Do You Qualify Your Leads or Waste 1,393 Hours a Year?
Do you know how to increase your number of sales by 67%? If not, you’re in the right place. We’ve looked at the numbers and decided to share just how easily you can increase your sales with a single change in your process.
Lead qualification will not only transform your sales process but also help you sell more while saving time and resources. In this article, we’ll explain the importance of lead qualification and provide you with a guide on how to utilize it for your business.
What is lead qualification?
To put it simply – lead qualification is the process of finding the best leads for your sales efforts. It refers to segmenting the leads and finding the ones with the best chance of converting.
Once you set up your lead qualification process, you can rest assured knowing that you’re focusing on the right targets. After all, you don’t want to spend time on leads that will never convert.
For example, if you’re selling home insurance, you don’t want to target renters, just like if you’re selling office supplies, you’d want to target companies with a lot of employees. As you can see, lead qualification isn’t a black-and-white issue. It can help you find not only the leads with a better chance of converting but also with a higher conversion value.
It’s hard for a single salesperson to know all of the needed information, which is why you need to qualify your potential customers before contacting them.
Importance of lead qualification
The importance of lead qualification lies in the fact that it saves you time, money and effort you would otherwise spend on leads that are unlikely to convert.
Research shows that 67% of lost sales are a result of sales reps not properly qualifying potential customers. If you turn that percentage into hours, you get 26.8 hours a week, which is 1,393.6 hours a year.
When you look at those numbers, we’re sure you would want to do whatever you can to avoid wasting 1,393 hours a year. Well, luckily for you, we have an easy-to-follow guide that will help you qualify your leads and in turn, increase your sales.
But first, let’s explore the importance of qualifying your leads.
Lead qualification helps you:
- Better understand your audience
- Meet your ideal customer profile
- Increase your sales and ROI
- Speed up your sales process
If you’re wondering how qualifying your leads can help you better understand your prospects, here is a simple explanation.
One of the most important aspects of sales is the established trust between your salespeople and their potential customers. The trust firstly stems from the quality of your solution (product or service) and secondly from the approach of your sales team.
The salespeople need to nurture the leads, provide them with the right information at the right time and assume what type of issues they might bring up. Seeing how people buy from people, it’s important to provide your customers with that human touch that many brands lack nowadays.
In order to understand how to approach your leads, you need to have data on them, which is a part of the lead qualification process. Put yourself in your client’s shoes, would you prefer to buy from someone that understands your needs or someone who is treating you like a number?
Once you start qualifying your leads, you will get the luxury of focusing on your prospects and really getting to know them. In turn, this can help you better understand the direction your marketing team needs to go in, in order to engage potential customers that are ready to buy.
Saving time and effort
We’re sure that there aren’t any sales teams out here that can afford to waste time. Seeing how they are constantly looking for ways to optimize their work, lead qualification is just a natural step towards increased sales.
According to research, just 33% of the inside sales-rep time is spent actively selling. Salespeople spend a lot of their time focusing on repetitive tasks that could be automated. With that type of mindset, your team will not just waste time, but also lose out on a number of deals.
If you’re not qualifying your leads and spending time trying to convert all of them, you’re doing a lot of work, while not producing a lot of results. Once you create the framework for qualifying your leads, you’ll be able to quickly see where the opportunity for conversion is the highest.
After lead qualification comes the proposal process. In order to save even more time, automate it with Better Proposals. We can help you with proposal creation, as well as the signing, payment and follow-up process.
Our vast library of templates will help you find the perfect one for your client and you can easily customize it to your needs. With our intuitive editor, anyone can be a master of proposal creation, no matter their previous experience.
Furthermore, once you send out your proposal, your clients can easily agree to your terms by typing in their name, which will get turned into a legally binding digital signature.
Your clients can also pay their fees through the proposal itself, all you have to do is integrate a payment gateway – Stripe, PayPal or GoCardless.
If the client wants you to make changes to your proposal, you can easily do it, just as long as the document wasn’t signed. Find out more about our service by taking a virtual tour.
Personalizing your content
Once you understand who your ideal audience is, you gain an amazing opportunity to personalize your sales and marketing content towards them. This helps you save even more time because your sales pipeline can do the work for you, instead of you having to reach out to every single lead.
Creating blogs, videos, podcasts and other types of content that outline the benefits of your solution and give great insight into how your products and services could be used, may just do the trick.
Of course, this type of personalization shouldn’t stop once your clients finish the purchase. The best way to keep your customers and make them loyal to your brand is with an account-based approach. That way, all of your clients will receive personalized messaging that addresses their needs, and wants and is in line with their budget and the size of their company.
The best way to create personalized content for your audience is by trial and error. Make sure you’re testing out different formats and styles and analyzing their results. This can be done with social media analytics, Google Analytics and CRM tools.
How to qualify leads?
Now that you understand the importance of lead qualification and how much it can increase your number of sales, it’s time to take a look at how exactly should you do it.
Define your ideal customer profile
Start by defining your ideal customer profile. This refers to a type of person or company that would benefit the most from your solution – i.e. product or service. It’s important to know who fits your ICP if you want to sell more and be able to find similar customers.
The data you need in order to create an ICP is:
- Company size
- Purchase behaviour
- Interests and more
Once you have this information, you’ll be able to proceed with your lead qualification process because you’ll have a great understanding of which leads are worth spending time and effort on.
Identify your leads
In order to identify your leads, you’ll need to have a specific method of lead generation installed. It can be done with capture forms on your website, social media, webinar signups, ebook downloads and more.
The thing to watch out for is the balance between how much information you’re asking for and how much value you’re providing. You can’t expect people to give you their name, email, name of the company and phone number just to subscribe to a newsletter that rehashes your blogs.
If you want a lot of information on your leads, make sure you’re offering them a lot of value. Think free ebooks, courses and other ways of presenting your know-how.
Now that you have a great understanding of what type of ICP you’re looking for and have a lot of information on your leads via capture forms, you need to do some additional research.
This is where you switch to manual mode. By that, we mean taking to LinkedIn and Google to see if your leads are worth qualifying. The research stage will take a longer time if you’re focusing on B2B sales.
The reason behind that is that companies tend to have multiple decision makers and you need to know exactly who you’ll be working with.
Try and find out the company’s funding information. It’s an important aspect of your research because it will tell you whether they’re a viable prospect or not. You might find out that they’re in the middle of fundraising for a new product launch or that they’ve needed to downsize.
Whatever it is, the information will be very valuable to you.
Next, try and figure out if they ever worked with any of your competitors. Your approach should differ based on whether the client is familiar with your solution or not. They might be apprehensive to work with another company if they had a bad experience, which is why your approach shouldn’t be too pushy.
Lastly, look for any signs of growth. Are they hiring for a lot of different positions? Is the company launching a new product or service? Make sure to look for positive and negative signals in order to make a well-informed decision.
Score the leads
Once you have all this information, it’s time to score your leads. Often, scoring is done on a point range of 0 to 100 by adding up scores given to specific features. But before you start scoring, you need to create a benchmark.
We advise you do this by calculating the lead-to-customer conversion rate of all of your leads. In simpler terms, this refers to the number of new customers, divided by the number of leads you generate.
Having this benchmark helps you understand how many leads should be highly scored.
Start scoring by looking into the different actions your leads made:
- Have they visited a specific landing page, opened your emails, or spent a significant amount of time on your website?
- What part of your sales cycle are they in?
- Could you upsell or cross-sell them?
Once you add up your score, it’s time to look for the perfect time to reach out.
The last step of your lead qualification is making content and reaching out to your potential customers.
In most cases, there will still be some information lacking. That’s why reaching out is the best step to take at this time.
You may need to:
- present the benefits of your solution
- explain how easy and quick your onboarding
- describe the problem they are trying to solve
If you’re interested in a specific list of questions, take a look at our question guide that explains the importance of each query.
Make sure your approach is personalized towards every lead and be confident in your solution. You’ve made it this far, don’t lose faith now.
Lead qualification should be an essential part of your sales process. Especially if you want to increase your sales rates by 67%. With our guide, you’ll be able to do it without hassle.
Once your lead qualification produces the best prospects, all you have to do is ace the proposal process. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone.
Sign up for our free trial and find out how Better Proposals can help you increase conversions, speed up your sales process and upsell your existing customers.
Start sending high conversion proposals today
more professional way to win more business.