Generating Sales-Ready Leads


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A recent study of Marketing Sherpa showed that 69% of B2B marketing professionals are struggling to produce high quality leads. Savvy marketers understand that lead generation is not limited to the initial creation of interest. Rather, it refers to the full slate of nurturing activities necessary to grow a “suspect” into a prospect.

But to efficiently track and drive leads through the customer lifecycle, marketing must leverage the right tools. Virtual Engagement Centers with virtual venues and virtual events are rapidly becoming mainstream, thanks to their ability to help marketers arm their sales counterparts with better-qualified and intrinsically higher-value “sales-ready” leads.

The advantage of a virtual environment, compared to traditional physical events (e.g. a trade show), is that every interaction of each attendee can be recorded and evaluated. A virtual business card, combined with detailed insight into an attendee’s virtual booth visits, chats with booth staff, collateral downloaded and presentations viewed, provide a level of lead qualification that is far superior to most other marketing initiatives.

The best virtual environments allow companies to measure the engagement level of their participants and rank all of their leads, so that immediate attention will be given to “hot” leads. Prospects and customers can be evaluated according to three criteria: 1.Demographics, 2. Interest and 3.Activities. A simple point system helps organizers to configure the lead scoring mechanism for their needs. By defining lead ranking criteria upfront, they don’t waste time trying to make sense of their leads later on.

This Engagement Index allows marketers to create different segmentation scenarios for their sales team, partners, and sponsors. For example, a company could target CFOs from the East Coast who attended the product launch session, downloaded the new white paper, chatted with a booth rep and stated in a poll that they plan to make a purchasing decision in the next 90 days.

Together, all of these criteria can accumulate up to 100 points for the perfect lead. The marketing department can determine the threshold, when a lead is qualified enough to be transferred for immediate follow-up to the sales department, e.g. when it reaches 50 points. Attendees with less than 50 points remain in the virtual environment, where they can accumulate more points over time, until they pass 50 and get transferred out.

This way, Virtual Engagement Platforms allow marketers to fill the top of the sales funnel with hot leads, as opposed to clogging it with cold inquiries.


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