Lead Qualification

Lead qualification refers to determining which customers are most likely to make an actual purchase. It's an integral part of the funnel, which often takes in many leads but only converts a small amount of them. 

Lead qualification is a multistep process. Your marketing team collects a lead's contact information as part of inbound marketing operations. It assesses whether the lead is likely to fit your target audience's buyer profile. If the lead is deemed a fit, they become a prospect. A sales representative can get involved by scheduling a call where they will discuss the prospect's needs, timeline, authority to make a purchase, and budget. Based on this information, the sales team will decide whether the prospect is a good candidate for pursuing further.

Why is it important? 

To embody long-term sales opportunities, a company needs a sufficient number of leads who are eager to buy its services or products. Yet, identifying and evaluating leads is not an easy task, and qualifying them is the only working method of getting leads ready to convert into customers.

Qualification is necessary to understand which of the collected leads are interested in your products and can afford them. Determining the buyers' potential allows you to communicate more precisely, reducing the time from becoming acquainted with the product to purchase. Also, segmenting your leads allows you to build more personalized communication.

The lead qualification will make your promotion personalized and connect directly with people ready to purchase and improve your revenue.

How does it work?

If you want to find relevant leads, you need to qualify them. This process involves:

  • Assessing incoming leads.
  • Dividing them according to their potential.
  • Sending follow-up emails to convert leads into customers.

To get the most qualified leads, businesses should know the characteristics of their ideal customers. It allows the company's sales and marketing departments to create a system of evaluating incoming leads and focus your resources on leads who have all the necessary traits.

  • Adjust to a lead scoring model

You can quickly gather important information about leads without directly asking them by analyzing their already submitted contact data. This includes demographic details (age, gender, location), related to the lead's business, behavior, and engagement. The process enables companies to prioritize leads and communicates with them to increase conversions.

  • In-depth research

Search for information about your prospects and track your leads using Google Analytics. You can receive information about their activity on your sites, like the pages they prefer to view, demographics, interests, and preferences.

  • Select the appropriate framework

There are a lot of different frameworks that can help you qualify your leads. You've probably heard about some of them, for example:

  • BANT - budget, authority, needs, and time;
  • MEDDIC - metrics, economic buyer, decision criteria, decision process, identify pain, and champion;
  • CHAMP - challenges, authority, money, and prioritization;

You can start with BANT, one of the most popular frameworks. Knowing your prospect's budget, authority, needs, and time allows you to find out whether you have a chance of winning the sale.

  • Use SPIN

SPIN was created to navigate through different sales situations. It stands for:

  • Situation - lead's current situation;
  • Problem - your prospect's problem that you can resolve;
  • Implication - the negative impact of this problem on the prospect;
  • Need-payoff (the importance of your solution). 

Ask questions about these things in this exact order to explore the current situation and the problem your lead faces that can be solved with your product. 

  • Ensure you have a complete data profile

Businesses have data profiles for their leads to simplify communication. A profile usually includes name, address, phone number, email address, interests, demographic info, observed actions, and the level of engagement with your brand. Such profiles help you make the most relevant and personalized offers.

Lead qualification is critical to efficiently allocating your sales and marketing resources. Suppose you invest an equal amount of resources into all potential customers without first assessing their qualifications. In that case, you will spend money on prospects who may be less likely to buy. Organizations must budget for the typical marketing costs. Don't waste your time on prospects who will never convert.

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