Let’s start with a quick scenario: you’re an SDR, and you’ve been handed a long list of leads. You pull up your sleeves and jump right in. But as you move along the list, you realize the harsh truth—not all leads are created equal.
Some leads have missing information; others aren’t interested or ready to make a purchase. So, you’re stuck with this list of unfit prospects, unable to prioritize the right ones, and your sales targets inevitably take a hit.
While there’s no magic formula to mend the situation, a good lead qualification process can undoubtedly fix your problems. Qualifying leads helps you identify the ideal prospects, so you can focus your efforts on converting them into clients. Put simply, lead qualification reduces the time you waste chasing bad leads and maximizes your conversion rate.
Are you ready to qualify leads the right way? This article will give you six proven tips for qualifying leads effectively to hit your sales goals.
In this article
What is lead qualification?
Lead qualification is the technique of deciding whether a prospect is likely to convert into a customer. Qualifying leads is essentially about removing the bad prospects from your list of potential customers. A bad prospect has a much lower or no chance of becoming a client.
So, a lead qualification process acts as a filter for your prospects, separating valuable grains from unwanted debris. Doing that shortens your sales cycle and minimizes the time you’d otherwise spend chasing the wrong leads.
How to define a qualified lead profile
Before you build a lead qualification process, it’s important to know what a good lead looks like—the defining traits that separate it from a bad lead. Here are five characteristics to consider to outline your qualified lead profile:
- Timeline: Determine the timeline within which your ideal lead wants to make a purchase. If prospects don’t have a timeline or urgent need, they’ll likely stall their buying decision for long. So, set a window within which the prospect should make a decision.
- Pain points: Establish the exact pain points you can solve for your prospects. If a lead doesn’t fit these pain points, they’ll look for other alternatives instead of buying from you. Clearly list the challenges you can help prospects with and use this list to qualify leads.
- Buyer persona: Create different buyer personas for your product/service based on the use cases. A part of qualifying leads is bracketing them into the right buyer persona and personalizing their experience accordingly.
- Decision-making ability: A prospect’s decision-making ability is another crucial factor to consider in lead qualification. Since a typical buying group for a B2B solution involves 6-10 decision-makers, it’s important to identify a lead’s power to influence the decision.
- Budget/purchasing power: One of the first filters in any lead qualification process is budget. If prospects don’t have enough purchasing power to buy your products/services, they should be immediately removed from the running.
Once you define all these parameters to create a qualified lead profile, you can start building your lead qualification process using the tactics we’ll break down below.
6 tactics to qualify leads the right way in 2023
You can qualify leads in many ways. We’ve rounded up the six best practices to qualify leads effectively and make your sales process faster than ever.
1. Add lead qualification tools
A surefire way to qualify leads at scale is using a powerful lead qualification tool like Woorise. With Woorise, you can create marketing content to collect prospects’ information and segment them into relevant categories.
Here’s how Woorise can help engage leads and collect their information:
Design custom forms to get details for any purpose, like an email subscription, payment, feedback, application, or more. Use the drag-and-drop builder to customize the form with your branding and create a standout design. Make the questions more personalized based on users’ responses with conditional actions.
Capture leads with engaging quizzes and collect lead data in exchange for a meaningful quiz. Create personality quizzes or add assessments to help users discover an important output. Embed these quizzes on your website, share them via email marketing platforms, or publish them on social media.
Create surveys to collect feedback or generate brand awareness. Design a memorable experience with personalized surveys that users love participating in. Get started quickly with a library of pre-built templates and get real-time performance reports to analyze all lead information.
Design on-brand landing pages in a few minutes without any coding knowledge. Choose a ready-made template from a set of conversion-optimized designs and customize it with your details. Fine-tune these details and publish them under your domain to capture leads via custom pages.
Woorise lets you use these features as sales enablement tools to build your lead information organically and qualify them well.
2. Ask lead qualifying questions
Let’s circle back to the scene we started with: a long list of leads but no clue which ones are right for your business. The easiest way to separate the qualified, warm leads from the bad ones is by asking the right questions.
As you learn more about a prospect, you can categorize them into potential customers or eliminate them.
This is a great opportunity to use the SPIN methodology. According to this framework, you should ask prospects about their:
- Situation: Your prospects’ current situation and the challenging scenario they want to change
- Problems: The problems they’re dealing with and pain points you can help them with
- Implication: The consequences of these problems and how they’ll cause more issues in future
- Need-payoff: The value of your solution and how you can turn the situation in their favor
Ask questions emphasizing these four core ideas in that order to determine if a prospect is right for your brand. These questions will also position you as a good solution in the prospects’ minds.
Sounds easy, right? But the catch is in how you ask these questions.
Let’s face it: your prospects won’t be waiting for you to send them a list of questions, and they’ll share detailed answers. They don’t have the time. So, it all boils down to how you can elicit that information directly from them or indirectly through your research.
This is where Woorise’s forms and surveys can do the heavy lifting for you. If leads don’t respond to your cold calls, send them a quick link to a short survey and collect the relevant details for lead qualification.
3. Conduct a needs assessment
A needs assessment is a qualification technique to gauge whether a prospect genuinely feels the need for your product/service and has a chance of buying from you. You can conduct a needs assessment during a discovery call or via a questionnaire.
First, prepare all potential questions that will help you assess the need for your product/service in a prospect’s life. You can include questions like:
- What results or changes do you wish to see once you implement [your offering]?
- What are the biggest problems you want to solve with [your offering]?
- What other alternatives are you looking at right now?
- What are your primary goals in buying [your offering]?
You can also add industry-based questions relevant to your buyers. Put these questions into a Woorise form or survey and share it with a new prospect to objectively evaluate their needs. Running LinkedIn polls to collect qualified leads from your network is also great. Alternatively, you can refer to your list of questions while talking to a prospect on a live discovery call.
4. Leverage the right qualification framework
A good lead qualification framework is the best way to qualify leads in bulk. Savvy SDRs use these predefined frameworks to collect lead information and categorize them into qualified or unqualified groups. Let’s break them down:
The BANT identifies a prospect’s budget, authority, needs, and timeline. It uncovers whether leads have the exact need for the product/service you’re selling and the budget to buy your solution. It also reveals if the leads are the final decision-maker to sign in on the purchase decision. Finally, it determines the timeline within which prospects plan to make a decision.
The MEDDIC framework analyzes metrics, economic buyers, decision criteria, decision process, identify pain, and champion. This is a more thorough framework where you must collect minute details about every prospect, including whether a potential company has an internal champion for your brand. By evaluating so many components to understand buyer behavior, MEDDIC produces more accurate results than other frameworks.
The CHAMP framework looks at challenges, authority, money, and prioritization for every prospect. It qualifies leads based on whether they’re capable of making decisions and have the purchasing power for it. It also reveals their biggest challenges and focuses more on whether you can solve their pain points.
The GPCTBA/C&I framework examines goals, plans, challenges, timelines, budget, authority, negative consequences, and positive implications. This framework largely focuses on changing buyer expectations and helps salespeople to understand every lead holistically. It prepares them to guide buyers through the buying process instead of using pushy sales tactics.
The ANUM framework studies authority, need, urgency, and money. It prioritizes leads in decision-making positions and gives need a secondary role while putting money at the very end of the qualification process. It attaches more importance to the decision-making power rather than the purchasing ability to implement those decisions.
5. Calculate the fit and intent with lead scoring
Identifying the fit and intent for every lead is the next critical step in qualifying leads. Fit defines how well your product/service fits a prospect’s needs, while intent refers to a prospect’s intention to buy from you. You can use both these criteria in your lead scoring method to filter them in or out of your lead database.
Typically, you’ll find prospects in four brackets of fit-intent combinations:
- High Fit/High Intent: These are the best possible leads with a high intent to buy from you to solve the exact problems that your product/service tackles. Selling to them is a piece of cake because they don’t need too much convincing.
- Low Fit/High Intent: These leads are motivated to buy from you, but your offering doesn’t meet their needs. These leads are generally red flags since you sell the wrong product/service. Even if you do convert them, it’ll backfire in the future because their problems will remain unresolved.
- High Fit/Low Intent: These leads need your product/service but don’t have a buying intent. You can target these leads with your marketing campaigns to spark some intent and hand them over to your sales reps for conversion into a client.
- Low Fit/Low Intent: These are bad leads with no interest in your business. They’re the least likely to make a buying decision and don’t need your offering.
Use these lead-scoring signals to identify the good leads and remove the bad ones that won’t fit your strategy.
6. Use automated workflows to eliminate guesswork
The final tip is to use sales automation for qualifying leads quickly. Integrate your CRM tool with your marketing or sales platforms. You can capture, update, and track all your prospects on these tools. Create criteria-based triggers to automatically eliminate unqualified leads from the database.
For example, you can integrate a chatbot with your CRM. Ask prospects a few qualifying questions through the chatbot. Then analyze their responses to keep or remove them from the CRM.
You can also set up lead capture forms and add a few qualifying fields in the form. If you have a poor-quality lead, they’re not registered in your database.
You can also automate lead scoring to move leads up the sales funnel based on their scores. For example, once you get a high-potential lead, an email autoresponder can automatically trigger a nurture campaign and nudge them toward a buying decision.
Master the art of lead qualification with these tips
A good lead qualification process can be the difference between success and failure for sales reps. Qualifying leads helps you focus only on the best-fit prospects and save time on prospecting. Not just that, it also allows you to genuinely know your leads and build meaningful relationships with them. This can greatly impact your conversion rates and sales quota.
So, use our best tips to build an airtight lead qualification process. Don’t forget to use Woorise to capture lead data while engaging prospects.