Qualify That Lead – Get Closer to Your Customer!
Sometimes you spend weeks trying to build a relationship with a prospect. You set up a meeting and deliver your pitch only to lose the sale because that prospect wasn’t ripe to buy, or worse, wasn’t the person you needed to be talking to in the first place. This happens in most cases of lost sales.
What happens with unqualified leads?
- 25% make it through the funnel
- 67% fail due to pre-qualification
- 2% result in a sale
So with a 98% failure rate for unqualified leads, why would you ever hesitate to qualify yours?
Qualify From the Start
Lead generation can be pretty monotonous and boring if you used the tried but rarely true methods. Changing up your strategy will exponentially up your final results.
Make sure that the inbound prospects you attract are likely to qualify:
- This might seem obvious, but it’s good to have a recorded list of qualities that make leads pre-qualified.
- If you aren’t already using digital inbound marketing as a tool, start there.
- Realize that most prospects are already researching solutions to their problems – be sure your solution is visible, accessible, and informative.
- Map the journeys you expect your prospects will take to discover you. Plan this out for each type of prospect you encounter. Then prepare and plan content that targets the right prospect type at the right point.
- Strive to provide content that is of great value to qualified prospects – not just anyone. Of course, you want to rank high in SERPs, but precise targeting won’t hurt your chances. For instance, a company that sells lawnmowers that posts tons of funny yardwork fail pics will get a lot of traffic but not necessarily sell a mower to all of its visitors. Conversely, if the same site provided reviews, lawnmower stats, etc., it will still get a high number of visitors – visitors that want to buy mowers.
- Dismiss the myth that you should withhold information because it’s bad to “give too much away”. Transparency is important to customers and most companies are now making sure that their prospects have all of the information they need when they want it.
- Never trick your prospects. Teasers are annoying and drive prospects away. Your content and communications should always answer questions; never tease the prospect with a “click to find out” teaser. Prospects do business with companies they trust.
- Make lead generation tools on your website a valuable exchange. Don’t ask for more information than an email address and telephone number. If you can, don’t even ask for the phone number. Give them something in exchange for that information, such as a whitepaper, e-book, or other refined and informative piece of content that qualified leads will want to have.
- Talk to your sales team about road blocks they consistently run into and then determine the route around those blocks and whether or not you’re losing qualified leads due to something that just needs an easy fix.
- Don’t pressure your sales or marketing teams to bank higher lead numbers – encourage them to find quality leads. Where relevant, seek a lead generation company that can tailor leads based on your needs.
- Keep your marketing and sales teams working in tandem and together. If both teams know your qualification criteria, they will know which leads to reel in and nurture.
Qualify Those Leads!
One way to do that is through IBM’s BANT process which questions a prospect’s budget, authority, need, and timeline. This approach ensures that you’re talking to the right person and that the prospect’s company can afford your product and that you can match their preferred pace. It’s a solid place to start.
But it shouldn’t be the end of your efforts at qualifying a lead.
- During your conversation with a lead, whether in person or on the phone, let them do the talking. People love to talk about themselves and doing so puts them at ease. Ask questions. This gives you the opportunity to find out if your service or product meets their need.
- Find out, with tact and grace, what the chain of command is in purchase decisions and what the process is. It may be best to ask an oblique question about how they make decisions rather than about who makes decisions. Also, ask what factors are included in the decision-making process as well as what they look for in a vendor.
- Remain engaged while the prospect answers your questions, but don’t make it an interrogation. Foster positive feelings in the prospect, stroke egos, and validate their frustrations.
- Keep it all conversational, especially when talking about how your solution is the right solution. If you pitch too heavily, the prospect’s mind will start to wander.
- Don’t be afraid to tell the prospect that you’re not the right fit or that the product or service they’re already using is the right one for their current situation. It will save you time and, down the road, the prospect will return to you when their situation changes because you have established your company as a trustworthy vendor.
How an Agency Can Help
When your company is either too large or too small to handle lead generation or lead qualification, you may want to turn to one of the better qualified leads companies in the US. These companies help you determine your qualification criteria and, once they’ve hooked the right prospects, have the experience to move them smoothly through your sales funnel. Cities like Austin are emerging as great places to explore lead generation companies.
Because these companies focus solely on generating and qualifying leads, they do so more quickly and with greater success than either your sales or marketing teams can. In-house lead generation is a side task that is often low on the to-do list. A qualified lead generation company is replete with knowledge and experience in working with leads in your industry and their buying behaviors. With the powerful Credibase search will help you find an agency in your niche that may already be aware of qualified leads in your industry. Up and coming agencies in other cities are also getting listed on the site, making you derive the benefit of the latest and greatest information easily.