Your organization likely has a sales funnel that gets filled with qualified prospects. However, it isn’t just as simple as generating leads to fill your funnel. Not every lead that comes through will be a qualified prospect. It’s up to Marketing and Sales to determine if a lead is qualified or not. This matters because you don’t want to waste your time or marketing dollars on people that don’t have a need for your product or service, or are just a bad fit in general.
This is why it is increasingly important to qualify your leads before engaging them in what you have to offer.
So what is considered a qualified lead?
A qualified lead basically means that the person is qualified to talk to someone from sales. These leads have a high likelihood to purchase your product or service, and they’re ready for sales engagement. It sounds simple enough, but there is actually a lot more to it.
There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to qualifying leads. But not too worry - we’ve identified the easiest ways to determine if your lead is qualified with these considerations:
1) Are they a good fit?
Assessing whether or not a lead is a good fit is one of the simpler ways of determining if they’re qualified or not. With your ideal target market or specific buyer persona in mind, you can figure out what a qualified buyer looks like. Once a lead comes through, if they match the criteria outlined in your buyer personas, the lead can likely be handed over to the sales team.
2) Do they have a need?
Your lead could match up perfectly to one of your buyer personas, but if they don’t have a need for your product or service then you can immediately qualify them out. Determining early on whether or not a lead has a need for your product or service is imperative when qualifying.
However, that’s not to say that leads that don’t have a need at this time won’t in the future. So a good tip for ‘no need’ leads is to add them to a nurture program so you continually engage with them. Then one day when they do have a need, your business will be top of mind.
3) Is the lead a decision maker
A key factor of qualifying a lead is determining whether or not they have the authority to make the purchase. Oftentimes, the key decision makers have other employees seek out new products or services and report back to them when they’ve narrowed down the search. In order for a lead to be qualified, they need to be the one making the final call.
4) How engaged are they?
A lead’s level of engagement can determine their level of buying interest. You can measure that by tracking a lead’s activity on your website or other marketing channels. For example, a lead that has requested a demo, looked at pricing, and interacted with several pieces of content on your site is showing signs of high buyer intent. On the flip side, if a lead hasn’t opened any of your emails and has only visited your website once --- they are likely not ready to purchase yet.
Engagement takes into account all of their online behaviour. A highly engaged lead equals a more qualified lead.
It’s important to understand whether or not a lead is qualified so that your organization isn’t wasting valuable resources on leads that won’t close. The best way to determine if a lead is qualified or not is by ensuring they are a good fit for your product service, that they have a need for your product or service, or that they have the authority to purchase your product or service. You should also take into account their level of engagement with your website or other marketing materials, as a highly engaged lead has a higher buyer intent.