One of the biggest benefits of marketing automation is the ability to qualify leads. Getting a lead qualification system in place, however, can be a little confusing. Here are some tips to help get you started:

WHO: Qualified leads should be assigned to your sales reps, either on a round-robin basis or based on territories, industries, or other traits of the prospect. Once the leads are assigned to sales users, their prospect record will sync with your integrated CRM.

WHAT: Data synced from Pardot to your CRM will give your sales team insight into the prospect before they reach out. This includes generic fields, such as name, company, industry, etc. There may be custom fields that are applicable to your industry, and those should be synced as well. If you’ve set up your CRM connector, your reps can also view the prospect’s activities within the CRM, which will help them have a better understanding of what content piqued the prospect’s interest.

WHERE: Lead assignment can be performed via page actions, completion actions, automation rules, or by assigning them manually from within their prospect record.

WHEN: Deciding when to assign prospects to sales reps and thus sync them to your CRM varies based on your sales cycle and strategy. Criteria to determine if a lead is qualified or not may include:

  • Score – The lead score is indicative of how active the prospect has been with your website, emails, and other marketing material. You can set a threshold score that determines the lead has reached a level of activity that suggest they could be a potential customer.
  • Grade – If you have a specific type of customer that your company typically sells to, grading your prospects based on their prospect fields will be the best way to determine if they are a good fit for your product or service. Common fields to base grade on include industry, company size, job title, etc.
  • Form Completion – While just any form completion may not be the best indicator of the lead’s intent, you may have a form for demo requests or to learn more about your product/service. Upon these form completions, assign the sales rep that will be reaching out so they can familiarize themselves with the lead beforehand.

WHY: It is important not to send a slew of unqualified leads to your CRM. You want to make sure that your sales team’s time is spent wisely, reaching out to prospects who are potential customers, not just any Tom, Dick, and Harry who lands on your website accidentally or a poor college student who completes a form to retrieve a white paper for a research project.

HOW: Deciding what triggers a lead assignment requires dialogue between marketing and sales. To assign based on score, create a list of all the ways prospects interact with your company, then make a plan for how important each of these items are. To assign based on grade, brainstorm what the ideal customer for your company looks like and create a profile accordingly. If you’d rather assign based on a specific form completion, add the action in the final stages of the form builder. The best strategy for lead assignment is one that incorporates a number of these options and allows for different methods for determining when a lead is qualified.