How to Qualify Your Leads

A bad lead qualification process will waste your sales team’s time, risk selling the wrong products to the wrong people, and lower your company’s ROI. Therefore, make a good lead qualification process that will work in favor of the company! 

What Is a Qualified Lead? 

A qualified lead is a person or business that fits the criteria made by your company in order to pursue them as a potential customer. For instance a qualified lead might check all the boxes when the salesperson discusses the prospects needs over the phone. A qualified lead might also be a prospect who fills out an inquiry of some kind because they want what your company offers and they are in the market for it. 

How to Qualify Your Leads

To qualify a lead they must fit into your buyer persona. If you’re unsure what your buyer persona is or should be we have four areas in which you should direct your questions. This will help you narrow down who is a qualified lead and who isn’t. 

Qualifying leads can most commonly be done over the phone either through inbound or outbound calls. Whether the individual calls you or you call them it’s important to remember to take notes. The more information that can be gathered the better. In another article you can read how to convert your leads into sales, so your sales team can be better prepared for building the business to consumer relationship. 

Keep in mind the importance of tracking the leads you contact as you begin the process of qualifying leads. By doing this, you will help the process run much more smoothly and stress free. A product that is helpful in this area is the Dolphin Dialer. You can load your leads into a power dialer, which is a dialer with a CRM. You can label each call depending on what happens. If it’s qualified, you can set it for follow up or automatically send it into your other CRM (if you have one). In Dolphin Dialer, you can then pull reports or do searches, so staying organized with a qualified lead is a breeze.

Customer Profile Questions

Customer profile questions aim to reveal whether this person generally fits into your buyer persona profile. Here are a few examples:

  • How big is the company? 
  • What industry are they in? 
  • Where are they located? 
  • Does the prospect have a need/want for the product/service? 
  • Can they afford it?
  • Is it the right time for them to purchase?

These are some examples, however your company likely will need to be more specific and extensive with the questions it creates in order to qualify a good lead. 

Questions About Their Needs

Ask questions to help you better understand how to fulfill their wants and needs. You want to provide something of value. Of course, your product/service will likely do that, but offer more than the competitors by asking what other needs your company can fulfill. 

Stakeholder Questions

These are questions that help determine whether this lead is on the right decision-making level in a company. 

  • How do they make decisions? 
  • How does the company make decisions?
  • How many people are involved in the decision-making process? 
  • Which departments are involved in the decision-making process? 
  • What does their typical buying process like? 
  • How much time does it take them to buy a product?

Competition Questions

If possible, find out if the prospect has used your competitors in the past. It will be helpful to ask the prospect why they left the competitor, so your company doesn’t make the same mistake. 

These are questions about competitor services and products to help your company understand the prospects interaction with the competitors: 

  • Have they used any of the competitors in the past? 
  • Why didn’t they like them? 
  • Why do they think your company is different/better? 
  • Are they currently using a competitor solution?
  • What are the criteria they base their decision on?

These questions can help sales agents share the right information with the leads as well as help them determine what they need to do differently in order to retain and keep the customer coming back. 

How to Disqualify Leads

The quality of your leads is much more valuable than the quantity of your leads. Don’t waste your sales team’s time by having them call every unqualified lead hoping to generate profit. You will find that selling to qualified leads is much more beneficial and profitable to the company. 

The Prospect Doesn’t Fit Your Buyer Persona Profile

As determined above, your company will have certain criteria that constitutes a qualified lead. If a prospect does not fit those criteria, then they do not fit the buyer persona. 

Pay Attention to Their Tone of Voice

A prospect can say they aren’t interested without actually saying “I’m not interested.” It’s up to the sales person to listen to the words they haven’t spoken. For instance, a prospect might vocally say “This product sounds awesome” however, their tone of voice might be monotone and bored. Use the tone of voice as a tool to either continue the sale or try another approach. 

Be Careful About Incongruencies

Take note of the things the prospect says. If there are inconsistencies or it’s obvious that the prospect is giving misguided information. Try to ask questions about the statements that are conflicting in a polite way so you can get feedback. Getting clarification will help the salesperson understand the prospect better and will help them avoid losing a sale. 

Make Sure to Get Certain Answers

Another issue sales people run into is prospects giving vague and useless information such as “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure.” The best way to fix a conversation like this is to ask questions that are open ended or ask questions that are rhetorical to get them to think about what you’re selling them. 

Don’t spend too much time on a prospect who continues to give vague and useless information. Simply thank them for their time and ask when there is a better time to call them back. It might have been bad timing for them, so by asking for a better time to call back they can give a time when they are more willing to talk. 

Another way to avoid a situation like this is by sending them a pre recorded voicemail as a follow-up that gives them the necessary information and appeals to their needs/wants. Continue reading how to create a successful voicemail script

What to Do With Disqualified Leads

Don’t throw out your disqualified leads!  Once disqualified doesn’t mean always disqualified. Oftentimes the lead is unqualified due to their current budget restrictions or a time sensitive reason. This means that these cold leads very well may become warm leads with further communication and time. Here are some ways to keep your cold leads from going to waste:

  • Tag them as “future interest” in your CRM system to stay organized
  • Subscribe them to the company newsletter 
  • Send them marketing automation emails (like a feedback survey) 
  • Google remarketing campaigns (ads that advertise the perceived value work best) 
  • Use custom campaigns on social media platforms

The key is to remain present, so when the disqualified lead is qualified they will remember your company.

What to Do With Qualified Leads

Qualified leads need to be contacted! That can be through a phone call, email, voicemail, etc. However your company contacts them, keep track of the communication on each lead through your pipeline so the sales team sees the progress on the leads. Then the sales team will bring the leads through the seven stages of the sales process until they are customers. 

Don’t let the process stop there. With the leads your sales team was able to turn into customers, continue to contact them with updates, discounts, feedback surveys, etc. Keep building the customer to business relationship, so your customers become repeat customers. 

Continue reading to get to know how to implement this lead qualification method in your sales strategy.

Works Cited 

“Inbound Calls | Generate Leads | Call Center Tactics | EVS7”. EVS7, 2021, Accessed 13 Dec 2020.

“Prospecting And Following Up With Leads With Voicemail | EVS7”. EVS7, 2021, Accessed 24 Dec 2020.

“Sales Strategy: How To Improve Calls, Leads, And Deals | EVS7”. EVS7, 2021, Accessed 27 Dec 2020.

“How To Qualify Prospects & Leads”. The Close Sales Blog, 2021, Accessed 30 Dec 2020.

Ye, Leslie. “The Ultimate Guide To Sales Qualification”. Blog.Hubspot.Com, 2021, Accessed 30 Dec 2020. 

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