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Lead Qualification: How To Identify Who Your Potential Customers Are?

[fa icon="calendar"] Sep 9, 2021 5:21:29 AM / by Valeria Sanchez

Valeria Sanchez

Lead Qualification : How To Identify Who Your Potential Customers Are?

What is lead qualification? 

 

Lead qualification is the process of narrowing down your lead pool to see which prospects are worth pursuing and which prospects aren’t.

Narrow down your lead pool based on a set of characteristics of your choosing. This could be based on demographic information like company size or buying behavior. For example, a lead browsing your online store’s pricing page. In any case, here’s all you need to know about qualifying a lead. 

 

Source: Neil Patel

 

How will lead qualification help my organization? 

Lead qualification will help your organization in the following ways: 

  • Save time & resources

          Have your sales and marketing teams pursue leads that fit your organization’s          ideal customer persona. This way, there’s no time wasted trying to sell to a lead        that isn’t interested in your products or isn’t a good company fit.  

  • Generate revenue 

          When done right, lead qualification is guaranteed to generate revenue for your        organization. When you spend time nurturing clients that already want to buy          from you, it won’t be too long before they decide to make their purchase. Learn        how to create effective lead nurturing campaigns in this blog.


  • Gather perspective on your buyer’s needs and wants

          Part of the lead qualification process involves a sales discovery call. After the              marketing team reaches out to a prospect through email, the sales team then          reaches out to a lead over the phone and has a conversation with them                      regarding the lead’s challenges. Based on the lead’s pain points, sales then                positions the product as a solution.  

  • Improve personalization tactics 

          A smaller lead pool will give the sales team time to personalize that lead’s                  buyer’s journey. Take the time to dive into your buyer’s interests and create                connections with them. This will create a better buying experience for your                soon to be customer and garner a positive brand image. 

 

What is the process of qualifying leads? 

Before the discovery call is made, sales and marketing must first conduct a meeting to decide on a solid and measurable definition of an Ideal Customer Persona, Marketing Qualified Lead, and Sales Qualified Lead.

 

  • Ideal Customer Persona: A fictional profile of your model buyer. 
  • Marketing Qualified Lead: A lead that is considered to be receptive toward any marketing content sent their way. This lead is getting accustomed to your brand and is considering buying from you. 
  • Sales Qualified Lead: A lead that is passed on from marketing to sales only after they are considered ready to buy. This lead has or is close to making their purchasing decision. 

Read how Unlock Insights generated Marketing Qualified Leads and Sales Qualified Leads with an Inbound Marketing strategy.

 

How Unlock Insights used Fractional CMO's expertise to generate qualified leads

 

 

Read more about ICP’s, MQL’s, and SQL’s here. 

 

Both sales and marketing should come up with a consensus on what these three definitions mean to them. Take into account triggers, assign a certain number of points to each lead and assign appropriate lead stages (MQL, SQL, etc.)  based on behavioral and demographic data. As always, optimization is key to keeping all relevant data up to date. 

 

For example, for a lead to qualify as an MQL they have to have 20 points. An SQL must have 30 points. 

 

For example, say you’re a B2C company that sells online self-help courses. You receive a list of twenty names and emails from people that filled out the online form from your website.

 

At this stage, these are just names since none of these people have shown genuine behavior that indicated an interest in your product. However, they did take the time to fill out your form so 5 points are given to each lead.

 

You decide you want to host your first webinar class for free for those that are interested and so you send out an Evite to your list of twenty prospects.  

 

After you send your first batch of emails to these names you notice that twelve of these leads opened your email and only 8 have RSVP’d. Depending on your team’s decision, you might qualify both of these actions as engagement triggers. 

 

A way to differentiate these two engagement triggers would be by assigning a score to each one.

 

  • Leads that opened the email receive 5 points 
  • Leads that RSVP’s receive 10 points 
  • Leads that did neither are deducted 2 points   

 

It’s the day of the event and only 6 out of the 8 people that replied to your Evite have shown up. At this point, you would calculate a lead score for these leads. Leads that have shown up to the event should have a higher lead score than those that missed the event. 

 

  • Leads that missed the event are deducted 2 points 
  • Leads that showed up to the first event receive 10 points 

 

A week after your first event, you decide to host a second event. Only this time it is paid. Now is a good time to add each lead’s points together and determine what category of lead they fall under. If they’ve garnered enough points to be considered an SQL, it would be time to pass them to your sales team so they can conduct a discovery call. This is where the sales team gauges a prospect’s needs and positions the product as the solution. 

 

What is lead scoring? 

 

Lead scoring is the process of assigning a prospect a score based on their buying and online behavior or demographics. You might add points to a lead that exhibits certain buying cues, on the other hand, you would also subtract points if your lead stops showing buying intent. 

 

Lead scoring example

 

Source: Clearbit

 

How does lead scoring tie into the process of qualifying leads? 

 

When qualifying leads it’s best to use hard data with little to no guesswork involved in order to get the most accurate result. Lead scoring helps you discard certain leads based on the score you assign to them. It also helps differentiate qualified leads. For example, two leads might show interest triggers, lead scoring is a way to determine which lead is the most qualified of the two. 

 

What are some lead qualifying techniques I can use? 

What questions should I ask my leads during a sales discovery call? 

 

According to Marketo, here are some popular techniques to help guide you during your sales call with a lead. Each acronym stands for a set of questions a salesperson can ask the prospect during a sales discovery call to get a better idea of their buying criteria.  All techniques ask the same questions with slight variations in the order that they’re asked. 

 

BANT

 

BANT-qualificationSource: Lucidchart

 

Budget

  •  How much are you, the lead, willing to spend to fix your problem/challenge? 

Authority (for B2B)

  •  What is your role in X company? Are you a stakeholder in this decision? If not, could you refer me to the right person? 

Needs

  •  What are some current challenges you or your organization are facing? What do you think a solution to that challenge could look like? 

Timeline

How soon would you be willing to implement this solution?


CHAMP

 

CHAMP-explanationSource: Deskera

 

Challenges 

  •  What are some current challenges you or your organization are facing? What do you think a solution to that challenge could look like? 

Authority (for B2B) 

  • What is your role in X company? Are you a stakeholder in this decision? If not, could you refer me to the right person? 

Money

  •  How much are you, the lead, willing to spend to fix your problem/challenge?

Prioritization 

  • How important is it to you or your company to fix this issue? How soon would you like us to implement a solution? 

 

MEDDIC

 

MEDDIC-DefinitionSource: MEDDIC Academy

 

Metrics 

  • Do you have any specific goals you would like to achieve in the coming year? For example, increase revenue by a certain percentage in X amount of months? 

Economic Buyer

  • What is your role in X company? Are you a stakeholder in this decision? If not, could you refer me to the right person? 

Decision Criteria

  •  What is most important to you when making a purchase? Is it great customer service? Is it the cost of the product?  

Decision Process 

  • When you find multiple solutions to your problem how do you narrow down your choices? According to you, what is the most important part of making a purchase decision?

Pain Point ID

  • What are some current challenges you or your organization are facing? What do you think a solution to that challenge could look like? 

Champion

  • Hi, X person in your organization referred me to you. They really love our product and they thought you would like it too.

 

ANUM

 

anumSource: Copper Chronicles

 

Authority

  • What is your role in X company? Are you a stakeholder in this decision? If not, could you refer me to the right person? 

Needs

  • What are some current challenges you or your organization are facing? What do you think a solution to that challenge could look like? 

Urgency 

  • How important is it to you or your company to fix this issue? How soon would you like us to implement a solution? 

Money

  •  How much are you, the lead, willing to spend to fix your problem/challenge?

 

FAINT 

faintSource: Copper Chronicles

 

Funds

  •  How much are you, the lead, willing to spend to fix your problem/challenge?

Authority 

  • What is your role in X company? Are you a stakeholder in this decision? If not, could you refer me to the right person?

Interests

  • What is most important to you and/or your company?

Needs

  • What are some current challenges you or your organization are facing? What do you think a solution to that challenge could look like? 

Timing

  • How important is it to you or your company to fix this issue? How soon would you like us to implement a solution? 

 

GPCTBA / C&I: A technique developed by Hubspot 

 

Goals

  • Do you have any specific goals you would like to achieve in the coming year? For example, increase revenue by a certain percentage in X amount of months? 

Plans

  • Do you have a strategy in place to execute the goals you mentioned previously? 

Challenges

  • What are some current challenges you or your organization are facing? What do you think a solution to that challenge could look like? 

Timeline

  • How important is it to you or your company to fix this issue? How soon would you like us to implement a solution? 

Budget 

  •  How much are you, the lead, willing to spend to fix your problem/challenge?

Authority 

  • What is your role in X company? Are you a stakeholder in this decision? If not, could you refer me to the right person? 

Negative Consequences

  • If for whatever reason, something goes wrong and you aren’t able to meet your goals, what would you do? 

Positive Implications 

  • If you are able to meet all of your goals, what would be the next steps for you? Any secondary goals you would like to implement? 



Verbal cues to look out for during a sales discovery call  

 

During a sales discovery call, the sales team is trying to gauge if the prospect is interested in purchasing. Part of this evaluation entails looking for verbal cues from the prospect.

 

If a consumer is open and willing to speak about their challenges, it’s a positive verbal cue that they’re ready to buy from you or at the very least are interested in keeping the conversation going long enough for you to convince them to buy. The lead trusts you enough to talk about their pain points and in doing so is expecting you to provide a solution. 

 

On the contrary, a negative verbal cue would be short, vague answers. A lead that’s not willing to talk might mean they’re just not interested in what you have to offer. It could also mean they’re not the right person to talk to. In this case, consider asking if there’s anyone else in charge you could speak to. 

 

Lead qualification helps your organization decide if a lead is worth pursuing. Implementing this process will save you time, money and will give you a better idea of your customer’s needs so you can better empathize with your audience. 

 

Looking to build an in-depth lead qualification strategy for your organization?

 

Reach out to Fractional CMO Today!

Topics: B2B lead generation, B2B lead nurturing, lead, Lead Generation, Lead nurturing, Lead scoring

Valeria Sanchez

Written by Valeria Sanchez

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