Savvy Ways to Identify and Qualify B2B Decision Makers

We’ve all been there before; we have a hot lead and the company that we’re pitching to looks like they need our product or service. However, the challenge is still to qualify B2B decision makers because, at the end of the day, a lead is just a lead if no conversion has taken place.

Qualifying leads in the B2B realm might seem to be a daunting task, but it isn’t that difficult.

In this article, we’ll help you identify the ways that you can reach the real decision makers in any organization that you have a hot lead in. So what are we waiting for? Let’s dive right in!

Understand Your Product!

Wait, what? More often than not, we as marketers fail to understand our own products and we dive right into the sales process. Understanding your product means understanding it’s price points and whom you will approach as a result.

Take for example normal office sundries. In a large company, it’s a matter of looking for the purchasing department. It’s nothing revolutionary and there isn’t going to be a great deal of change in the work environment if they adopt your product.

While we’re on the subject of things, it’s also important to know what impact your product or service will have in the company that you are marketing it to. Remember that if something causes a drastic change in the work environment, improves the system or causes a revolution, it can’t be left to an office manager to figure.

Instead, you’ll have to find a whole new department – in some cases – to be able to market your product to.

Related: How to Make a Compelling Presentation For Your Software Product

Understand The Company

Now that you have a firm understanding of your product you have to understand the company that you are marketing to. You have to find out how the company or business is going to adapt to your product and how it will benefit from it so that you can start making the right decisions right off the bat.

We’re not just saying look at their website.

We’re talking about digging deeper.

Check out LinkedIn and find out who seems to have the most influence out of the people you are talking to, ask around and stalk your “prey” before swooping in and making a selling decision.

While you’re on LinkedIn, check out their social media, you have to immerse yourself in the corporate culture so that you will know how to adapt your directives for maximum efficacy.

This is extraordinarily powerful if you are dealing with larger companies because corporate culture becomes a definite factor in them making a buying decision.

Related: Social Listening: The Power to Gain Business Insights and Increase Sales

Build Relationships

Let’s face it, apart from the gatekeeper; you’re not going to get close to the major decision maker instantaneously. You have to build relationships with the other people who work there.

Instead of getting annoyed at the gatekeeper being unable to process your requests, you have to understand that an executive’s executive assistant has a lot of roles to play. They won’t appreciate a salesperson that is trying to jam a product at them every chance they communicate with you.

These guys also know when you are trying to be overly nice just to get something out of them. So, beware of being of your façade when you’re interacting with them. They already know that you are representing a product so you can’t also fake it.

Related: 4 Ways to Get Past Gatekeepers and Reach Prospects Every Time

Pre-suade and Qualify B2B Decision Makers

Here’s a tactic that not a lot of people use and some people refer to it as retargeting, before you even get in a meeting with the person that you need to talk to make sure that they already have a good grasp of your message beforehand.

This could be in the form of putting your content in front of them beforehand, and you can even get a little sly and hit them with a targeted Facebook ad if you have their details.

Personalize Your Channel and Approach

If you want to get your point across, it has to be designed for the person receiving it. Whether it be a welcome or sales package, content that you want them to see or even the channel that they use, your message has to be built for them for it to be effective. This is one of the most critical parts of the whole equation.

If they use snail mail, then use snail mail. If they’re on social media, follow them and make sure you engage with them in a non-sales manner. If you followed the first tips at the beginning of this article, this should be an easy step for you.

Related: Effective Lead Generation Channels to Watch For (In Case You Missed Them)


So there you have it, by following these simple steps you can aim to build relationships instead of just seeking to qualify B2B decision makers. Relationships will help in the long run, and a lot of salespeople agree it helps in repeat sales!

Author Bio:

Rebecca Matias

Rebecca Matias is a Business Development Manager at Callbox. She is a proactive marketer who is willing to share her passion, leadership principles and craft in marketing. Follow Rebecca on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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Classification of Sales Leads: Hot, Warm or Cold

Learn the basics of classifying sales leads and start fine-tuning your lead generation process right away.

Video Transcript:

A typical telemarketer makes at least 140 live calls, talks to at least 40 decision-makers, acquires at least 10 fresh contact emails, and sends out reference materials to at least 140 contacts – all in a day’s work. That looks quite a lot to finish in a plate – unless you’re a foodie.

Do all these guarantee a Lead? Let’s see.

Each qualified lead follows a set of criteria. The number of qualified criterion of a certain lead will determine its classification. See below.

Hot Lead

Sizzling and sumptuous to your eyes…

Yes, it’s a Lead! This type of a qualified lead that meets all the required criteria which most of time is set. So how to know if it’s a hot lead, apply the BANT lead qualifying system.

B is for Budget

The prospect has set or prepared a budget and is just ready for disposal at anytime a project proposal is approved by the management.

Qualifying questions for this criterion would be:

Do you have a budget? How much is your budget? Are you willing to expend? What is your budget range?

A for Authority

The contact person you speak to could either be the Person In charge, or the Recommender. He should have the final word to either say “yes” or “no” to the proposal.

Qualifying questions are:

Are you the person in charge/recommender on this project? What is your role on this? Do you solely make the decision on this?

N is for Need

Need would always top the set of qualifying questions in a telemarketing script. When a need from the prospect is identified, this sends a signal of a brewing lead.

Qualifying questions may be as follows:

Are you looking into this type of product/service to improve your process? What product/service are you currently using? Have you encountered any issue? Are there any initiatives from your company to evaluate/replace your current system? What functionalities are you looking at?

T is for Timeframe

The point period from the time you spoke with the prospect to the planned or projected period of purchase or implementation of the new product or service.

Most qualifying questions would be:

When do you plan to purchase? When do you plan to implement the new system?

Download our FREE EBOOK, Weeding Out Junk Leads With Predictive Lead Scoring!

Warm Lead

Well-plated and perfectly garnished, but tastes just fine… what’s the missing ingredient?

This qualified lead misses 1 or 2 criteria. But what makes it bagged the qualifying scale is that a Need was identified and the other 1 or 2 qualified criteria should be able to support the first. In most cases, the disqualifiers would either be Budget or Timeframe.

But don’t get easily discouraged, these leads are not wasted.  They could still be nurtured and you might be surprised in due time they’ll be contacting you again.

Related: Lead Nurturing Done Right with Callbox Pipeline’s Lead Nurture Tool

Cold Lead

So, who likes a bowl of cold soup?

A qualified cold lead has 2 or 3 disqualifiers and the remaining qualifier would be supported by the prospect’s agreement to take a look or compare setups between their current system and yours. This is the kind of lead which most of the time is set to KIV (kept in view), and further nurturing is needed. Business success is not achieved overnight. It takes time, effort, tools, skills and strategies to be able to reach your target results.

Related: Warm Leads Gone Cold? Here’s What You Can Do

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Look at every lead as an edible opportunity. Imbibe hunger for it. Whether it’s HOT, WARM, or COLD, it’s still comestible, isn’t it?


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