Lead qualification is the process of sorting leads by sales readiness.
Car positions in a Formula 1 race.
Only a small percentage of your sales targets will actually click through to purchase. Brick-and-mortar businesses see their fair share of browsers before a customer with definite intent to buy walks through their doors. The same is true for digital B2B interactions. And that’s why lead qualification is a critical, but often undervalued, step in creating an optimized marketing campaign with high conversion rates.
To make sure your sales outreach and marketing materials are hitting where they will be most effective, your organization should have a solid lead qualification process in place. This will help you filter through your lead pool to funnel prospects that are interested, able and likely to purchase your product or service.
In this post we’ll go over some of the vital aspects of lead qualification, as well as how you can qualify a lead for your business.
An SQL, or sales qualified lead, is a researched prospect that has been vetted by your lead qualification process and identified as a promising target for marketing and sales outreach. These can also be identified as “future customers” although they are not necessarily an immediate customer.
Ideal SQLs are a perfect amalgamation of all aspects of qualification. While they don’t need all of these traits to be determined as a worthwhile target, the perfect SQL will understand your product, have a problem which can be optimally solved by your product and will be able to afford your product.
Your organization should employ a data-driven approach at every step of the lead generation process and assess lead qualification based on data sources including:
Once you have a reliable methodology for gathering lead data in place, your team should employ a clear strategy for categorizing your leads based on their qualifications and whether or not there are any concerns or problems which may cause their disqualification.
Here are a few easy and explicit formats you can use to qualify your leads.
Like any other business process, lead qualification has a distinct start point, center and endpoint with defined processes at each to keep qualified targets flowing through your lead funnel. Here’s what that usually looks like.
In the early stages of this process you will have numerous leads which have yet to be qualified. This is where most of your data-gathering comes in and initial qualification processes will take place.
Next, you will employ any of the above techniques to further parse down your list of leads and find those targets with the best fit for your product or company at large.
Once you have your qualified leads you will enter the nurturing stage wherein your organization continues to engage with a target company until they are either ready for a sale, or disqualified.
Finally at the end stage you will convert your target from lead to customer and enter a mutually beneficial sales relationship with your new client.
Reliable data is often the difference between a shot in the dark and sales conversion made through lead qualification. Understanding what your target needs is the first step to qualifying a lead, and Intricately can help make that happen. Our sales intelligence tools will help your B2B sales teams discover high-potential accounts with organizations that need, want and have the budget to acquire your product. Use Intricately to qualify leads, generate marketing campaigns that work, and make long-lasting sales conversions.
Want to know more about using data for sales conversions? Check out our post on Business Data to learn more.
In this chapter, we predict trends for 2020 based on our analysis of the global adoption of APM.