): They're a fit with your ICP and personas, and they're ready for nurturing.
  • Sales-accepted leads (SALs): They're accepted by Sales for initial sales outreach.
  • Sales-qualified leads (SQLs): They're deemed by Sales to have high purchase readiness.

Employ your CRM and other marketing and sales software tools to automatically qualify leads as they enter the pipeline. Doing so streamlines the process, saves time, and ensures your teams can prioritize leads effectively.

3. Produce high-value content

Today's buyers conduct over half of their vendor research independently, before ever contacting a sales team.

They seek high-value content that exhibits a brand's expertise, demonstrates its understanding of unique business challenges, and provides real solutions.

In essence, high-value leads are attracted by high-value content. It's crucial to create it in volume, optimize it for visibility using SEO and other tactics, and regularly publish across various channels, such as blogs, social media, and email.

4. Execute targeted campaigns

Your target customer likely varies for each specific offering within your product or service portfolios. By executing targeted campaigns intended to generate the right leads for each solution, you engage more aligned leads and increase the initial connection with potential buyers.

5. Use intent data

Intent data tells you about where a buyer is in the purchase process based on online behavior. You can collect intent data from website tracking systems, search engine queries, poll or survey responses, social media activity, past purchase history, and more.

Intent data is particularly useful for account-based marketing campaigns, when you're aiming to target specific, individual accounts in a personalized way. You can also use it for larger-scale lead-gen efforts and to segment your leads for follow-up.

Intent data can deliver powerful benefits: lower CPL, better engagement, higher marketing ROI, and pipeline expansion.

Generating High-Value Leads: The Bottom Line

Attracting leads that convert into sales requires a deliberate, targeted approach.

Balancing the necessity to improve lead quality with the pressure to generate quantity can be challenging for any marketing team, necessitating a focus on lead quality standards.

It's tempting to think more is always more in lead generation, but the reality is that if your leads don't convert, you're wasting time, money, and resources.

More Resources on Inbound Marketing and Attracting Leads

From Content to Lead to Handoff: Inbound Marketing in Six Steps

Three Effective Ways to Address a Soft Marketing Pipeline in Challenging Times

B2B Leads: In-Market Is the New Inbound, Here's Why

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image of Kellie Walenciak

Kellie Walenciak is the head of marketing at Televerde, a global revenue creation partner supporting marketing, sales, and customer success for B2B businesses around the world.

LinkedIn: Kellie Walenciak