Qualifying leads is a severely underrated step in the sales process; countless companies still aren’t utilizing it, squandering time on uninterested prospects. Qualifying leads is a lot like a first date, learning about the other person and gauging their interest. Are they into me? The same holds true in lead qualification: you’re determining which relationships to nurture towards a sale, and who’s just not that into you.
The most important aspect of qualifying leads is listening, like the saying goes: You have two ears and one mouth for a reason, listen twice as much as you talk. Ask open-ended questions, but make sure they are relevant and thoughtful. Take the time to learn about leads, their organization, needs, budget, and time frame for purchase. From there you’re able to determine if you can close the sale, or if you’re going to be stood up at Chili’s.
Why is qualifying such an important stage? The quality of leads matters more than quantity. Truly qualified leads save your sales team time, resources, and head-banging. Rather than speed dating through leads – calling as many as possible and hoping that something sticks – take the eHarmony approach: build a profile based on the qualification process, providing your sales team with information, making them better prepared to speak with prospects.
Don’t set your sales team up on blind dates, filter out cold leads so you set them up for success, and avoid the ones who want to go “Dutch” or live in their mom’s basement… figuratively of course.
What is your best lead qualification tip? Tell us about it!