What is Lead Qualification?
Lead qualification, also referred to as sales qualification, is the process wherein a sales rep determines if a lead is a good candidate for their product. This is crucial because a good sales rep needs to recognize whether a lead should be pursued.
Why is Lead Qualification Important?
It’s important for sales reps to know who is and isn’t interested in their products. If you’re unable to make this distinction, you end up wasting 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 individual sales lead.
- Focusing time and resources on high-value leads increases the likelihood of closing more successful sales.
- Provide valuable data to use to build out 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
Leads generation begins from different sources – sales, marketing, social media, recommendations, word of mouth, etc. – so your lead qualification process needs to have guidelines on how to qualify various leads.
These are the most common types of leads you’ll encounter:
- Sales Lead: These are leads who are interested in the product, and ready to connect to a sales rep to discuss purchase options. They may have spoken to a sales rep in the past, or have done their own independent research on your product.
- Marketing Lead: These are leads who are 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 Lead: These are leads who are interested in using your product and have likely signed up for a free trial version to test out. If satisfied, product leads are likely to convert 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, but they don’t know enough about your product to consider purchasing it.
How to Qualify a Lead
Sales reps will need to do research on all their leads to help determine if they are qualified or not. You can start by researching the type of work they do and see if your product would help bolster their business.
Once enough research is done, a sales rep can reach out. Using 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, make sure to follow up and keep the sales process going.