3 time-saving tips for qualifying leads

| By:
Mark Sokol

Anyone who’s ever worked in sales has inevitably encountered this scenario:

You spend time and energy working on a lead. You nurture their interests, prepare them to make a decision in your favor, only to have the lead go ice cold. There are a few surefire ways to avoid wasting time and effort on a lead that’s not ready to buy.

Let’s start with the basics: qualifying sales leads. The digital age we live in has changed more than just the landscape for marketing and sales, it’s changed how people communicate in general. The challenge this presents to your team comes down to how to tell which leads are ready to buy when there’s no face to face interaction.

There are three key things you and your sales reps can do to avoid wasting time barking up the wrong tree.

1. Turn on the filter (no, not Instagram)

When we say “filter” we’re not talking about Earlybird, Mayfair, or Valencia. We’re talking about sorting through your prospects with a fine-tooth comb and organizing them into categories that correlate to a specific action. These categories are MQLs (marketing qualified leads), SQLs (sales qualified leads), or SQOs (sales qualified opportunities).

Just like a filter for a picture, identifying whether the prospect is a MQL, SQL, or SQO will change the entire focus for your team. If they fall into marketing qualified lead category for instance, then your sales rep knows that they’ve been exposed to your marketing, but aren’t quite ready to buy. So, a little more nurturing is required.

Remember, not every lead rendered from a campaign is an opportunity that needs to be pursued. Each lead requires a different action, so take the time up front to identify which ones those are, so you aren’t wasting effort later. Save even more time and set up automated workflows for your business management platform.

2. Decide who makes the cut

Keeping your CRM data clean isn’t a cue to break out the dusters, brooms, and mops. The campaign contacts that make it into the CRM should the ones that are ready to have a conversation with your sales team about moving to the next step: purchasing your services.

This step in the process is crucial for increasing efficiency, and preventing your sales team from chasing down leads that will result in wasted effort. So, score your leads based on their level of interaction, and put the rest of the leads that don’t meet sales qualifications aside until they’re ready.

If your email campaign management software doesn’t provide you with a place to store the leads that need more nurturing, then create a space for them, or opt for a comprehensive tool that integrates with your CRM and provides a “holding tank” space for the leads that need more time.

3. Communicate consistently

Once your leads have been sorted into their respective qualification-based categories, and your CRM is cleared up and ready to house new contacts, the real work begins. When it comes to following up with your leads, regardless of where they are in the funnel, just remember one thing: don’t be a tease.

Piquing the interest of a prospect and then never contacting them after initial exposure to your marketing campaigns is a great way to get forgotten. Determine their lead qualifications and employ nurturing strategies that make sense for each individual prospect. That way you’re not overselling to a prospect who’s not ready, and underselling to one who’s ready to purchase your services.

Don’t overlook other opportunities to attract new leads. Consider expanding your offerings, like adding cloud services, to add appeal to your business. And don’t feel overwhelmed. There are automation tools designed specifically to assist in the marketing and sales process for your cloud-based clients.

Discover more helpful tips for qualifying your marketing and sales leads and opportunities. Check out our Resource Center and get started today!