I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess this isn’t the first article you’ve read about qualified leads. The topic rivals videos of adorable kittens and carpool karoake in terms of sheer quantity. There’s no shortage of tips to improve lead qualification. In terms of focus, though, the articles run the gamut – from a broad focus on a buyer’s motivation to specific cold calling techniques.
The focus here is on the direct work of qualifying a lead, the actual conversation between you and the prospect. Some reps believe certain leads can be considered qualified before a conversation – impossible. This is a result of inconsistent interpretations of a qualified lead; that, or the person is a lazy, socially awkward marketing rep that hates talking to people.
Let’s assume the former is true, likely due to the ever expanding vocabulary for types of leads. Cold leads, warm leads, nurtured leads, MQL’s, SQL’s, gorgeous leads of your dreams, leads that are better off as friends…it can feel like the Rosetta stone of sales.
It helps to keep it simple. A qualified lead is one that’s been properly vetted and is ready for the first meeting on the road toward proposal.
Some tips for the vetting process
Beware the Yes – a “yes” to a meeting isn’t success if there were few other words leading up to it. Poorly qualified leads are about as successful as no lead at all.
Qualify the No – If the prospect says “no” to a meeting, make sure you understand the reasons why before moving on. Don’t be afraid to dig. If you end a call without a clear understanding of why they’re not a fit, you could be leaving an opportunity on the table. If it’s an option, hunt for other decision makers at the company.
The Backup Script – In the alternate universe where everything goes your way, every prospect called will have infinite time and patience for a discussion with you. Obviously this is rarely the case. You can prepare for this with two conversation guides:
- Your ideal guide for gathering every possible nugget of info you want during lead qualification.
- Your backup guide for gathering the minimum amount of info you need to qualify a lead.