Lead qualification is a tough nut to crack, even if the telemarketer is smart at communicating with the prospect. It is a common practice to buy business lists
from third parties and send them over to the telemarketing team so that they can pitch for the product/service. One of the essential factors that many businesses either miss out on or don’t pay attention to is the lead qualification. It is vital to recognize the leads that are a terrible fit so that the telemarketing team doesn’t waste hours trying to convert them when this is not going to happen. The post discusses lead qualification in detail and the loss a business could incur by taking the wrong approach.
What Is Lead Qualification?
Lead qualification is the process of marketing through methods like cold calling, blog post, live events, online content, email marketing, etc., to gain interest in the product/service.
Lead Generation vs Lead Qualification
Lead generation is the first step in the sales pipeline. It is the stage where the marketing it generating interest and getting the company name out their to see if anyone responses to the attempts. An example of this could be someone filling out their information in order to win a free product.
Lead qualification is the process done by the sales team to determine whether those generated leads are qualified to purchase/market to. The company will have a list of criteria for the type of customer agents should look for. This list can include certain geographical locations, age ranges, family status, household income, etc. Agents will usually research the individual or company or contact them to determine whether they fit the criteria or not. Once the agent knows if they are qualified they can invest more time into getting the sale.
Consequences of Ignoring Lead Qualification
Many telemarketers jump to the pitch too quickly, without understanding the prospect. The situation is same as throwing darts in the dark and it hurts the performance at different levels. Here’s what telemarketers might end up losing:
Skipping lead qualification means wasting a lot of time in follow-up and reaching out to clients who are not a good fit for the business. If a telemarketer spends the same time on qualified prospects, the result could be the closure of a high-value deal.
There are chances of some prospects becoming customers, if a telemarketer invests time in getting them through the sales funnel. Pitching wrong leads implies wasting time and opportunity to connect with the high-value customers.
A telemarketer might be successful in selling a product to a prospect who is not the right fit. The end result could, however, be – an unsatisfied customer complaining of being persuaded to make a decision and someone who might not buy the product again.
Parameters of Lead Qualification
Lead qualification is less about updating the database and more about asking the right questions and getting the right information from the lead. Always ask questions and try to get more information about the lead. Some areas to focus on include:
If it is a B2B telemarketing campaign, a telemarketer needs to figure out how well the prospect matches with the profile of the ideal customer and the industry. It is also essential to know the kind of ecosystem the customer is playing in and its target market.
It is necessary to identify the pain points of the customer and see how a particular product/service is going to solve the problem. If the expectations or goals of the customers are not in sync with the end use of the product, a telemarketer might be targeting the wrong lead.
Pitching to the gatekeeper turns out to be a futile approach in many cases. If the lead doesn’t have the authority to make purchase decisions and close the sale, a telemarketer might end up wasting a lot of time in chasing the wrong person.
If the lead doesn’t have the budget to purchase a product/service, it is better not to waste time chasing it anymore. The telemarketers, however, need to ensure that the budget question is asked towards the end of the call so that the prospect is not scared off. If the lead pops up the budget question after every sentence, throughout the call, it might discourage the prospect to buy the product/service.
Lead Qualification Methods
Truly the best way to qualify a lead is by talking to them. It can be as simple as a phone call or an email, but talking directly to the source about getting them to answer qualifying questions will quickly determine if they are qualified or not. While you can research them and the company, it is not near as effective as contacting them. Here are a few things that need to be determined along with the other criteria that company has for a qualified lead:
- Identify the problems they need a solution for
- Find out if they have been looking for a solution and if they have, try to figure out what companies they have considered
- Determine the budget they have for a solution
- Determine who the decision maker is and what the decision making process looks like
- Ask them what your company could do to serve their needs better than the competitors
Are You Doing Lead Qualification Right?
Following a lead qualification process religiously might not deliver expected results, specifically if there’s a structuring flaw. The simplest way to judge whether the lead qualification process followed by the team is right is to look for following signs:
- When the team of telemarketers is productive
- When the customers are happy with the product/service and retaining them is easy
- When the expected revenue or sales number matches with the real one
Automated Lead Qualification
Free up your agents time through automating process. Two very easy ways to set up automated is through email marketing campaigns and automated voicemail drops for cold calling. The idea with automation is to take out the tedious tasks, so your agents can focus more on knowing the leads and selling the leads.
Getting a prospect to say “yes” is the Holy Grail in sales, and weeding out the nos is an essential to make the most of your efforts. Throughout the process of weeding out the maybes and nurturing the prospects, telemarketers also need to figure out the leads with the likelihood of saying yes after a few follow-ups. However, in all cases, when out to buy business lists, it is imperative to choose a provider with proven competence in the domain. If you are looking for buy business lists tailored to your prerequisites, feel free to speak to one of our representatives.