When you ask a salesperson what they need, at first they will say, “I want more leads.” A few months later, they will correct themselves and say, “You misunderstood, what I meant to say is that I want more qualified leads.” Unfortunately, it is not as simple as getting a show of hands on those that want more qualified leads. Everyone does.
How to find qualified leads for the sales channel is the issue. In this instance, the salespeople mean leads that are qualified to buy someone’s product. Salespeople sometimes call the unqualified person who has not answered any questions about intent, naked leads, but they often give up after the first phone call says Gil Cargill:48% give up after the first call). But there are several ways to get qualified leads.
Why it’s important?
Qualified sales leads shorten the sales cycle and
increase sales while reducing marketing spending.
It is interesting how few questions we ask of those that enquire, as if we are afraid to ask too many
questions and we will chase the prospects away. Get over it.
When people connect with you via web ‘contact us forms,” trade shows forms, direct mail BRC’s (yes, they are still being used) and inbound phone calls, they will answer questions and self-qualify. These are often the best kind of leads because the inquirer has filled out the form, and no other calling is needed except by the salesperson. These prospects, which are now leads, can be sent directly to salespeople.
Pros: the inquirer has self-qualified; leads can go to the sales channel (no costs to requalify).
- Between 40-65% of all inquirers, be prequalified by asking a few questions.
Cons: the inquirer may lie about their status.
- The inquirer will often lie about time frame, authority and budget. However, you have to start somewhere. Hey. Nobody’s perfect.
If the inquiries come in with no qualification information, you can:
- Send the “naked leads” to the sales channel (not a real good idea)
- Requalify the prospects using email
- Requalify the prospects using telemarketing
- Keep the naked leads on a nurturing program either manually or via your marketing automation program, which does A., B., and C. above.
Pros: With effort, you can get up to 75% of the inquirers qualified. Forget about the other 25%, if you call them four times and they don’t respond they have rejected you. Get over it. They are probably competitors (5-10%), students (5%+), repeat inquirers (3-5%), prisoners (looking for freebies they can trade behind bars).
Cons: It is costly to requalify leads. Re-qualifying inquiries indicates marketing has failed to get them qualified to start with.
I do not suggest ever sending a naked lead to a sales person if you can help it.