Determine if prospects are ready to engage with sales.
For most marketers, the decision about which leads to nurture begins here. The process of defining what constitutes a "sales-ready" lead requires marketing and sales to agree upon the profile of an ideal prospect and a lead scoring methodology. Scoring methodologies should use a combination of:
Demographic attributes (company size, role, industry, etc.
Lead source and offer.
Budget, authority, need and timeline.
Completeness of data profile (do you have enough information).
Behavioral attributes (number of responses, overall engagement).
Based on the above criteria, leads can be sorted in a variety of ways: bucketed into cold, warm or hot leads; ranked on a numerical scale; placed into lead stages; and so on. Depending on the sorting method you use, some leads will be deemed "sales-ready" and others will need to remain in (or return to) marketing for further nurturing.
Here are a few ideas to help you define what it means to be sales-ready:
Does the prospect visit your web site? If so, how often and which pages were visited before and
after registering on your site?
What search terms did the prospect use to find more information about you?
Has the prospect visited "high-value" pages such as pricing or contact information pages?
Have other propsects from the same company visited your web site?
How has the prospect responded to your follow-up email campaigns or offers?
What interactions has your sales team had with the prospect and when?
Regardless of how you choose to score and categorize your leads, implementing lead nurturing must begin by collaborating with all stakeholders to define the process for determining which leads get sent to sales and which leads get nurturing.