Hot Takes

You Don’t Have to Spend More to Produce More SQLs

Marketing Revenue Sales

This is a hot take if we’ve ever heard one: You don’t have to spend more to produce more sales-qualified leads (SQLs). 

Eric Stockton, head of marketing for SharpSpring by Constant Contact, explained in his Hot Takes Live that he discovered this around a year ago when they were looking for quick wins to close more deals.

He spent a Saturday scheduling demos and signing up for his own product, and when he did, his team discovered a massive opportunity for anyone working in a sales-led motion.

It’s common for marketers to work hard to create demand with prospects, building affinity for their products and driving traffic to their site. They visit the site, check out your pricing, and request a demo.

Then, the crucial error where the process devolves a bit: Too many brands redirect the user again to a BDR team to get requalified based on ideal customer profile (ICP) fit, only for them to then be sent to a sales team member. 

That’s when they realized that intent mostly trumps ICP, both immediately and over time, as long as it’s a decent demographic fit. 

Buyers come in and tell you they want the demo. They’ve qualified themselves and done self-education into your product. They’re ready to talk, so don’t delay on that, even if they may not seem like a perfect ICP fit at a first glance. They don’t want to talk to a BDR team and then get passed to a sales team member a day or two later; that’s too long, and you may lose the customer.

Instead, break the cycle by doing the following:

  • Optimize for how you’d want to buy as a consumer (fast, efficient, and streamlined) instead of optimizing around your own company’s efficiency needs 
  • Route leads who request a demo directly to sales, skipping the BDR qualification process 
  • Consider sending some leads to a BDR team, including those with lesser intent actions, like downloading an asset like an ebook instead of booking a demo 

When Eric’s team did this using their own automation software, in about a week, they saw a 31% increase in SQL on the same exact marketing spend they were using previously. This was a month-over-month improvement, which has since held fairly steady.

So the big takeaway here? Stop trying to re-qualify prospects who are already qualified. It’s a waste of time, and it can be a waste of prospects if you take too long. 

Want to check out the full video? Watch the full Hot Take Live here