How to Build A Lead Qualification Process

Lead Qualification

One of the biggest problems companies deal with is figuring out what a qualified lead is. Going after a bad lead wastes time and resources, and every company ultimately wants to be as efficient as possible.

The ideal situation is to convert as many leads as possible, and taking the time to score leads before handing them over to your sales team gives your reps a higher chance of success.

Solving this problem will make your business more efficient and will boost morale among your sales team – below is an outline of how we built our lead qualification process at Managed by Q.

Define Your Qualified Lead

This will differ depending on your market, but you’ll want to compile a set of key attributes that tell you if a lead will be a good fit. You can start by looking for consistent factors among your current clients that help match them to your product. Specifically for us:

  • Anyone in a specific building within one of our key markets
    • Public real estate information has helped us here.
  • Assessing the size of the opportunity by looking at the possible deal value
    • We always try and target the opportunities that are in our revenue sweet spot first, and everything else after that.
  • A company that will love Q!
    • We check out the company website, do some digging and see what they do.
  • Confirm they’re in the buying cycle by talking with a decision maker in the company.
    • For smaller companies, the decision maker is going to be a different individual than in much larger companies. Use your judgement and reach out accordingly.
    • To obtain contact information, there’s a number of free tools online that allow you to search for and verify people’s email addresses and phone numbers.

Build Lead Scoring Into Your CRM

The idea is to score your lead and target the highest scoring leads first. Our data team helped implement two scoring systems that are built into our Salesforce page layout.

  1. Lead Score
    1. Measures what products are relevant to talk about with the prospect, based on the building demographics.
  2. Data Quality
    1. Factors in how confident we are that we have the correct point of contact.

Our goal is to find leads with high scores in both categories, but Lead Score is the more important one. The Data Quality score is easily influenced by the sales person. Use your Lead Score early on to pinpoint which segments you’re converting the most. For instance, we found higher win rates among certain deal sizes and then used that information to change how we scored our leads later on.

Distribute Leads Across Your Team

We use Lead Queues in Salesforce.com to categorize leads based on what products and services we want to sell. Our data team also built our own lead distribution engine using software called NC Squared that allows us to take the highest scoring leads from those queues and give them to our sales team.

Our engine then looks at the entire pool of leads and assigns them to reps and queues. Our sales reps then go through the lead queue, reaching out to the most qualified leads first.

Leads are placed differently in the queue based on information like zip codes, how long it’s been since we reached out, and the lead score itself. Also, anything that we did qualify in the past gets put in the queue, and any time we import leads they’re immediately put in the queue as well.

Measure Your Improvements

To track your success, look at the metrics. If your meeting schedule rates increase, that means you’re reaching out to the right leads – if your conversion opportunity rates see an improvement, that’s also a good sign. In the end, you’ll be meeting with more leads and converting more leads as well.

 

Scoring leads may take extra time, but in the bigger picture this small investment makes a large impact on efficiency. Take the time to come up with your own set of requirements for good leads and how you can effectively distribute them across your sales team. Once that’s done, keep making scoring changes to figure out which kinds of businesses convert more often. If you master the practice of scoring leads, your business will see a jump in conversions and productivity, which is the sweet spot that many companies fail to hit. 

And an added bonus? Building a lead qualification process boosts your sales team morale. You’ll be getting on more calls, giving more demos and ultimately converting more leads if you have the right qualification process.

 

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Chris Thompson is the Director of Inside Sales at Managed by Q. Q makes it easy to run an office, by providing awesome office cleaning and other smart services to help office operations run smoothly.

  • Romain Lapeyre

    Thanks for sharing Chris. I’m curious, how much of the lead qualification was automated (through data query APIs for instance)?