Everyone wants leads, but once they start rolling in, it becomes much more apparent that it's not just leads you want, but QUALIFIED leads. Lead qualification, when done incorrectly, means you spend more time following up with and talking topeople who ultimately aren’t going to turn into customers.
So, how do you know when a lead is qualified, and what is the best way to ensure you aren't wasting your time? Outlined below are two tried-and-true methods that we highly recommend:
1. BANT Model:
For cold leads, or those that haven't converted on your website and you are talking to personally we recommend a well-known lead qualification method, the BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline) model helps keep you focused on what questions to ask in determining qualification. All four are equally important as, without one, you won't make a sale. Let's dive in:
- Budget: Do they have enough to afford your product or service? If not, then probably not a good use of your time.
- Authority: Are they the final decision maker, or have the ear of that person? If not, then you need to be using this opportunity to leverage a meeting with the decision maker.
- Need: You may have the best product ever, but if the client doesn't have the pain point you are focusing on, all your selling will be in vain.
- Timeline: If the lead says they need your service, but not for X amount of time, you are either being let down easy, or they are a later opportunity. Make a note of their timeline to follow up, and move on to the next.
While many leads can be tempting and even have 3 of the 4, if they don't meet these four criteria, they are not a qualified opportunity.
2. Lead Scoring
For leads that have come to your website and given you their information through a form, there are several options for understanding their buyer behavior behind the scenes to see if they are qualified. Lead scoring allows you to see where they are engaging and converting on the website, as well as weigh different properties, such as company size or budget, so you know if they are a qualified lead. Let's break down areas of engagement:
- Form Submissions: If they fill out a form to request a demo, that should be weighted more than an eBook or guide.
- Website Visits: How many pages did they go to and which kinds of pages? Weigh them by the number of visits.
- Properties: On the forms they can indicate many things about themselves beyond name and email. Create properties that answer the BANT criteria above and the work will be done for you.
With these two models, you can quickly qualify or disqualify your leads and even automate the process! For inbound leads, lead scoring can be easily set up through your CRM. For outbound leads, you should use an outbound sales callforce to do the gruntwork of qualifying your leads before handing them off to the sales team.
Ready to learn more about lead qualification? Download our free guide below: