What is Lead Qualification?
Lead qualification, also called sales qualification, is when a sales rep determines if a lead is a good candidate for their product. A good sales rep must recognize whether to pursue a lead.
Why is Lead Qualification Important?
Sales reps must know who is and isn’t interested in their products. If you cannot make this distinction, you waste countless hours and resources trying to sell to the wrong audience. Practicing lead qualification will help ensure you’re targeting the right sales prospects.
Following a good lead qualification process will also help ensure the following:
- Spend more time getting to know your sales leads and their individual needs.
- Put together detailed, targeted sales pitches and ensure all communication is personalized for each sales lead.
- Focusing time and resources on high-value leads increases the likelihood of closing more successful sales.
- Provide valuable data to build an ideal customer profile so your sales and marketing teams know which audiences to target.
- Investing resources efficiently will help boost the sales team’s return on investment and keep them on track to achieve KPIs and individual sales goals.
Different Types of Leads
Lead generation begins from different sources–sales, marketing, social media, recommendations, word of mouth, etc.–so your lead qualification process needs guidelines on qualifying various leads.
These are the most common types of leads you’ll encounter:
- Sales Qualified Lead: Interested leads ready to connect with a sales rep for purchase discussions. They may have spoken to a sales rep in the past or have done their independent research on your product.
- Marketing Qualified Lead: These are leads interested in receiving marketing materials and communications but are not necessarily interested in purchasing your product. A sales rep can do a discovery call and then pass them on to the appropriate team for follow-up.
- Product Qualified Lead: These are leads who are interested in using your product and have likely signed up for a free trial version to test out. Product leads are likely to convert if satisfied to sales leads further down the pipeline. When possible, connect with them to answer any questions and pitch the value of your product further.
- Unqualified Lead: These are leads who are not currently interested in your product. They may have had previous contact with a sales rep or stumbled upon your company’s website or social media account. Still, they don’t know enough about your product to purchase it.
How to Qualify a Lead
Sales reps will need to research all their leads to help determine if they are qualified or not. You can start by examining their work type and see if your product would help bolster their business.
After conducting sufficient research, the sales representative can initiate contact. A personalized video to introduce yourself will help personalize the message and leave a good impression.
When speaking to leads, ask open-ended questions to help determine if they’re qualified or not. Examples can include:
- What business challenge are you trying to solve?
- What solutions have you tried in the past, and what was the outcome?
- Would you be using this product or someone else on your team? How often would you/they be using it?
- What is your budget, and who on your team would be involved in deciding to buy this product?
If you’ve determined the lead is qualified, follow up and continue the sales process.
How to Find More Qualified Leads
You may need to get scrappy for small teams, startups, and founders to find more leads in your territory or desired target audience. Luckily, automated lead gen tools that help from list building to automated email outreach and follow-up are now available. With the help of AI, you can find, qualify, and start engaging with the right kind of leads.