Learning how to properly qualify a lead can be the difference between earning a lucrative business deal or wasting lots of resources and energy – carrying water in a sieve.
Source- Marketing Sherpa
What If You Don’t Qualify Leads?
Using non-qualified leads is like throwing darts in the dark, and it hurts your performance at several levels. You waste your time and resources chasing the wrong leads and ultimately affecting your sales performance. There are basically two categories of leads-
- 1. Leads showing intent
These leads can also be called hand raisers that show clear intent to contact a salesperson by asking for a demo, signing up for a free trial or requesting a quote. They are qualified leads and can be directly transferred to sales. There may be a possibility that these prospects have contacted other competitors as well. So the one who contacts them first, gets ahead in the game.
- 2. Leads showing interest
These leads can also be called interested leads. Marketing automation has a great role in qualifying leads. Imagine someone browses through your websites, downloads your eBooks or signs up for a webinar. This implies that this lead has an intent. Right? NO! Wrong. It’ll be safe to say the lead is surely interested in the company and some follow-up emails requesting for a demo, may convert the interest into intent.
5 Things You Need To Pre-Qualify a Lead
To pre-qualify a lead is one of the most overlooked yet important stages of a sales process. 67% of sales are lost because sales execs do not qualify their leads (prospects) before taking them through the sales process. The right approach to qualify leads can help you to solve the old-age mystery: which leads will get passed to the sales team, and which will remain with the marketing?
Following these 5 things can help you to pre-qualify leads efficiently-
The best sales professionals do not sell, they help the customers to buy. Often the sales execs get into the sales cycle without knowing the actual need of the prospects. By failing to understand the immediate challenges that the customer needs to get solved, they end up pitching wrong service/product.
It is important to understand whether your prospects have the budget to invest in your product or not. This will save your time on the leads who do not have the ability to buy your product. There may be a chance that these leads are merely looking for information for future reference. In that case, these leads go into the warming process with your marketing engagement team.
If your product is able to provide the solution for the challenges communicated by your prospects, the lead is then worth engaging in the sales process. If not, then you’ll end up spinning your wheels.
There may be conditions when people engage you in a sales process, irrespective of whether they have the authority to make the purchasing decision. You need to be sure that you either speak to the actual decision maker, or involve the influencers to make the decision. This helps you to plan your process strategically and involve the required parties at different stages.
When you interact with the decision maker, be sure of confirming about the typical buying process. If they have a 12 month purchasing process, and you need to close the deal in 3 months, investing your time in that case may not be a viable option.
By mastering the skill of pre-qualifying your leads, you will be able to make better use of time and focus on potential customers at the right time, which will increase your sales, and eventually revenue.
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