There is always that one conversation between the sales rep and the customer which helps the reps explore and achieve an insight into the thought process of the customer. The questions are the subtle indications that let the reps learn about the customer purchasing behavior. They also understand the procedure of making the sales pitch to the right customer.
Closing a deal is great not only for the sales rep but for the whole team. It means you’re that much closer to hitting your sales goals. What many people often forget about in the early stages of the sales process, and an important part of the early stages is lead qualification.
WHAT IS LEAD QUALIFICATION?
Lead Qualification is the process of filtering your leads to identify the ones who are most likely to become your customer.
You achieve this by learning about your leads and the key aspects of their company – like their goals, challenges, needs, etc. based on which you will be able to qualify if they will be a good fit for your business.
Tasks that sales reps may perform to qualify a lead include the following:
Once you deem someone a sales-qualified lead, you can then move them along in the sales process. This is why it’s so important to qualify leads as early as possible.
Sales qualification refers to the process that helps understand if a prospect is appropriate for the product or service that you are selling to them. Sales qualification happens during the calls with the leads which provides an indication of lead mindset. It is a significant process as it helps give clarity on whether or not a lead is serious about the deal.
The earlier you can qualify leads, the better, and the reason for this is simple—when you’re not qualifying leads early, you’re wasting time. Sales reps are talented, specialized individuals, and their specialty is closing deals, not prospecting and qualifying leads. It’s critical that you have a dedicated marketing or sales development team doing this so that your sales representatives can focus on what they do best: selling. Time is money, and if your sales reps who are skilled at pitching and closing deals are spending their time qualifying leads, they won’t close as much.
Even better than having your marketing or sales development representatives (SDRs) qualify leads: qualify leads in real-time. Using site analytics, you can gauge how much interest a particular prospect may have in your product. Or, use sitewide forms to ask prospects qualifying questions before they even contact you. Live chat features also enable you to talk to prospects who are on your site in real-time, qualifying them before they even enter the sales funnel.
Aside from the fact that qualifying leads early saves you time and money, lead qualification is also important for a number of other reasons. Here are four reasons why you should prioritize lead qualification as a part of your sales process.
If you’re wasting time calling and emailing leads that aren’t qualified, you might lose other opportunities. Some of the best deals your sales team will close are the ones that require more effort and nurturing to convert. If you’re unable to give them the attention they require to close, you may end up losing these high-value opportunities. Per a study by MarketingSherpa, 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance.
If you take the approach of working with every single lead in your pipeline, you might close some deals, but they won’t be the ones that stick. Nurturing a lead and developing a relationship with them before they sign on will prove to be worth it in the long run. But, if you have too many leads in your pipeline, you won’t be able to nurture them as well. A deal that closes will provide short-term value, but if the customer cancels a few months later, was it really worth it? Focusing on lead nurturing and qualification will result in happy, long-term customers.
Lead qualification is important because it allows you to spend more time on other essential sales activities and move qualified leads further along in the sales funnel. When you determine what leads are qualified, you can focus on activities like following up, developing relationships with people in your pipeline, and adding value by sending marketing materials such as case studies.
Lead nurturing is an extremely important part of a sales program, and without lead qualification, you won’t be able to do it. Building a lead nurture process is no simple task, and performing that lead nurture activity can be extremely difficult, too. If you have hundreds of prospects in your pipeline at any given time, you won’t be able to nurture all of them the way you’d like to. Suppose you’re only focusing on nurturing opportunities with a high likelihood of closing. In that case, you’ll be able to send messages that are more personalized, and you can talk to your contacts more frequently.
This might seem obvious by now, but lead qualification will also help you boost your revenue numbers and close rates. The key takeaway here is that your sales and marketing teams need to be on the same page. Your closing sales reps and sales development team members need to have one common goal and know what a qualified lead looks like. From there, you can develop a process that not only helps you efficiently qualify leads but helps you maximize the conversion of qualified leads into sales. Cross-departmental communication can help with this.
The lead qualification allows you to identify who among your target list is likely to become your customers, so you can spend your time and resources on only a handful of leads rather than spreading your focus around each and every one of the leads in your list.
While traditionally, lead qualification involved lots of questions asked, modern technology allows you to easily qualify a lead if you know what exactly you need to learn about them. The three levels of qualification stages discussed in this article should help you understand your leads and qualify them effectively.
That’s why Peakslead was founded. We’re a professional lead generation company helping B2B businesses grow their business. Our B2B leads setting services to take care of the time-consuming activities; prospecting, lead qualification, lead nurturing, cold calling, and emailing, so you can focus on what matters—bringing on new clients and growing.