A group of salesmen sit around a table in a sun soaked meeting room.

4 Tips to Determine if Your Lead is Sales Qualified

With the average sales call costing around $250, it’s critical that the sales team receives only qualified leads. The online marketing team must be on board with solid guidelines on lead qualification, or a company’s cost of sale will be too high.

What is a qualified lead?

A qualified lead is a lead vetted to determine whether the individual has the authority to make a buying decision, the company is very likely to buy, and is ready to talk to sales. However, in the world of B2B lead generation, 67% of marketing teams send all their leads to sales even though only 27% are qualified on average

At these rates, businesses are spending considerable funds chasing unqualified leads. For your sales team to get high-quality opportunities, the marketing team must understand how to determine if the lead is sales qualified.

Are you talking to a primary decision-maker

Your lead contact needs to be a primary decision maker: a person authorized to make purchases at the cost level of your product or service. If you’re not speaking to the right person, that means your contact will be the one selling your product or service to their boss, and that’s a job best left to your sales team.

Identify where they fit in the buyer journey

Knowing where your visitors are in the sales cycle reveals whether they are ready to talk to sales. Most leads fall into one of three categories in digital sales cycles:

Visitor: A visitor is an individual interested in your topic or the industry and just started investigating your service. 

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): MQLs have returned to your site multiple times but have not discovered the pertinent product or service that will help them. 

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): SQLs are ready to enter the sales cycle. They understand their problem and see your product or service as a solution. They should be contacted immediately.

Observe their level of engagement and interest

Assuming your product or service fits your potential customer’s needs, your marketing team should closely observe that lead’s level of engagement. Assessing engagement considers all platforms, from website visits to email responses to information downloads to social media interaction. The more engagement you see from a client, the higher their interest level. The prospective customer should show a high level of interest before being passed to sales.

Use lead qualification frameworks

A qualifications framework is a formalized approach to determining whether a lead is ready for sales. Analyze your lead with one of these systems, and you’ll know whether they’re worth pursuing. Each system places an emphasis on a different initial key concept. 

BANT (budget, authority, need, timeline)

Under the BANT method of B2B lead qualification, a lead must satisfy budget, authority, need, and timeline considerations. The primary focus of BANT is the prospect’s ability to afford your product. Is their budget in line with the selling price? Is it worth pursuing this lead at all?

Authority considers the degree to which the prospect controls the purchase decision. A company’s need assesses whether they have a problem your product or service can solve. Finally, timing assesses when the prospective company is likely to move forward with the purchase, the more imminent, the better. 

MEDDIC (metrics, economic buyer, decision criteria, decision process, identify pain, champion)

The MEDDIC approach is another qualification method used to further qualify a prospect. Metrics assess what your customer hopes to gain, which can be expressed in clear figures – your product will help the client reduce costs by 25% or increase production by 10%. Putting metrics first puts the client’s perception of benefit first.

The economic buyer is the person with the authority to purchase. You must learn their decision criteria and understand whether your product or service satisfies these needs. If your customer’s primary criterion is simplicity, a high-performance but complex system may not be their first choice. 

The decision process refers to whether your potential customer is ready to make a decision. To ensure that your product is right for your customer, you need to identify pain points or the problems your potential customer is trying to solve. Finally, find a champion in the company who understands the benefits of your product or service and who will actively support your efforts.

CHAMP (challenges, authority, money, and prioritization)

Challenges are the central concept in CHAMP, referring to the needs of your potential customer and the opportunities created by solving those problems with your product or service. Authority refers to the contact’s ability to make a buying decision. Money is the consideration of how much the prospect wants to spend, and prioritization is the weight the customer gives to the need you can solve. High prioritization of need – a customer who is motivated to buy – puts this lead at the top of your pile.

Hire Bant for your lead generation efforts

Bant’s lead generation service identifies and automatically engages with your ideal customers, using proven cross-channel lead generation strategies, ensuring that it’s sales-ready when a lead gets to your sales team. Contact Bant today for a free demo!