Stop Wasting Time and Money on Unqualified Leads

Stop Wasting Time and Money on Unqualified Leads [Lead Qualification 101]

It is not just leads but quality leads that fuel up your sales journey. You need to focus on those leads who have the potential to become your customers and generate revenue for your business. But how do you identify and qualify these leads to focus your time and resources on the most promising opportunities and avoid wasting them on the wrong ones?

In this blog post, we will guide you through the steps of lead qualification, from building your criteria to nurturing or disqualifying your leads. By the end of this post, you will have a clear understanding of how to find quality leads and turn them into loyal customers.

Why Lead Qualification Matters

Lead qualification involves analysing and filtering the leads that you have generated based on their fit, interest, and readiness to buy your product or service. The goal of lead qualification is to understand which leads are worth pursuing. It helps you to:

  • Increase your conversion rates by focusing on the leads who are most likely to buy from you and avoiding those who are not.
  • Improve your sales efficiency by saving time and effort on the leads who are ready to engage with you.
  • Better allocate your resources by investing more in the leads who have a higher potential value.

Developing Lead Qualification Criteria

The first step in lead qualification is to define your criteria for identifying and scoring your leads. This helps you to evaluate potential buyers for your product or service. Here’s how you can do it with these easy steps:

  1. Identifying Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Your ideal customer profile (ICP) is a description of the type of customer that is most likely to benefit from your product or service and generate the most revenue for your business. Your ICP should include demographic and behavioural characteristics of your potential buyers, such as industry, company size, location, job title, budget, pain points, buying behaviour and decision-making process.

To create your ICP, you need to understand your target audience and their needs and preferences. This will help you better identify and qualify the leads who can become your customers.

  1. Setting Lead Scoring Criteria

Lead scoring is a method of assigning points to each lead based on their demographic and behavioural data. The higher the score, the higher is the quality of the lead. It helps you to focus on the buyers who are most likely to buy from you.

To set your lead scoring criteria, determine factors like decision-making authority, budget to afford your product or service, website visit history, and content consumption records. A lead who has consumed your content, such as blog posts, ebooks, and webinars, is more likely to buy from you than a lead who has not heard about you.

You can assign different points to each factor based on its importance and relevance to your product or service. For example, you can give 10 points to a lead who has a decision-making authority, 5 points to a lead who has a sufficient budget, and 2 points to a lead who has visited your website. You can also use negative points to deduct points from leads who have unfavourable characteristics, such as being in a different industry, having a low budget, or being unresponsive to your emails.

By implementing a lead scoring system, you can easily identify and qualify the leads who have the highest scores and the highest potential to become your customers.

Step-by-Step Process for Lead Qualification

After defining the criteria for identifying and scoring your leads, you can follow these steps to qualify them and move them along the sales funnel.

Step 1: Acquiring Initial Data

The first step is to make initial contact with your leads to collect their basic details like name, phone, email, industry and company size. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Forms: You can use forms on your website, landing pages, or social media to collect customers’ data.
  •  Website interactions: You can track and analyse your users’ behaviour on your website, such as the pages they visit, the time they spend and the actions they take.
  • Social media: You can use tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to monitor and engage with your leads on social media platforms.

You can also assess the basic fit of your leads with your ICP using pre-qualification questions, such as:

– What is your role and responsibility in your organisation?

– What are your main goals and challenges?

– What is your budget and timeline for buying a product or service like ours?

– How do you currently solve your problem or meet your needs?

– How did you hear about us or find us?

By asking these questions, you can quickly identify and qualify the leads who meet your basic criteria and have a genuine interest in your product or service.

Step 2: Assess Lead Fit

To assess lead fit, use both explicit and implicit data. Explicit data is the information that your leads provide to you directly, such as their demographic and psychographic data. Implicit data is the information that you assume from your leads’ behaviour, such as their web activity and email engagement.

You should also use both quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data is the numerical data that you can measure and compare, such as your lead scoring points. Qualitative data is the descriptive data that you can observe and interpret, such as your leads’ pain points and motivations.

To assess lead fit, consider the following factors aligning with your sales and marketing strategies:

  • Your product or service: How does your product or service solve your leads’ problems or meet their needs? What are the unique features and benefits of your product or service? How does your product or service differ from your competitors?
  • Your value proposition: What is the main reason why your leads should buy from you? What is the value that you offer to your leads? How do you communicate your value proposition to your leads?
  • Your buyer journey: What are the stages that your leads go through before they buy from you? What are the actions and triggers that move your leads from one stage to another? How do you align your content and communication with each stage?
  • Your sales cycle: How long does it take for your leads to buy from you? What are the milestones and obstacles that affect your sales cycle? How do you accelerate your sales cycle and overcome objections?

Answer all these questions by aligning them with your sales and marketing strategies to filter the best opportunities

Step 3: Classify and Prioritise Leads

The next step is using different lead qualification classifications to rank your leads and decide how to approach them.

Some common lead qualification classifications are:

  • Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): A lead who has shown interest in your product or service and meets some of your criteria but is not ready to buy yet. An MQL needs more education and nurturing before they can become a sales-qualified lead.
  • Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): A lead who has shown interest and readiness to buy your product or service and meets most or all of your criteria. An SQL is ready to engage with your sales team and move to the next stage of the sales funnel. 
  • Disqualified Lead: A lead who does not show interest in your product or service or does not meet your criteria. A disqualified lead is not a good fit for your product or service and is unlikely to become your customer.

You can prioritise your leads as per lead scoring, lead fit and urgency of buying. Focus on the leads who have the highest potential to become your customer, who best aligns with your value proposition, and who have an urgent problem that your product or service can solve.

Step 4: Nurturing or Disqualifying

You can nurture your leads by creating and sharing relevant and valuable content based on their needs and interests. This will help you build trust and rapport with your qualified leads and move them closer to the purchase decision.

Also, you can inform your disqualified leads politely and professionally that they are not a good fit for your product or service and end the relationship with them.

Bottom Line

Lead qualification helps you find quality leads to boost your sales results. It is an ongoing and continuous process that requires constant monitoring and improvement. You should always keep lead qualification criteria, sales data, and strategies up to date that align with your target market and audience.

To implement these strategies with accuracy and improve your lead qualification process, try Sales Tracker. It is a powerful and easy-to-use lead management tool that helps you to organise and qualify leads faster. Start your free trial and see how it can help you sell better and faster.





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