Lead generation is a perpetual struggle for businesses pursuing either inbound or outbound marketing strategies, with 37% of B2B marketers citing it as their primary challenge.
However, the challenge does not end there; finding enough qualified leads can be an even more daunting task. Although any good B2B marketing campaign will attract leads at different stages of the funnel, not all leads are created equal. Some will never be potential customers, while others may not be ready to make a purchase yet.
That said, only 2-5% of leads convert to customers on average across all industries, making the qualification process challenging. What businesses really need are qualified leads that have the intent, budget, and authority to make purchasing decisions.
To identify them, a lead qualification process is required to systematically screen them out.
In this article, we will share some expert tips to build a scalable lead qualification process to enable your marketing and sales teams to revamp their lead qualification strategy.
What is a lead qualification process?
A lead qualification process is a systematic approach that businesses use to evaluate the potential of a lead to become a paying customer. This process involves identifying and assessing the needs, interests, and readiness of the lead through surveys, website analytics, and social media interaction. This information is then used to score the lead and determine their qualification status.
Leads that meet the predefined qualification criteria are considered qualified leads and are passed on to the sales team for further engagement. While leads that do not meet the criteria are disqualified leads and put into a nurturing campaign until they become qualified.
Why is proper lead qualification important?
If you’ve ever observed a marketing and sales team with a clear understanding of their lead qualification process, you understand the impact an excellent sales process can have on your business results.
By combining sales automation, inbound marketing, and dedicated sales efforts, you may generate more leads than your sales team can manage. While this is a positive problem to have, it highlights the importance of lead scoring, as pursuing unqualified leads leads to missed opportunities and wasted time.
Effective sales process management can significantly impact your bottom line, and the benefits of lead scoring become even more apparent in this scenario.
Expert tips to build lead qualification process
In the past, salespeople relied on their instincts to determine how to proceed with a lead, but in today’s digital marketing landscape, gut feelings are no longer a reliable method of qualifying leads. Additionally, they aren’t scalable, meaning that as the number of leads increases, it may result in delays and missed opportunities.
We’ve interviewed some business owners to understand how their CMOs frame their lead qualification process, and what results they have achieved so far.
1. Denis Ristic
Denis is vice president of the Catena Media group.
He has a successful track record of managing and implementing high growth online projects through effective cross-functional team management in large, complex global organizations as well as start-up companies.
Denic says that,
“ I have found that a winning strategy for building a robust lead qualification process is to establish well-defined criteria for identifying high-quality leads.
At my company, we place great importance on close collaboration between sales and marketing teams to ensure that the leads we receive meet specific standards, including industry, company size, budget, and decision-making timelines.
By establishing precise criteria, we are able to ensure that our sales team focuses their efforts on leads that have a higher probability of conversion, thus increasing our lead-to-customer conversion rates and boosting revenue and profitability.
By implementing our lead qualification process, we were able to increase our lead-to-customer conversion rate by 25% within six months. This resulted in a significant boost in revenue, with sales increasing by 30% during the same period. Our sales team was able to focus on leads that were more likely to convert, which led to a 20% decrease in the time it took to close deals.
Moreover, the new process helped us save time and resources, as our sales team spent less time chasing unqualified leads, resulting in a 15% reduction in overall lead generation costs. We also experienced an increase in customer satisfaction, as we were able to provide personalized solutions that better fit their specific needs.”
2. Tetiana Sira
Tetiana Sira works as a senior digital marketing executive with 7+ years of industry experience. She has developed a tried-and-true strategy for building a successful lead qualification process based on his extensive experience.
Tetiana says that,
“Identifying the target audience is a crucial aspect of lead qualification.To achieve this, I recommend creating detailed buyer personas and establishing specific criteria for identifying leads that match those personas.
By segmenting leads based on characteristics such as industry, company size, and job title, marketing teams can create personalized messaging that resonates with each group. This approach not only helps to increase lead quality but also helps to reduce lead generation costs by allowing marketers to focus their efforts on the most promising prospects.
Another critical aspect of the lead qualification process is implementing a lead scoring system. This system helps to prioritize leads based on their level of engagement and interest in the company’s products or services. By assigning a numerical score to each lead, sales teams can focus their efforts on leads that are most likely to convert, which can help to increase conversion rates and revenue.
At my company, we implemented these strategies and saw a significant improvement in our lead quality and conversion rates. By creating targeted messaging and using a lead scoring system, we were able to increase our lead-to-customer conversion rate by 30%, resulting in a 25% increase in revenue.
3. Chinmay Daflapurkar
Chinmay Daflapurkar is the digital marketing associate at the Arista Systems Pvt. Ltd.
According to Chinmay Daflapurkar,
“One strategy that has worked for me in building a lead qualification process for a sales team is implementing a lead scoring system. This involves assigning point values to different characteristics or behaviors of a potential lead, such as job title, company size, website activity, and response to marketing campaigns.
By assigning point values, we can prioritize leads based on their level of engagement and likelihood to convert into a customer. This allows our sales team to focus their efforts on the leads with the highest score and the greatest potential for revenue.
In addition to lead scoring, it’s important to establish clear criteria for when a lead is considered qualified and ready to be passed on to the sales team. This could include factors such as budget, timeline, and decision-making authority.
Implementing a lead scoring system has resulted in increased efficiency and effectiveness for our sales team. We have seen a higher conversion rate from leads to customers, as well as improved alignment between our marketing and sales teams.”
4. Jon Morgan
Jon Morgan is the founder of Venture Smarter. He shared his expertise regarding lead generation process that worked for his business.
Jon says that,
“Building an effective lead qualification process is crucial for any sales team to ensure that they are prioritizing the right prospects and not wasting time on low-quality leads.
One strategy that has worked for me in the past is to use a lead scoring tool like HubSpot. By using HubSpot’s lead scoring feature, I was able to automatically score leads based on their fit and engagement level, which helped me to prioritize my outreach efforts and focus on the leads that were most likely to convert.
With this strategy, I was able to increase our lead-to-customer conversion rate by 20% within just a few months.”
5. Kelly Maxwell
Kelly is the CEO of seniorsmutual.com, an insurance agency based in the U.S.
Kelly says that,
“Our best lead qualification process thus far has been a video sales funnel followed by a survey that asks them qualifying questions. Without the survey our sales team would be wasting time prospecting and qualifying people that automations can do for you. Having a survey of questions to qualify them is scalable, and makes our team more productive. Since implementing this process we have boosted monthly sales by 40%, without changing ad spend or number of sales reps.”
Important factors to consider for lead qualification process
The lead qualification process is a crucial step in any sales or marketing strategy. The goal is to identify which potential customers are most likely to convert into paying customers, and to focus your resources on those prospects. Here are some important factors to consider when qualifying leads:
1. Define your ideal customer profile
The first step in building a lead qualification process is to clearly define your ideal customer profile. This includes demographic information, job title, industry, company size, pain points, and goals. Once you have a clear understanding of who your ideal customer is, you can create a targeted list of leads that match that profile.
2. Identify budget
Determine whether a lead has the financial means to purchase your product or service and is ready to make a purchase now.
3. Score your leads
Once you have a list of leads, the next step is to score them based on their fit and their level of engagement. Fit score should be based on how closely they match your ideal customer profile, while engagement score should be based on how actively they are engaging with your content and marketing materials.
4. Implement a lead nurturing process
For leads that are not quite ready to buy, implement a lead nurturing process to keep them engaged and move them further down the sales funnel. This can include regular emails, targeted content, and other marketing tactics.
5. Qualify your leads
Once your leads have been scored and nurtured, it’s time to qualify them. This can involve a combination of tactics, including phone calls, emails, and social media interactions. During the qualification process, you should be looking for signs that the lead is ready to buy, such as budget, authority, need, and timeline.
6. Hand off qualified leads to sales
Once a lead has been qualified and is ready to buy, it’s time to hand them off to your sales team. At this point, your sales team should have all of the information they need to close the deal, including the lead’s pain points, budget, timeline, and decision-making process.
Building an effective lead qualification process is crucial for any business looking to increase their sales and revenue.
By incorporating the tips shared by industry experts, you can streamline your sales and marketing efforts, save time and resources, and ultimately increase conversions.
Remember that lead qualification is an ongoing process, and it’s essential to continually review and refine your approach.
We at Hypabeez can help you in your journey with our full-funnel marketing strategy. We’ll create a customized lead qualification funnel that will help you attract targeted leads that will likely convert into sales.