Lead qualification isn’t the same ol’ game that it was twenty years ago. Sure, the fundamentals remain the same, but the integration of the internet into everyday business processes has significantly altered how we determine which leads receive our attention and which ones are a waste of time.
One of the most difficult concepts to grasp in sales is that not every lead is worth your max effort. It’s when salespeople get overly excited early on about the prospect of a potential sale that they fail to consider how that sale or partnership will work out down the road. Profitability and sustainability should be two of the main goals of each sale.
The lead qualification process can be simplified by merely asking the right questions. Developing and asking targeted questions will help you determine if the partnership is a good fit. Get to know the prospect, the company’s decision making process and the company’s long term goals. During this conversation you will undoubtedly hit on the company’s budget, need and timeline, which will give you the information you need to move forward or restructure your strategy. It’s when salespeople fail to thoroughly follow this qualification process – and jump right into their sales pitch- that they cause more damage than good.
Not all qualified leads will be sure sales; in fact, many leads may take their place in your nurture process for the foreseeable future. But it’s the qualification process that will give you the greatest potential for profitable and sustainable business over time. After all, isn’t business immortality one of our ultimate goals?