How To Qualify Your Sales Leads (B2B & B2C) For Greater Results
Not all leads are created equal. Understanding lead quality is one of the most important factors to consistently purchasing or sourcing leads at a price point that makes sense for your business model.
On top of that, improving the quality of your leads closes more deals, and ultimately generates more revenue for your business on a recurring basis.
Sure, all your leads are "qualified" to some degree before they come to you, but refining the process makes a serious difference over time.
So how can you better qualify your leads? What can you do to be sure you are purchasing or generating the right leads?
In this guide, we will outline some of the basic tools you can use to qualify leads, and find which ones you should be spending more time and money on.
Qualifying Leads at Scale
Marketing automation should be the goal of any business. Chances are, your business implements some for of marketing automation to make the lead generation process simpler, more effective, and easier to track.
The problem with these systems becomes that there is so much information in one place, so many people working on it, and so much to be tracked, that the quality of leads can suffer along with the processes that should be implemented to improve lead quality.
So what should you be tracking for in your marketing automation software in order to better qualify leads quickly and efficiently?
4 Main Factors Influencing Lead Quality - B2B Leads
For B2B companies, there are five main factors that can help you determine the quality of your leads:
1. Department - Cut Right to the Chase
Forget getting on the phone with support, you need to be in touch with decision-makers, or at least someone in the right ballpark of the department you need to contact. If you are purchasing or generating leads that are too far from your offering, it is not only ineffective and time-consuming, but can turn a business off from making a deal.
2. Position - Target Decision Makers
This goes back to the first point. You want to be targeting decision-makers as much as possible. If you cannot reach them on the first point of contact, you should always look for someone immediately below them or very close in the chain of command. This will minimize touch points and likely get your salespeople to a position where they can make a sale faster.
3. Company Size - Focus On Your Ideal Customer
This is often an overlooked factor. At the end of the day, every service offering has its sweet spot, at least for the time being. You want to make sure that the leads you are generating fit within your ideal business size in order to generate higher sales and to make the leads worth following up with.
4. Company Revenue - Some Price Levels Just Don’t Work
Sure, the company might be the right size, but what’s their budget like? How much room do they have to invest into your service, what is their average client like? At the end of the day, these are usually questions you have to find out on the phone, but are still very important for people in your sales department to be making note of in order to spend time following up with the right leads.
4 Main Factors Influencing Lead Quality - B2C Leads
When it comes to B2C leads, you should also be looking for a few major factors to identify lead quality:
1. Buying Stage - When Should You Reach Out Next?
Where is your lead in the funnel? Do they have an existing solution, do they need education about this solution, are they brand new to the industry, are they ready to buy now? These are all things your salespeople should know about leads before ever getting on the phone with them in order to improve customer relations, better allocate their time, and know where to start for the next touch point.
2. Customer Profile - If They Don’t Fit, Forget
Look, you can try to fit a square into a circle all day long, and once in a while you might actually get it to work. But, we are trying to build a consistent way to rate leads in order to save the most time, only spend time and money on qualified leads, and only purchase the best leads for your business. If it seems like a lead is not a fit, do not waste your agents time trying to convince them they need a solution they see no value in. Instead, give them a score that warns future salespeople to not bother, and move on to the next one.
3. Interest Level - Gauging this is Very Important
Gauging the interest level of your leads is very vital knowledge for your sales team. Most of the time, they will have a basic understanding of this going into the call, but you want them to make sure they focus heavily on finding out where the lead stands in terms of purchasing while on the phone with them. This will help paint a better picture of what needs to be done moving forward to get a sale, and what resources should be distributed to help them flow through your funnel.
4. Pain Points - Customizing the Right Solution
Finding customer pain points is the most important thing while on the phone with a lead. Often times, you will know these going in, but can learn a lot more on the phone. This will help you to perfect your customer profile, deliver the best solution, and know what to focus on driving them towards in later phone calls.
Quantifying Leads by Score - Build a Consistent Way to Rate Your Lead Quality
Once you have a comprehensive view on your leads, it is important to give them a score to rate their overall quality. The best way to do this is to give a range of points for each important factor.
Then, based on that, you should prioritize your leads in an order that makes the most sense for your sales team.
Creating a score card for each lead within your marketing automation software will help your sales team to stay consistent with their input on leads, allowing you to have the best information about them, and to begin to understand inefficiencies within your lead generation strategies.
Taking Action - Targeting Leads & Refining the Process
One of the beautiful things about using this type of scoring system is that it will immediately reveal any quality problems you have with your lead generation strategy. You can easily run the numbers and find out how many of your leads are high quality vs. low quality.
On top of that, it will help you to identify problems with closing. For instance, if your sales team has 10 leads on the books with very high ratings this week, and closes none of them, it should raise a red flag about a potential issue that may need to be addressed with scoring or closing.
Also, by prioritizing only the best leads, and developing a consistent way of scoring and profiling for them, you will not only be targeting the best leads first, but developing a deeper understanding of what the best leads look like. This is very important because it will allow you to source better leads over time and spend less time on low quality leads.
As always, a big thanks to you from the entire Digital Market Media team. We use these techniques for our leads, and they have helped to dramatically improve all of our sales processes over time. If you found them helpful, or have some tips that have worked for you, feel free to share. Until next time, friends!
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