Lead qualification is the process of determining whether or not a prospect fits your target customer profile and has the potential to become a long-term customer for your business. Qualifying leads involves speaking to potential customers and determining whether they are able, ready, and willing to buy your products or services.
Lead qualification is important because it helps you determine which leads are likely to convert into customers. Without it, your sales reps would be wasting a lot of time on prospects who have no potential to become new customers. While different lead qualification methods are followed by different organizations, every business should have criteria and a process that they follow to qualify leads.
Traditionally, methods like BANT lead qualification were used to qualify B2B leads. Some organizations are still following this method and it works for them. However, it is our belief that B2B organizations should set minimal qualifiers in an effort to have more conversations. Salespeople have to be trained on how to take a lead with a few qualifiers and move that conversation down the path.
Here is how we believe you should be qualifying B2B leads to achieve the best possible results.
It’s impossible to start the qualifying process without a solid list of leads to go off of. For this reason, the first step in lead qualification is prospecting and gathering data about potential customers. Any successful B2B lead generation program has one dedicated person who is solely responsible for prospecting. This individual can use various tools to perform prospecting activities; online databases such as Data.com (a component of Salesforce Sales Cloud), LinkedIn, and Prospect.io are a few popular ones.
During the prospecting process, your team members should be gathering as much information as possible. Some of this important information includes:
- Job title
- Email address
- Phone number
- Any other helpful information you can find
Once you have a solid list with information for each lead, you can begin contacting people on your list to further qualify them.
The next step in the lead qualification process should be asking qualifying questions. Qualifying questions help to determine the prospect’s buying persona and tell you if they are the right fit for your product or service. Qualifying questions also help you determine if a prospect is willing and able to buy right now.
A prospect doesn’t have to answer every qualifying question in order to be passed to a B2B sales representative (sometimes, your sales reps have to put in the work). However, here are some questions you could ask a prospect during this phase:
- Are you the key decision-maker (KDM)?
- Do you have a specific budget?
- Are you currently looking to make a change or purchase this type of product or service?
- Do you have a need for the types of products or services we offer? What problems are you currently trying to solve?
Qualifying questions help you move prospects through the sales funnel so that they can either be disqualified or become customers. For example, if you learn that someone is not the key decision-maker, but you still feel the company is a good fit for your product or service, you can try to find the correct point of contact. But, if someone says their product or service is out of their budget, you can disqualify them.
Last but not least—survey questions. Once a prospect is qualified to the minimal standards that you require, the next step is to ask survey questions. By asking survey questions, you can uncover specifics about the companies you’re speaking with to further qualify them and convert them into customers.
Examples of survey questions include the following:
- How many employees do you have?
- When is your contract up with your current provider?
- If you’re an HVAC company qualifying leads, you might ask; what is the square footage of your facility?
Ask as many questions as you can before you pass leads off to B2B sales reps. But remember, a lead doesn’t have to answer every single question every time for them to be sold to. Set minimal qualifiers so that your sales reps can have more conversations.
When you qualify sales leads the right way, your sales team will be more successful. Therefore, you’ll increase revenue and grow your business. A successful B2B appointment setting program requires a full team of professionals—quality assurance specialists, Sales Development Representatives (SDRs), B2B sales representatives, and more. Instead of hiring an internal team, why not hire a team of experts who feels like an extension of your own team?
With Abstrakt Marketing Group, you get access to every tool and every professional you need for less than the cost of one full-time employee. Are you ready to start building a sustainable, healthy sales pipeline and close more deals? Contact us today.