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Buying Signals vs. Leads. Why You Need a Lead Scoring Strategy

While you're waiting for leads, you’re ignoring the more important signals

When I meet with prospects and clients to discuss transitioning their distribution model to one that is digital-first, I hear a universal complaint that they never get a lead from their website. This perspective is one reason why many asset managers are skeptical about the effectiveness of digital sales and marketing. But they haven’t seen results because they are looking for the wrong things.

The Problem is Perspective

The problem, in my opinion, lies in the salesperson’s perspective of what a “lead” is. Having wholesaled and managed wholesaling teams throughout my career, I know asset management wholesalers view a lead as a prospect they have not had previous contact with or who is “new” to them. Therefore, any other advisor who they know or who is in the company’s CRM is not considered a lead. 

The fallacy of that perspective is that if the advisor is not a lead, then there is no sense of urgency in making contact, regardless of how interested they may be in your investment solutions.

Thinking Differently

A prospect already identified by your firm that engages with you digitally is likely the best prospect to pursue. Every touchpoint the prospect has on your website, blog, or social posts is a signal that helps tell what they are interested in and how far along they are in their journey of discovery.

But to understand signals and how they work, they need to be tracked, monitored, and scored so that your wholesalers know who to engage, when and with what content. This requires all distribution team members to think differently about the benefit of using signals to ultimately tell you when you have a qualified lead who is ready to have a discussion. 

Monitoring Signals

Firms that have embraced a digital distribution mindset have built their platforms to identify signals wherever a prospect elects to engage. Common signals show up in:

  • Email clicks
  • Form submissions
  • Downloads
  • Page views 
  • Website sessions
  • Blogs read
  • A downloaded PPM
  • Social media CTAs
  • Webinar registrations
  • Videos viewed
  • Meetings scheduled

And obviously, not all signals are equally important. For example, an advisor who clicks a call-to-action on a social media post may not be as far along in their journey as an advisor who registers for a webinar or schedules a meeting.

Learning to Score

The number of signals and types of engagement a prospect has with your firm allows you to create a cumulative score of your prospect’s activity. When the score crests a certain defined threshold, you now have a qualified lead, and you’ll know the prospect is at a stage where there is a high likelihood they're ready to talk about your investments. 

Also, by studying the signals your prospect has provided, you now know what your prospect is most interested in and how close they are to making an investment decision. Subsequently, your discussion will be far more targeted and valuable than simply connecting via a cold call.

Ultimately, mastering the art of using digital signals to drive your wholesaler activity will lead to better efficiency, more valuable activity, and increased sales. 

By registering for our Digital Distribution video series, you can find additional insights on how signals drive results.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing Digital Marketing Digital Wholesaling Financial Services Marketing Inbound vs. Outbound Sales Enablement Content is King Wholesalers Business Development Marketing Automation