We see sales execs spending their valuable time and efforts after leads, remaining on their toes to revert each of them, and working around the clock. You might say that that’s what they are hired for. Fair enough, but have we dug deeper and tried to find the root cause of not getting proportional results? If the team is hard-working, logging in 10 hours per day, and trying to reach as many people as they can, is the number of deals getting closed also skyrocketed? Mostly we hear a sad NO as the answer.

Evident enough by now that the problem is lying from the beginning of the sales funnel, and the real culprit is, ‘list of leads.’

More often than not, salespeople spend an almost equal amount of time after every lead without doing their background check. It sounds different because companies and clients do the background checks before hiring someone or outsourcing the work, but we often don’t realize that it’s a two-way process. In the end, it turns out beneficial to both the parties involved in the work.

Identifying the leads can be considered a crucial task because most of our efforts and time that we are going to spend on those leads is hugely dependent on how churned out our list is.

Let’s overview a few essential criteria to pass our leads by treating each one of them as a potential client.

Creating The Buyer Persona

71% of companies that exceed their revenue and lead goals have documented personas, according to Boardview.

Understanding your audience is something that’s been talked about almost all the time, and yet, some businesses miss out on this crucial part, which will lead their sales team to waste their efforts on unqualified leads.

The buyer persona consists of a detailed description of an ideal client based on the existing data and research. With the buyer persona’s help, you can see if your lead falls into the pre-defined criteria and then differentiate them into qualified and unqualified leads.

It saves a lot of time for the team, and the sales cycle can be reduced. The efforts in building the relationship with potential clients can also be significantly improved.

Using BANT Method

BANT is an acronym for Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline.

It is a sales technique that helps sales professionals to identify the qualified leads or hot leads over unqualified ones.

When you approach leads, you would be able to figure out the answers to the questions like,

  • Budget: Do the prospect have the budget to buy what we offer?
  • Authority: Am I dealing with the decision-maker directly or some manager who relies on someone else for approvals?
  • Need: Does the prospect have the requirement of what we are offering?
  • Timeline: In what time frame the prospect needs our services/products?

Based on the answers to these questions, you can differentiate the leads that can be considered hot, that can get converted shortly into real deals, and the ones that we still need to nurture but can get converted definitely, if not immediately.

Developing Your Customized Criteria

Based on the type of business, the criteria vary. Like, the target audience, the services and products that you offer, etc.

How defining the company size is essential, what kind of businesses can be benefitted from your solutions, is it purely for B2B or B2C or both, etc. Could it be in your criteria while you target your potential customers?

Instead of selling what you have, finding problems, building relationships with prospects, and suggesting the right way to solve their issues tend to bag more deals than sending cold emails and cold messages could ever.

Developing Your Own Set Of Metrics To Qualify The Leads

Based on experience and the behavior of a potential buyer, we can come up with a set of metrics that helps us understand and predict prospects better.

First, we can measure the conversion rate where we get the percentage of the leads that get converted and help boost the revenue. To minimize the wastage of time and efforts, developing such metrics helps salespeople identify the leads better since the data we can derive using metrics is always quantifiable.

We always emphasize the sales funnel because most of the sales operations revolve around it. So checking leakage in a sales funnel periodically is always a good idea. Developing a metric around this will help you find out at which stage the potential customers are falling out and where there is room for improvement.

Signing Off

After qualified leads, spending time and effort will always propel the business no matter how much time it takes. The more you work with the lead lists, the more likely you will learn your way around it. Knowing several things surely helps, as the above pointers. Still, as long as you deal with real-time problems, you will have more ideas and criteria to focus on while identifying and differentiating better leads.

Leads are a stepping stone for generating more revenue, and to achieve that end goal, we have to keep updating our criteria from time to time. Since sales is a dynamic thing, our efforts and criteria shouldn’t remain the same for a long time too!

Let’s pledge to sound less salesy and more compassionate to our customers to perpetuate higher growth and revenue! If you need any further information on the ambiguity of qualified and unqualified leads, feel free to connect with ZealousWeb.