Lead qualification is the process of identifying, organizing, and nurturing incoming leads so you can focus your efforts on prospects best suited for the products and services your business offers.
BUILD A SYSTEM
The process of qualifying leads is often referred to as the lead funnel. The goal is to generate many leads and filter them through your qualification process, leaving only those most likely to become customers. That saves your sales team time and effort by pursuing only those prospects that meet specific criteria. Making this effort up front often results in a higher closing rate at a lower cost.
Before you can start to qualify leads, you must collect and organize them. Many businesses use a combination of incoming leads (website, email, social media, or phone inquiries), lists, and outbound prospecting. Using customer relationship management software enables you to track potential buyers and organize them based on factors such as territory, lead score or industry.
One way to evaluate the value of a specific lead and whether it is qualified is to conduct a BANT analysis. BANT stands for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline. These characteristics are needed for a prospective customer to be considered ready for a salesperson’s efforts.
Lead nurturing, whether done through an automated campaign or individual follow-up, allows you to educate prospects and create awareness of how you can provide solutions before spending your precious resources on each potential customer, such as assigning them to a particular sales rep.
Leads nurtured to the point that they justify a salesperson’s involvement are considered “sales qualified” and are assigned to the appropriate team member to initiate personal contact.