Qualifying Leads: the Dream Team of Quality + Velocity

May 13, 2015 Jiordan Castle

tips for qualifying leadsWhether you run a catering business or a multiline insurance company, leads are an essential part of making your business successful. Every organization is concerned with where and how leads originate, how best to manage them, and perhaps most importantly, qualifying them. While a lead is a good start, it needs to be qualified in order to determine if it’s worth the effort. Setting up a system for qualifying leads is important to ensure your sales team isn’t wasting time.

How are leads qualified?

Carefully qualified leads keep sales reps from wasting time chasing dead ends. Two common approaches to lead qualification are the BANT approach and the SCOTSMAN approach:

The BANT approach:

  • Budget: Does the lead have enough money to buy the product?
  • Authority: Are you talking to a person who can make a buying decision?
  • Need: Is there a need that the product or service can fulfill?
  • Timescale: What is the timeframe in which they wish to make their purchase?

The SCOTSMAN approach:

  • Solution: Is there a solution you can supply and support?
  • Competition: Is the market so competitive that your firm only has a slim chance of winning?
  • Originality: Are you offering them something unique?
  • Timescale: What is the timeframe in which they wish to make their purchase?
  • Size: Do they want to purchase enough of your product to make it worthwhile?
  • Money: Can they afford your product?
  • Authority: Are you talking to a person who can make a buying decision?
  • Need: Is there a need that the product or service can fulfill?

Quality + velocity = higher chance of conversion

In Salesforce Sales Cloud, a qualified lead automatically creates new data. The lead data gets split into an account (a company), a contact (a person), and maybe a new opportunity (sales effort). If the lead is part of an account that already exists in the system, a new contact is created to join the account. A core effort for organizations is to get sales and marketing aligned on a strategy to funnel leads. The gates or stages a lead moves through can help the leads mature (quality) and progress faster (velocity).

With leads, velocity is crucial. Timely contact with a lead significantly improves chances of conversion. Therefore, leads are best handled by inside or telesales groups who can make quick contact and further qualify leads and possibly reassign to outside sales once an opportunity has been qualified. Outside sales teams typically do not have time to follow up on leads. This results in many missed opportunities if leads are directly assigned to them.

Other questions to ask:

  • Where are your leads originating?

In Sales Cloud, you can easily set up Email-to-Lead and Web-to-Lead functionality. In web-to-lead forms, make sure you require important information such as phone number and email address.

  • Who are your leads assigned to?

Lead assignment rules ensure that leads go to the correct user based on a region/territory or product, for example. Leads can be assigned to a queue where multiple users can access and take ownership of leads they’d like to pursue.

Leads — qualified ones, in particular — are the bread and butter of many sales teams today. And Sales Cloud makes it easy for your organization to tease out the most important information from qualified leads. Get further insight on best practices in working with leads from our ebook, How to Get the Most Out of Salesforce Sales Cloud.

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