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Apr 18, 2023
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Lead Qualification Process: Everything you need to know

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Key Takeaways

  • Due mostly to a poor lead qualification procedure, 67% of prospective consumers do not become actual customers.
  • Lead qualification, which involves deciding if a lead is the greatest fit for your company or not, is an important duty at the beginning of the sales and marketing process.
  • The lead qualifying process consists of four steps: generating an ideal customer profile (ICP), specifying lead qualification standards, setting up an automated lead scoring system, and dividing qualified leads into marketing and sales leads.
  • The BANT Framework, MEDDIC Framework, and CHAMP Sales Framework are three of the best lead qualification frameworks.

67% of prospective consumers do not result in sales.

Does this imply that sales representatives aren’t making enough of an effort to convert leads?

No! According to Spotio, the main cause is the inadequate lead qualification procedure used by sales representatives.

That’s a lot of lost leads!

As a result, just 33% of leads are converted, and those that aren’t qualified as suitable customers for the company weren’t even contacted. This is a significant issue! 

How then can you quickly filter the leads that are most beneficial to your company? 

by establishing an effective lead qualification procedure that separates leads with a better possibility of conversion.

What is lead qualification?

The process of assessing a prospect’s level of interest and likelihood of becoming a client is known as lead qualifying. It involves determining the lead’s buying readiness and their compatibility with your company. Lead qualification is often handled by sales or marketing teams using a set of predetermined criteria. The lead’s money, authority, need, time frame, and decision-making capacity may be among the criteria. By concentrating on the leads that are most likely to become paying customers, lead qualification aids in the prioritisation of sales efforts.

4 Steps to successfully qualify leads

Let’s understand the process of lead qualifying in 4 simple steps: 

4-steps-for-a-successful-lead-quaification-process

  1. Develop an ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

An Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is a thorough outline of the traits of a business’s most valuable clients. Here are some important things to think about when creating an ICP:

  • Demographics: Establish the fundamental traits of your ideal client, such as age, gender, level of education, income, occupation, and location, first. You may better grasp your target market and how to reach them with the use of this information.
  • Psychographics: This encompasses the character, principles, interests, pastimes, and lifestyle of your client. You can use this information to better understand the motivations behind and behavioural patterns of your target market.
  • Pain points and challenges: Choose the issues that your product or service can address for your target market. This can support your positioning as a response to their problems.
  • Buying behavior: Recognise the purchasing habits of your target market, including the channels they employ for product or service research and purchases, their decision-making process, and the variables that affect their choices.
  • Budget: Find out what your ideal consumer typically spends. This might aid in determining your marketing approach and the proper price for your good or service.
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV): Analyse your ideal customer’s buying patterns, loyalty, and propensity to recommend your company to others to determine their lifetime worth. This might assist you in focusing your marketing and sales initiatives on the most valued clients.

You may develop a thorough image of your ideal consumer by fusing these variables, which can then direct your marketing and sales approach. As your company grows and your target market shifts, don’t forget to periodically examine and update your ICP.

  1. Define lead qualification criteria

Lead qualification criteria are the unique qualities or requirements that a prospective client or lead must satisfy in order to be qualified for a given company or sales activity. These standards, developed by the business or sales team, are applied to leads to identify which are worth pursuing and which are not.

The lead’s industry or market segment, company size, purchasing power, level of engagement with the company’s offerings, and specific needs or problems that the company can help with are just a few examples of common lead qualification criteria. Other characteristics, such as geographic region, the lead’s position within their company, or the particular goods or services they are interested in, may be more relevant to the company or industry.

Businesses can more efficiently prioritise their sales efforts and concentrate their resources on pursuing the most promising leads by setting clear lead qualifying criteria. At the same time, they can spend less time and money pursuing leads that are unlikely to result in sales.

  1. Create an automated lead scoring process

Based on the leads’ level of interest in and involvement with your company, you can prioritise and qualify them with the use of an automated lead scoring procedure. The steps to creating a successful automated lead scoring system are as follows:

  • Identify your ideal customer profile (ICP): To begin, list the qualities that make up your ideal client. By doing so, you’ll be able to pinpoint the lead kinds most likely to result in sales.
  • Define lead scoring criteria: Analyse the traits and actions that show a lead’s level of engagement and interest in your company. Website visits, email opens and clicks, social media activity, and demographic information may all be included in this.
  • Assign point values: Each lead scoring criterion should be given points based on how important it is. For instance, visiting a webpage might be worth 5 points, but participating in a webinar might be worth 10.
  • Set up your CRM system: Set up your CRM system to track and grade leads automatically depending on their behaviours and characteristics. Setting up triggers and workflows that award points depending on particular deeds or events may be necessary.
  • Define lead status and scoring thresholds: Establish the various lead status levels (such as cold, warm, and hot) as well as the scoring thresholds that control when a lead changes from one status to another. For instance, a score of 0 to 25 could suggest a cool lead, while a score of 75 to 100 could mean a hot lead.
  • Create automated workflows: Create automated workflows that cause particular actions to be taken based on the status and score of leads. A sales professional might call or send an email in response to a hot lead, for instance.
  • Monitor and refine: Regularly review the results of your lead scoring process to improve your procedures and criteria. You may gradually boost your conversion rates and lead scoring accuracy by doing this.

By following these steps, you may build a powerful automated lead scoring process that will assist you in sorting and qualifying leads, ultimately improving the results of your marketing and sales efforts.

  1. Classify Marketing and Sales qualified leads

Identifying and prioritising leads according to their level of interest and interaction with the firm is made possible by lead classification, a crucial stage in the lead management process. Here is how to group quality leads for sales and marketing:

  • Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs): These are leads that have expressed interest in your goods or services but may not be prepared to make a purchase just yet. MQLs are often discovered through a variety of marketing channels, including website visits, gated content downloads, social media participation, and email opens and clicks. Businesses should take into account variables including lead demographics, lead source, amount of engagement, content consumed, and website behaviour when classifying MQLs. Once a MQL is found, it can be developed through focused marketing initiatives until it is time to hand it off to the sales team.
  • Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs): These are leads who have shown more interest and are more likely to convert to paying clients. The sales team often finds SQLs through direct communication, such as phone calls or email correspondence. Businesses should take lead demographics, budget, authority, need, and timing (BANT) into account when classifying SQLs. When a SQL is discovered, it is given to the sales team for additional qualification and follow-up.

In summary, MQLs are leads who have expressed some interest in your offering but may not be prepared to make a purchase, whereas SQLs are leads that have expressed a greater level of interest and are more likely to convert to paying clients. Businesses may better prioritise their sales and marketing efforts and increase conversion rates by categorising leads in this way.

Choose an Appropriate framework

Although every sale and customer is unique, every closed contract has a few things in common. Specific characteristics of these closed deals are discussed in a sales framework, and representatives can utilise this information to help qualify leads in the future. 

Here are the top 3 lead qualification frameworks you should consider:

top 3 lead qualification frameworks

  1. BANT Framework: Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline, or BANT as it is sometimes known, are four concepts. It is a framework for evaluating a prospect’s suitability for a certain good or service that is used in sales and marketing.

Here is a brief explanation of each component of the BANT framework:

  • Budget: In this case, the prospect’s financial resources are being discussed, specifically how much of it he or she can devote to buying a good or service. Prospects must be financially capable of making the purchase in order for a sale to go through.
  • Authority: This is a reference to the prospect’s influence over organisational decision-making. The potential customer must be able to influence decision-making within their organisation or have the authority to make the purchase.
  • Need: Here, it is meant to be understood that the prospect is attempting to address a particular issue or pain point. The solution to the prospect’s current demand or problem must be provided by the good or service being promoted.
  • Timeline: This speaks to the timetable or urgency of the purchase decision. The potential customer must be prepared to commit to a deadline that benefits both parties or have a certain schedule in mind for when they need to complete the purchase.

Sales and marketing teams can more effectively identify whether a prospect is a good fit for the product or service being given by basing their evaluation of the prospect or possible client on these four criteria. This will allow them to adjust their approach.

  1. MEDDIC Framework: In the sales process, leads and opportunities are qualified using the MEDDIC framework. Its initials stand for:
  • Metrics: What is the financial or strategic impact of the solution being proposed?
  • Economic Buyer: Who is the person who has the budget authority to make the purchase?
  • Decision Criteria: What are the specific criteria the prospect will use to evaluate the proposed solution?
  • Decision Process: What is the process the prospect will use to make the decision?
  • Identify Pain: What is the prospect’s problem, and how does the proposed solution address it?
  • Champion: Who is the person within the prospect organization who will advocate for the proposed solution?

The MEDDIC framework assists sales teams in setting priorities and concentrating on the prospects that have the best chance of producing a sale. Sales teams can modify their approach to be more successful in closing agreements by understanding the metrics, economic buyer, decision criteria, decision process, pain spots, and champions within a potential organisation.

  1. CHAMP Sales Framework: A well-liked sales methodology that aids salespeople in better understanding and communicating with their prospects is the CHAMP sales framework. what CHAMP stands for
  • Challenges: In the CHAMP framework, the first step is to comprehend the difficulties that your prospect is experiencing. Asking detailed inquiries will help you identify the precise issues and challenges your prospect is attempting to resolve.
  • Goals: The following stage is to determine your prospect’s goals when you have an understanding of their issues. What do they hope to accomplish? What results are they seeking? You can portray your product or service as a solution that can assist them attain their goals by being aware of their aims.
  • Authority: You need to know who the decision-makers are in the prospect’s organisation in order to close a transaction. This entails identifying the important stakeholders and influencers and comprehending their degree of sway and decision-making authority.
  • Money: To close a transaction, it is essential to comprehend your prospect’s budget and financial capabilities. Inquiries concerning their spending plan, fund allocation, and purchase procedure are part of this process.
  • Prioritization: In order to successfully close a deal, you must comprehend where your offering falls on the prospect’s priority list. This entails knowing what alternatives they are evaluating as well as how your solution stacks up in terms of value and ROI.

By using the CHAMP framework, salespeople may better grasp their prospects’ requirements and difficulties and position their solutions in a way that is both attractive and pertinent to the prospects’ goals and ambitions.

Conclusion

Most sales representatives go over the vital step of lead qualification occasionally, but it is one that must be done. It is important for thoughtful resource allocation. This blog provided a thorough explanation of the lead qualification frameworks and procedure.

And you already know that lead qualification is only one of your tools in the bag. Along with qualifying, lead creation, capture, management, and customer nurturing must be taken care of. Without a reliable ally on your side, this is impossible.

Salesmate is just that, after all.

Utilise Salesmate to revolutionise your sales process and boost your lead-to-customer ratio.

Article Categories:
Sales & Marketing · Lead Generation
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