The beauty of HubSpot is it’s 360 degree functionality. The inbound marketing suite offers more than just marketing automation or a blogging platform. Instead, it combines a variety of tools to help business optimize their entire sales funnel.
From search engine optimization and social media marketing to lead generation and lead nurturing, the platform can help you optimize your buyer’s journey from beginning to end. And especially if your audience needs longer time frames or more information to convert to customers, the software becomes an ideal tool to not just generate, but convert sales qualified leads (SQLs).
As we’ve detailed in previous posts, generating SQLs should be near the top of your priority list as a marketer. The higher the quality of leads you hand over to your sales team, the greater their likelihood of conversion. Focusing on an SQL-based strategy allows you to not just increase that quality, but also estimate the moment a lead becomes ready for more sales-specific outreach.
And yet, when you focus on generating SQLs, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s where this post enters the equation. Keep reading for 5 tips on optimizing HubSpot to generate more sales qualified leads.
1) Focus Content on High-Converting Keywords
HubSpot’s internal keyword tool may be among its most compelling features. Like others available online, it helps users find keywords with the ideal combination of high search volume and low difficulty to rank, helping you focus the SEO efforts of your blog and website.
But at its best, the keyword tool does even more: it tracks conversions. In other words, you can follow visitors to your website from a Google search all the way through to becoming leads and customers. For your SQL generation efforts, that part is invaluable.
Instead of simply choosing high-traffic keywords to focus on, build your SEO strategy on keywords with the most (and high quality) conversions. “Best online music” may get you visitors, but what if none of them turns into a lead? Focus on high-converting keywords to elevate your conversion rate.
2) Build Convincing Landing Pages For Each Stage
If you’re already a HubSpot user or familiar with inbound marketing, building compelling landing pages should not be a new goal. But too often, these landing pages are only utilized in the beginning of the lead generation process.
Limiting yourself to this type of use potentially prevents you from maximizing your SQL conversion rate. Existing leads may want to sign up to read more content or register for a webinar, and thanks to HubSpot’s autofill features, they can easily do so. All that you need to do is build landing pages that actually speak to the stage of the buyer’s journey they’re currently in.
Existing leads, for example, don’t need to hear about the greatness of your brand as a whole. Instead, they seek specific, product-related information that will help them make a buying decision. They’re in the research stage of the buyer’s journey, where every bit of information counts. Adjust your mid-funnel landing pages accordingly to increase SQL conversion rates.
3) Lay Out a Strategic Nurturing Workflow
To convert your regular leads into qualified leads and sales opportunities, the Workflow tool within HubSpot should become your new best friend. Here, you can reliably build automated email campaigns that strategically move your contacts through the sales funnel, providing them with enough information over time to make an informed buying decision.
The tool is intuitive, and easy to set up. But for maximum success, consider laying out your nurturing workflow in paper form before the build. That way, you can plan your various audience segments and individual workflow steps more strategically before actually building it out. And of course, testing your workflow before taking it live is a crucial step.
4) Take Advantage of Lifecycle Stages
HubSpot, more than any other automation software we know of, assists you in finding and converting qualified leads. In fact, through its Lifecycle Stages, the system allows you to explicity designate contacts who fit the criteria as sales qualified leads. That, in turn, comes with a number of crucial advantages.
Once a contact enters the ‘sales qualified lead’ lifecycle stage, they will be designated as such in any reports you run. You can build smart lists only for individual stages, just as you can adjust calls to action on your website specifically for leads in a given stage. In other words, you can build a customized communication and web strategy specifically for your qualified leads, while also being able to track your success in generating these leads.
5) Set Up Lead Scoring
Of course, the above Lifecycle Stages are only beneficial if you have set up a process that actually lets the system know when a lead becomes qualified. That’s where lead scoring enters the equation.
HubSpot has built a specific lead scoring tool for its professional and enterprise customers into its software. Each time a lead interacts with you, it gains points. Once it hits a threshold you set, the system designates it as sales qualified.
These actions can range from a click on your Facebook link to opening your email or navigating to a specific page on your site. Negative points, for actions such as marking your email as spam or not interacting with any content for a given time frame, are also possible. The exact point total of each action is defined by you, though this guide can help you get started.
HubSpot’s comprehensive nature as an inbound marketing platform positions it uniquely to help you not just generate leads or schedule your social media, but orient your entire marketing campaign toward maximizing your SQL generation. Its features, from the keyword research tool all the way to lead scoring and defined lifecycle stages, are specifically designed to maximize your performance and increase your pool of qualified leads.
Of course, you still need a strategy as well as compelling creative and content to convince your audience that signing up to be a lead, and becoming a customer, is actually worth their while.