Identify the Best Leads, Close More Deals
Leads are leads, right? Not exactly. If you want your sales team to spend their time pursuing the best prospects, you need to know which leads are worth the focus. That’s the theory behind lead qualification, a process through which you segment prospects and identify the ones worth reaching out to—or at the very least, the ones worth reaching out to right now.
Successful sales pursuits often come down to understanding which leads are most likely to convert and mature into longtime, satisfied customers. A lead qualification checklist is intended to help your sales and marketing departments separate the wheat from the chaff, so they can allocate their resources accordingly and don’t waste time going after dead-end leads. The worst thing that can happen to a sales person is to spend their time with a prospect who cannot buy.
This is intended to be a general lead qualification checklist; your sales professionals may need to ask more specific questions based on your product/service offerings or the industry you serve. In any case, this checklist will help new and inexperienced agents start thinking about the types of questions they need to ask to be more successful in their sales pursuits.
Why You Need to Qualify Leads
Whether you generate a couple leads per week or a couple hundred leads per day, having a set of qualification criteria in place at the earliest stages is critical if you want to maximize the ROI from your sales and marketing programs. Lead qualification is the closest thing in sales to a crystal ball—certainly not perfect, but it gives you a clearer picture of where your prospects are in the sales funnel, so you can focus your efforts going after high-value leads who are close to making a buying decision. Consider the following benefits of qualifying leads early in the sales process…
Lead Qualification Saves Time
Very few (if any) prospects are ready to make a purchase the first time they speak with a sales representative . The sales process may take multiple touches over several weeks, or months, to convert a lead. Lead qualification allows agents to segment prospects into different “buckets” depending on how close they are to converting.
Lead qualification allows your team to focus on closing sales, while nurturing lower priority leads that may still need some time to mature.
Lead Qualification Reveals Additional Sales Opportunities
Lead qualification is all about asking questions, and sometimes asking the right questions can reveal cross-sale or up-sale opportunities that can improve the quality of deals your sales representatives bring in.
For example, asking someone about the critical business issues he or she needs to solve with a particular solution may reveal the requirement for an additional product or service the individual might not have considered. Or, asking questions about the organizational structure within the prospect’s business may help agents identify a better target with more decision-making authority or better understand how the organization makes decisions.
Lead Qualification Helps Reps Close More Deals
If you gave your sales representatives a choice between pursuing high-value leads who are farther along the sales cycle/process or spending time with prospects who may or may not ever convert (it’s anyone’s guess if all leads are treated equally), which option do you think they would prefer? The first one, obviously. Lead qualification is a powerful strategy that can help your sales representatives do what they do best: close deals.
Another way to think about it is to consider how much effort is needed to turn a prospect into a customer. Wouldn’t you rather your sales representatives focus on closing the highest probability leads and then focus on those prospects that need more nurturing instead of the other way around and potentially losing out on those high-quality, high-value leads? We figured you would, which is why we put together this lead qualification checklist.
A Smarter Way to Identify Qualified Sales Leads
Lead qualification checklists like ours are a great place to start if you want to understand which prospects are worth talking to and which aren’t, but there’s an easier way.
Intelemark’s B2B appointment setters will contact any number of prospects and qualify them based on your specific criteria for qualified sales leads. It’s one of the reasons Intelemark is considered the most effective business connection company in the lead generation and appointment setting business. And we’d love to do it for you.
Contact Intelemark to learn more about our lead qualification services and how a customized lead generation campaign can drive outstanding results for your company.