Collecting a pool of possible leads is not a difficult feat once you’ve learned how to rein in your ropes and use all the tools at your disposal. You and your team are excited to close more sales and have a firmer grasp on managing your accounts. Everything seems quite consistent so far, and so is the challenge that comes with the consistency of managing a funnel of leads, prospecting, and qualifying them.
Don’t worry. It’s nothing uncommon. Data shows that 25% of leads are legitimate and should advance to sales. However, 79% of marketing leads never convert. In addition to that, 73% of leads are not even sales-ready, and another 50% are qualified leads but aren’t ready to buy just yet.
Qualifying and nurturing your leads is essential if you want to grow your revenue. Today we are going to talk about the dangers of not qualifying your leads and the benefits if you do qualify and nurture them. We’re also going to discuss the different lead qualification frameworks and as the cherry on top, we’ll give you some sweet tips on how you can qualify your leads better.
Targeted B2B Marketing Handbook: Guide, Checklists and Worksheets
Find, engage and convert the right prospects with the right message.
Now to address the elephant in the room: Why is not qualifying your leads bad? If you know or have established what a good lead is, you automatically have a notion of what a bad lead is as well and how you should nurture them better.
Here are the negative effects of poor lead qualification.
Waste of Time and Counterproductive
Every day you’re hustling. You work harder and harder and spend even more money, but the truth of the matter is, there will never be more than 24 hours in a day. It’s a common saying and motivation to work hard and you will be successful, which does ring true. But are you working towards sure results or are you just beating against a void and nothing really ever happens?
Many businesses only concentrate on the quantity rather than quality. Of course, you want to have as many leads as possible, but at the same time, you also want to make sure that you are going after leads that are actually a good fit, and that is where a lot of businesses go wrong.
Winning the (wrong) crowd
You might think that there is nothing wrong with attracting any and all clients, whether they fit your business or not because with a little more convincing, they’ll eventually give in, right? No.
Just as we mentioned in our first point, it will be a waste of time and it will only give your team more things to worry about. A client who is not a good fit for your business is going to keep demanding things from your team that they are not accustomed to doing. Your client’s patience is going to wear thin if he has to sit and wait for your team to learn. It’s a lose-lose situation.
Be practical with your leads. You might be expecting too much from these leads only to get disappointed and potentially even lose money by the end of it instead of gaining it.
Bad Blood, Bad Rep
Now say one of your unqualified clients cancels their term with you after not getting the service they asked for? What do you think they will say to other people who’d ask them about you? It sure won’t be words of flattery.
If a client has a bad experience with a company, they are also going to share their bad experience with other people to prevent them from making the same “mistake” as they did. Even worse is if they’d blast you all over social media, and that would tear you down faster than the time it took to build your castle up.
Never compromise the quality of your services. Don’t waste your time on unqualified clients. It’s like trying to harvest oranges from an apple tree. Concentrate on clients who are a perfect fit for your services instead.
The good news is that you don’t have to worry about these problems if you do your lead qualifications right. There is no need to oversell yourself and force yourself to offer services that aren’t your niche. Of course, if there are consequences to bad lead qualifications, there are also benefits that you can reap from taking the time to qualify your leads.
In counter to the bad effects, if you qualify your leads well, you won’t have to waste your time on dead-end leads or businesses outside your target parameters. Therefore, it’s crucial that you outline how your team qualifies leads.
Improtant things to be mindful of are their personas which would include their profile attributes and buying cycles. Their industry, location, and company size. These are all great help in determining whether your leads are in the qualifying process or not. Really, why waste one of your salesperson’s time with a client who can’t afford nor fits the parameters
The way revenue is generated is through conversions which are manifested in your sales team as closed deals. It’s understood that qualified leads equal improved close rates, yet it is also important that you and your team have a mutual understanding of this; to develop and implement a successful process to achieve this.
The ANUM method is a common way for teams to qualify their leads to make sure that both marketers and salespeople are aligned:
This process will determine the quality and stage of your prospects. If your company has verified authority and needs, you can determine the right budget for the right solution.
Attracting More Customers & Good Relationships
By qualifying your leads, you attract the right customers, and by attracting the right customers, you build better relationships with them because you are all on the same page. The better your relationships with your clients are, the higher your chances of recommendation from them. They will sing your praises to their peers and highly recommend you. Free PR doesn’t come better than satisfied clients’ testimonials.
Related: 5 Ways to Maximize Lead Quality
Lead Qualification Frameworks
In B2B lead generation, the process and the task of qualifying leads isn’t a simple “one-shoe-fits-all process. There are various ways to qualify leads that suit different types of markets and businesses. Let’s look at the different methods and their respective purposes.
This particular framework is the one that puts your client’s needs first by taking a modern approach to sales lead qualification. Having the resources isn’t the sole benchmark for buying things, but having the need and desire for it as well.
Which obstacles is this lead facing and can your product or service help solve them?
Does this person have the authority to say “yes” to buying your product or service for their own company?
How much us this product willing or able to pay for your product or service?
Discover how important it is solving this problem relative to your lead’s other priorities.
If you want more in-depth information on this method, read here.
This method is not a stranger because it’s the most popular one out of the bunch. This method has been around for decades and some aspects of it are somewhat old-fashioned.
The highest-priority factor to consider when qualifying leads under this framework is budget. Some sales leaders believe that the problem with this framework is that it does not put the client’s needs first and instead places a higher value on their budget or authority. But since we are living in a Relationship Era now, BANT is becoming less and less popular.
How much is the lead willing or able to spend?
Is the lead the decision-maker for purchasing your product or services?
Will your product or service solve the lead’s business need or help them accomplish a goal?
Will the lead implement your product or services in the near future?
Rebecca suggest: Sales Questions to Find and Qualify Customers Pain
This framework takes a little more detailed approach into qualifying leads. It is the art of picking apart your clients’ goals down to its timeline to ensure that they are all in line and help see them through.
What are the qualifiable goals that they want to hit? When discussing goals, help your prospects think outside of the box and see the bigger picture or think more realistically based on their experiences of helping others in similar situations.
What are their current plans that they will implement in order to achieve the goals they have set for themselves? Make sure that you nail down whether your prospects that tried these before or if this is the first time or not, and if it worked for them or not.
In any sale, the most important moment is determining if you can help your prospects overcome their and their company’s challenges whether it’s ones they are currently facing or ones they are anticipating for the future.
Last but not least, we have NOSO. As mentioned earlier, CHAMP and BANT are two different types of approaches, one more modern and the other a bit more old school, they both still serve their purpose in certain sales settings. However, for the modern buying-centric client, NOSO is the most effective way to go.
NOSO is a customer-centric framework strategy that prioritizes on diagnosing and putting the customers’ needs first by also being the ones to diagnose them. Here at Callbox, this is the strategy that we actively use and it has deemed effective every time. It is what we desire to achieve In this Relationship Era where companies focus more on what they can give to their customers and not just what they can get in return.
What does your customer need the most at this point in time?
Define the right opportunity in which you can step in to help them with your services.
Discover the stakeholders involved.
With your clients, discuss the desired outcome that they have in mind so that you can help them accordingly.
How To Better Qualify Leads
When qualifying leads, it’s all about gathering insights that are necessary to make good judgment.
Should you sell to your given prospect? What is the best strategy or framework for closing a deal? Does your prospect fit the services you offer?
Only after you’ve qualified each prospect can you really say whether they are worth investing your time and effort into trying to sell to them?
We advise that you avoid using a one-size-fits-all method because every prospect is different from the other. As we have listed the different frameworks that companies use to qualify their leads, try to choose and see which one works best for you and your prospect and qualify them accordingly.
Take your competition into consideration as well. Who are you competing against? What other companies have they worked with before? Are they comparing your solution with theirs? What are they are basing their decisions on? Once you know all these factors, you will have a better idea and view if your prospect is a qualified one or not.
There are 4 signs of a good qualifying process that you might want to examine to see for yourself if you are doing your lead qualification right or need to work on it a little more.
- Productive sales reps
- Successful customers
- Time to close
- Good forecasting (meaning, you know what kind of deals are going to close and what they are going to be worth.)
If you can spot all these 4 signs in your lead qualification process, congratulations! You are doing it right.
And if there are many of your prospects that don’t qualify, then sometimes that simply means that the people you are talking to are just simply not a good match for your product/service. Avoid casting your net too wide, because by doing so you attract people that are not a good match for you. Consider keeping a more focused and targeted lead generation approach so you won’t have to spend the majority of your time chasing prospects who will never buy from you.