Qualification of leads is a critical step in business-to-business (B2B) sales. It is the process of determining whether a lead is worth pursuing and involves assessing factors, such as the potential customer’s need for your product or service, their ability to pay, and their interest in what you have to 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 Lead Qualification Requires
1. 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 making a purchase. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to more efficiently qualify leads and focus your efforts on those that are most likely to convert.
2. 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 that are most likely to result in a sale. There are many different lead scoring systems available, so be sure to choose one that fits your business’ needs.
A Three-Step Process For Lead Qualification
In addition to establishing your ICP and lead scoring model, there are three important steps in lead qualification: research, outreach, and qualification. Let’s go over each step one by one.
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.
By doing so, you can save both time and resources by focusing on leads that have the greatest potential to result in a sale.
Here is a list of information you will need to find out in your preliminary research:
- Company funding information.
- General information about the company, such as locations/headquarters, number of employees, mission statement and the problem they are trying to solve.
- Positive and negative growth signals.
Outreach is one method that can be used during lead qualification and it involves communicating with potential customers in an effort to learn more about their needs and determine if they are a good fit for your company.
This step is where you determine whether or not a lead is worth pursuing. There are a few things you can do 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.
There are many different frameworks available, but in general, they all 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.
Yes, you need to make sure that you’re only spending your time pursuing opportunities that have a real chance of converting into closed deals. However, this doesn’t mean that you should just 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 along with qualified ones until they either become interested or are disqualified for other reasons. By taking the time to carefully nurture each lead, you’ll increase your chances of converting them into paying customers, but you’ll also reduce your overall lead generation costs.
Sales lead qualification is an essential step in the sales process, yet it’s often rushed or skipped altogether. By taking the time to properly qualify leads, you can ensure that your team is only spending time on opportunities that have a high chance of converting into closed deals.
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