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!
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 on your company page because they want what your company offers and they are in the market for it.
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 Dolphin 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.
These are questions aiming to reveal whether this person generally fits into your buyer persona profile. They can be:
These are some examples, however your company might need to be more specific with the questions it creates in order to qualify a good lead.
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.
These are questions that help determine whether this lead is on the right decision-making level in a company.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 will 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.
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:
The key is to remain present, so when the disqualified lead is qualified they will remember your company.
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.
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Ye, Leslie. “The Ultimate Guide To Sales Qualification”. Blog.Hubspot.Com, 2021, https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/ultimate-guide-to-sales-qualification. Accessed 30 Dec 2020.