An Overview of Qualification Rules

In the old days of B2B marketing there were loose metrics that were used to determine success, such as the number of leads created.  And while the number of leads created is a good top of the funnel metric to keep tabs on, today’s B2B demand generation professionals are more directly responsible for the metrics that move the needle for sales, starting with the number of qualified leads. Qualified allows your demand gen team to define a set of qualification rules up front, and when qualified visitors arrive on your website, your reps can be notified and meet with them instantly.

While every company is unique, there is a common question every demand gen team asks: How do we determine if a prospect is qualified?  There are commonly three groups of data that demand gen teams use to determine if a visitor is qualified or not.  You can create qualification rules using any one of these rules, or in combination.  In this article we’ll go through each of three areas in detail and show some examples of how companies are using data to qualify website visitors in real-time

  1. Marketing Campaigns: What drove a visitor to your site and what did you spend?
  2. Website Pages: What pages is the visitor browsing while on your site?
  3. Lead Capture Data: What information has this person given you?

1. Marketing Campaigns as Qualification Criteria

All online marketing campaigns contain a basic form of tracking.  Your online ads (search, social media, display, retargeting, paid placements, app stores, email) can embed a tracking code in the URL of the ad, which can be used in real-time to know exactly where the visitor came from and the detail of the specific campaign (location, creative, keyword, etc) that the prospects responded to.  Here is an example from Okta qualified visitor coming from a Google campaign and the corresponding rule that would qualify the lead.

Example of using a search marketing campaign to qualify inbound leads
Setting up a qualification rule based on Campaign tracking URL parameters

2. Web Pages as Qualification Criteria

The second way many companies use to determine qualification is based on specific pages that someone visit on your website.  It’s no secret to demand gen marketers who are deep in the data that the majority of pipeline is typically generated from a small number of pages on your website.  In fact it’s typical that 80% of a B2B company’s pipeline is generated from by less than 10 pages on your website. With that statistic in mind, it’s critical for you to know how many pages on your site generate 80% of your pipeline, and exactly what those pages are in priority order.  CMO’s like Asana’s Dave King even brand these pages internally so that everyone in the marketing department is focused on what he calls the “10 Golden Pages.”  Let’s take a look at an example of the Golden Page for Asana Enterprise and the corresponding rule that would qualify the lead.

Example of using an explicit page (or branch) on your site to qualify inbound leads
Setting up a qualification rule based on a page or branch on your site

3. Lead Capture Data as Qualification Criteria

The final method that B2B marketers use to qualify visitors is to define a set of qualification rules based on information provided to you by the website visitor.  Today, marketers set up mechanisms on their website to collect information, such as lead capture forms or lead capture chat bots.  Both of these mechanisms are based on the presentation of an offer (for example, talk to a sales rep, download a PDF, or watch a video) and that offer is behind the form or chat bot that serves as a “gate” and a visitor must provide a set of information to pass through the gate.  Lead forms and lead capture bots can be configured to collect any amount of information desired, but typically gather information such as a person’s name, email address, company size, industry, and product interest. While every company has a specific set of qualification rules, your sales team is looking for people that are the right buyers for your products and services.   Here are two examples of website visitors who provided lead capture information and the rule that would qualify one of them based on company size:

Example of data you might know about a qualified and unqualified inbound lead
Setting up a qualification rule based on lead data (company size > 1000+ employees)

Historically, the information collected by a lead form or lead capture bot was processed asynchronously, meaning that the visitor provided their information and then received a message saying “thanks, we’ll get back to you shortly.”  Today you can run lead qualification rules against these forms and chat bots in real-time and react to your visitors accordingly.

Summary

How do we determine if a prospect is qualified? There are commonly three types of rules that demand gen teams use to determine if a visitor is qualified or not. They are:

  1. Marketing Campaigns: What drove a visitor to your site and what did you spend?
  2. Website Pages: What pages is the visitor browsing while on your site?
  3. Lead Capture Data: What information has this person given you?

You can create qualification rules using any one of these rules, or in combination.  The objective of real-time qualification is for you to identify qualified buyers as quickly as possible, and tailor how you engage with these visitors.  The world’s best sales and marketing teams know that timing is everything, and the faster and more personalized engagement you can have with a qualified visitor, the better the outcome will be for your pipeline and selling goals.

Next Steps

As a next step in your education, you might find the following guides useful

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