Managing incoming leads and determining the when to hand them off to the appropriate team member can be challenging. We've outlined a clear process and hierarchy for managing and reassigning leads through what's known as the "Fit and Interest Matrix" — a process that's helped both New Breed and the client's we partner with become more efficient at lead management.
Understanding the Fit vs. Interest Matrix
In order to understand the fit vs. interest matrix, it's vital to leverage the appropriate analytics to inform your strategy. Referring to a lead's demographics and firmographics will help you determine if a given contact is a good fit your your company and the services you provide.
But how can you collect the most pertinent and valuable insight from your leads? Demographic requests can be expressed in form fields as questions about a contact's current position, company, experience level and industry. Firmographics entail questions about the number of employees that work at a given company and the amount of annual revenue a company brings in.
Gauging interest level is exactly what it sounds like. Is the new lead interested in your company's products or services? Have they done anything on your website to express their interest in a concrete way? You can use implicit information such as the pages they've viewed on your site, the forms they've filled out, or their level of engagement with emails to determine whether they're ready to have an introductory conversation. All of the above (demographics, firmographics and interest level) can be gauged from implicit and explicit data.
Leveraging Implicit and Explicit Data
Implicit data, as you might infer, is information that isn't implicitly provided, but instead gathered from available data streams — either directly or by way of the analysis of explicit data. Explicit data is information that is intentionally provided by a contact. For example, explicit data would include gated information provided form fields. Both types of data are collected and analyzed to determine a lead's quality, fit and interest in your company.
So how can you use these two to types of data to streamline your lead management and handoff efforts? The Fit and Interest Matrix uses explicitly provided qualities to determine a contact's fit and weighs that against their implicit interest level. We can visualize this matrix with a four quadrant design. In the diagram below, interest level is marked on the x-axis and fit is represented on the y-axis (so the highest fit and interest level would be represented by a data point in the upper right quadrant of the graph). When a leads comes in, marketing and sales can quickly locate where they belong in the matrix in order to nurture them down the funnel more efficiently.
The Four Quadrants of the Fit vs. Interest Diagram
Good fit and interested, - These are leads that are high-fit and high-interest. Not only would they ideally match your top buyer personas, they've also likely extended extra effort to reach out to you for help. Sales should follow up with these leads immediately. An example of a high-fit high-interest lead would be a company that belongs to one of your ideal industries, who has money to spend and a submitted a BOFU form for a free consultation.
Good fit, less interested, - These are leads are a good potential fit, but have not yet expressed much interest. They should be enrolled in lead nurturing campaigns by the marketing team in order to increase their sales-readiness. An example of this would be a lead who fits an ideal persona but hasn't responded to emails, or hasn't followed through with communication attempts.
Poor fit, high interest. - These are leads that are a poor fit but have expressed interest in your products or services. Marketing should follow up with these leads to establish a good relationship them, in the event that they become a better fit in the future. Freemium or one-off products or solutions work well for this type of lead, since they nurture leads without monopolizing valuable sales time.
Poor fit, poor interest. - These leads are not a good fit and aren't interest in your services. Don’t waste your time with these leads — they won't become customers. An example of a poor fit, poor interest lead would be a B2C company (if you primarily work with B2B) who hasn't responded to any marketing emails and has interacted with little to none of your content.
By using the Fit vs. Interest matrix, you can improve the efficiency of your operations by quickly eliminating poor-quality leads and sending high-quality leads directly to your sales team for follow-up. This process decreases lead conversion time and helps engender a more unified marketing and sales approach.