Step-by-Step Guide to Qualifying Sales Leads

steps to qualifying sales leads


Qualification of leads is a critical step in B2B sales. It is the process of determining whether a lead is worth pursuing. It involves assessing factors, such as the potential customer’s need for your product or service, their ability to pay, and their interest in your offer. 

It can be a time-consuming process, but it’s essential for ensuring that only qualified leads are pursued and that resources aren’t wasted on leads that aren’t likely to convert into customers. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll outline the key steps you need to take to determine whether or not a lead is worth pursuing.


Before heading off, you may need to read what everyone should know about sales leads. All right, let’s get started!

What Requires for Qualifying Sales Leads

Identify your ideal customer profile (ICP)

Start by creating the persona of your ideal customer. This exercise will help you better understand your target market and what characteristics matter most to them when purchasing. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to more efficiently qualify leads and focus your efforts on those most likely to convert.

Use a lead scoring system to prioritize leads.

A lead scoring system assigns points to leads based on their qualities, such as their interests, demographics, and company size. It helps you prioritize the most promising sales leads and focus your time and resources on those most likely to result in a sale. Many different lead scoring systems are available, so choose one that fits your business needs.


Nurture and engage leads appropriately


Not all leads will be ready to make a purchasing decision immediately. Nurturing and engaging leads at every stage of the buying journey is essential to building trust and credibility. Use personalized email sequences, targeted content, and strategic follow-ups to keep leads engaged and move them closer to conversion.


Continuously evaluate and iterate


Lead qualification is not a one-time task but an ongoing process that requires constant evaluation and iteration. Regularly review your lead qualification criteria, assess the effectiveness of your tactics, and solicit feedback from your sales team. By staying agile and adaptable, you can ensure that your lead qualification efforts remain effective in a dynamic market environment.


Also Read: What Everyone Should Know About Sales Leads

A Three-Step Process For Lead Qualification

In addition to establishing your ICP and lead scoring model, lead qualification has three essential steps: research, outreach, and qualification. Let’s review each step one by one.


Also Read: Types of Sales Leads


Research is the initial step in lead qualification, and it’s essential to gather as much information as possible about potential buyers before engaging them in the sales process. 


Focusing on leads with the most significant potential to result in a sale can save time and resources. Here is a list of information you will need to find out in your preliminary research:

  1. Company funding information.
  2. General information about the company, such as its locations/headquarters, number of employees, mission statement, and problem it is trying to solve.
  3. Positive and negative growth signals.


Outreach is one method for lead qualification. It involves communicating with potential customers to learn more about their needs and determine whether they fit your company well. 


This step determines whether a lead is worth pursuing. You can do a few things in outreach to help make this process easier.


First, ask questions that will help you understand the prospect’s needs, such as:

  • Which issue are you hoping to resolve?
  • What are you hoping to accomplish with this solution?
  • What are your goals?
  • What is your budget?
  • Who is the person who makes the final purchase decision?

Second, use qualifying criteria to determine if the prospect is a good fit for your company. Third, be prepared to reject leads that don’t meet your standards. 


Furthermore, sales reps use frameworks to group or categorize their leads and prospects into categories that make the most sense for their business. In this way, they can quickly assess whether a lead is worth pursuing. 


Many different frameworks are available, but they generally fall into one of three categories: need-based, solution-based, or company-centric. Some of the most popular lead qualification frameworks are BANT, CHAMP, and MEDDPICC.


Also Read: Focus on Sales Meetings Over Leads: Small Sales Team Success


Yes, you need to ensure that you’re only spending your time pursuing opportunities with a real chance of converting into closed deals. However, this doesn’t mean that you should discard all unqualified leads out the door. Simply disqualifying leads can be wasteful if done prematurely or without proper consideration.


A better strategy is to nurture unqualified sales leads and qualified ones until they become interested or are disqualified for other reasons. Encouraging each lead carefully will increase your chances of converting them into paying customers and reduce lead generation costs.


Sales lead qualification is essential in the sales process, yet it’s often rushed or skipped altogether. By qualifying leads correctly, you can ensure that your team spends time only on opportunities that have a high chance of converting into closed deals. 


FunnL is a global pioneer in B2B lead generation. Our powerful Inside Sales Platform and high-quality sales qualified meetings allow you to attract more qualified leads. Our services are based on the latest technological advances and have been refined over many years of experience.


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