January 19, 2023
13
min read

Lead Qualification 101: How to Identify the Best Sales Leads?

Lead qualification is about determining whether a lead is fit for your product. Find out how to qualify leads with lead scoring & different lead qualification systems.

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Is your pipeline brimming with leads?

Yes! 😎

Are all leads in your sales pipeline a good fit for your business?

No! 😥

A study revealed that only 25% of leads are legitimate and should progress to sales and 79% of marketing leads never convert into customers. 

Just because a prospect entered your sales funnel does not mean they are likely to convert into sales. So, to preserve your precious time and use your resources efficiently, you need a lead qualification process. 

A proper lead qualification system is vital. It helps your sales teams identify the prospects that are worth chasing.

Throughout this blog, I'll cover – what lead qualification is, why it is important, and how to identify the ideal sales leads with lead scoring. 

Let's start!

What Is Lead Qualification?

Lead qualification is the process of identifying the leads that are most likely to convert into customers. It systematically evaluates potential customers based on their willingness and financial ability to purchase your product. 

lead qualification

The lead qualification process is a critical part of the sales funnel as it helps you recognize the fraction of leads that may actually convert. Thus, it ensures that you prioritize those leads and allocate your marketing resources as efficiently as possible.

Why is Lead Qualification Important?

Do you know that 67% of lost sales are a result of sales reps not qualifying the potential customers properly before moving them through the sales funnel?

So, the answer to why lead qualification is important is pretty straightforward – because you do not want to lose out on revenue

Besides, lead qualification is essential to understand which leads are genuinely interested in your product and can afford to purchase it. 

Once you identify potential buyers, you can communicate precisely with the users, reducing the time from knowing your product to purchasing it. Additionally, lead qualification also helps you segment potential buyers and personalize communication with them. 

All in all, implementing a solid lead qualification process is crucial because it helps you and your sales teams determine if a lead:

  • Has an urgent need for what your company has to offer
  • Has the budget and the decision-making authority to make a purchase
  • Meets your ideal customer profile
  • Can benefit your company's service or product
  • Experience your company's product or service value

Once the leads are filtered and the unqualified ones are out of the sales pipeline, your sales reps can gear their focus to the prospects that are a significant part of your target market.

How to Qualify the Best Sales Leads Using Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is one of the most popular and effective ways to qualify leads. A Marketing Sherpa study revealed that organizations using lead scoring experience a 77% lift in lead generation ROI over organizations that do not use lead scoring.

But before you start qualifying leads using a lead scoring system, you must research your leads. Here are five things you must know to effectively decide who gets into your sales pipeline. 

Buyer's profile 

Create a buyer's profile before you research your leads. List the attributes or characteristics that must be present in your ideal buyer. For instance, their job title, industry, demographics, location, and more. It is often best to have a lead form on your website landing page to capture such critical information. 

Company profile

For B2B companies, knowing your lead's company profile is a must. Find out where your lead works and how they can use your product or solution to improve their business. Before approaching them, note the specific benefits your product can offer the company. 

Social media engagement

Is your lead on your social media profile? Are they following your post or interacting with them? Get the answers to these questions to find out more about your lead. Optimize your social media content and identify people who engage with your posts. Track these leads and follow their reviews, comments, and posts to gather more information. 

Email Engagement

Opening emails does not help with lead qualification. To qualify your leads, track both the open and clickthrough rates of your leads to see how they engage with your emails. You can do so easily with the help of email marketing software. 

Spam detection

Filter out the automated bot queries for your product. Use Captcha and other security measures to verify your lead's authenticity. Also, before progressing with a lead, check if they genuinely need your product or if they just seem to be a good lead. 

After you're done collecting the above-mentioned lead information, follow the steps to score your leads effectively. 

Step 1: Set Goals – Identify the optimal number for the requirements of your highly-qualified sales leads. Then, work towards achieving your set conversion rate goals.

Step 2: Pick the ideal qualities – Identify the qualities of your existing customers from their data. It will help you recognize leads with a high potential to convert into paying customers. 

Step 3: Estimate close rates – Identify the current leads who are most likely to close a deal with your company based on the chosen qualities.

Step 4: Compare qualities – Compare your current lead qualities with the high-quality leads of your past. Then, assign scores to the leads that closely match your ideal buyer's profile based on the comparison. 

Now, to implement the above-mentioned steps, you need a proper lead qualification framework. 

Luckily, we have a few tried-and-tested ones that effectively work and produce results. 

Check out these popular data-driven lead qualification systems and choose the framework that best fits your unique business processes. 

MEDDIC 

This is a lead qualification framework that takes into account a vast range of factors. It requires you to gather a lot of information on leads. Hence, the framework is best for teams with a relatively low volume of high-value sales. 

The MEDDIC framework was first coined in the 1990s, and today, organizations use a slightly enhanced version of it.

Metrics – Metrics indicate the quantifiable measure of value that a product offers. In quantifiable terms, what is the customer hoping to achieve using your solution? Are they looking to increase conversions by a specific percentage, for instance? 

Economic buyer – An individual possessing decision-making power and authority. This factor checks if the lead has an influence on the purchase decision and budget.   

Decision criteria – What are the buyer's criteria to determine whether they should purchase the product? These are the factors based on which the purchase decision is made. 

Decision process – The decision process includes the steps a buyer follows when evaluating a potential product or solution. 

Identify pain points – What challenges or pain points your buyer wants to resolve?

Champion – An individual in the buyer's organization who believes in your brand, has the power to influence decisions and can serve as a champion for your solution. 

The enhanced version of MEDDIC that most organizations use is MEDDPICC. In this framework, there are two additional factors:

  • Paper process/ work – The paper process involves the steps to get everything completed and signed. It generally measures the period to process the entire paperwork for sale. 
  • Competition – Which brands are your prospect considering? Are their solutions good enough?

BANT

The BANT lead qualification framework focuses on four important aspects. 

Budget – Does the prospect have a budget for your product/ solution?

Authority – Does the prospect hold the authority to make a purchase decision? If not, who is the decision-maker?

Needs – This factor asks two important questions – To what extent does the prospect need your solution? Is your prospect simply exploring the solution, or do they have an urgent need to purchase?

Timeline – This factor determines the readiness of the prospect to make a purchase. 

This process is ideal for premium brands offering products/ solutions that fit within the budgets of a few buyers only. Moreover, BANT is also good for B2B brands where decision-making involves multiple people who are important to the sales process. 

FAINT

This lead qualification framework is a variation of the BANT technique. This process prioritizes budget and purchase authority as the prime factors in lead qualification. However, FAINT adds one more factor – interest. 

Funds – This factor checks if the prospect has the budget or funds to spend on your product/ solution. 

Authority – Does your lead make decisions on purchases and spending? Do they have the decision-making authority?

Interest – This factor checks whether your prospect is interested and aware of your product or not. It ensures that you make your prospects aware of how your product can improve their everyday work. 

Need – Does your prospect have a need for what you're offering? 

Timing – Is it the right time to approach your prospect?

There is a slight difference in the use of BANT and FAINT frameworks. While BANT is best suited for the audience who already know about your product, FAINT works well for prospects who aren't aware of your product. So, you can use both BANT and FAINT for prospects accordingly. 

CHAMP

The CHAMP framework prioritizes the lead's challenges and whether or not your product can solve them. This lead qualification process uses prioritization instead of a fixed timeline. Here, the prospect's buying timelines are determined by how much the prospect prioritizes your product.

Challenges – Does your product solve your lead's challenges that they face in their everyday work?

Authority – Does the prospect have decision-making power? Are they the right people to approach regarding product purchases? 

Money – This factor checks whether the prospect has adequate funds or a budget for your product. 

Prioritization – Is the prospect's problem that you're trying to resolve on their priority list?

This lead qualification framework is the best for situations where few of the leads do not understand what your solution is all about. Identifying the lead's challenges first and then determining if the product is fit for them is the best way your sales team can qualify leads using this framework. 

Build your Lead Qualification Workflow with RevenueHero

Managing a handful of prospects is easy. But efficient lead qualification may be difficult if you have a high volume of leads. So, it's better to get lead qualification and distribution software to handle your lead qualification process. 

RevenueHero is one such platform that helps you qualify leads right on the lead form itself. Not only that, but the software also helps to route them to the right sales reps and schedule instant meetings. In short, the software looks after your complete lead distribution process – from capture to lead routing.

Schedule a demo and see how RevenueHero can help you automate your lead qualification process. 

Author
Sayani Deb
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