Many companies are wasting their time on incorrectly assessing potential business leads, due to which the deal never closes. As a result, they face budget overruns and do not receive the expected profit. To achieve maximum productivity, companies should fully optimize their customer management process from client’s attraction to closing the deal.is highly efficient as their experts use advanced marketing strategies and tools. The secret of success is that they use automated tools and design custom solutions for each client following their business characteristics. This demonstrates that the use of appropriate software is essential for the fast and effective closing of deals. Therefore, in this article, we will talk about:
- types of leads involved in inside and outside sales;
- ways to qualify your leads;
- benefits of the properly set process;
- the best software solution for automation.
Business Leads Qualification: What Does it Mean?
It is a part of the sales funnel that allows you to determine whether a potential client matches your ideal customer profile (ICP), whether they have a chance to become a full-fledged buyer, as well as the likelihood of long-term cooperation. This is a necessary process that allows filtering those who are unlikely to buy your product or services and focus your efforts on those who are ready to become your customers.
In the race for new customers, many companies find that funds have been spent inefficiently. Indeed, in the sales process, it is not the quantity but the quality of customers that matters. Not to waste your time and money on imperfect clients and focus on quality leads, you need to create an internal customer relationship management system and develop individual criteria depending on the specific features of your business. This process requires a professional approach and in-depth market analysis. Without proper qualifications, the marketing team will devote time to absolutely all potential customers, regardless of whether they fit your profile or not, thereby missing out on potential clients that could become your long-term partners.
This is why it is so important to collaborate with marketing experts.
Types of B2B Leads
Here are basic examples of leads that can be qualified:
Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
This is a lead that has shown interest in your brand based on your marketing campaign. In most cases, these leads become full-fledged customers because they are attentive and willing to interact with the company. Here’s what qualified marketing leads do:
- download a trial version or free content;
- fill out an online form;
- get acquainted with the demonstration of your services;
- provide information about themselves (email, phone number);
- add a product to the cart;
- contact the company for additional information;
- add positions to favorites;
- revisit your site;
Sales Accepted Lead (SAL)
This is the second stage of the sales funnel. SAL is forming based on MQL, which is ready to make a purchase. They become that way when the sales department comes first. Their goal is to keep the lead interested and move to the next stage in the sales process.
Every company has its definition of sales accepted leads. It is formed based on the beliefs of the marketing and sales teams and their assessment criteria. Some businesses even skip this step, although in general, it is essential for closing inside and outside sales.
Sales Qualified Lead (SQL or Opportunity)
This is the next stage where leads move in the sales funnel. This is where the sales team starts negotiations with the prospect to close the deal successfully. A high level of relevance and interest from a sales lead are vital factors that qualify the prospect as SQL.
How Does New Business Leads Qualification Work?
Modern technologies make it possible to automate the lead qualification process to identify potential customers accurately. Thus, the business saves time and money on attracting clients and closing deals. But to efficiently manage the qualification process, it is worth knowing how it works. Therefore, below we will consider its main aspects.
BANT. It’s a framework designed by IBM. It stands for Budget, Authority, Needs, and Timeline. This model allows you to assess how much a B2B lead is qualified and meets the company’s criteria before continuing the conversation.
To qualify a lead, they have to answer several questions, based on which the marketing expert concludes whether cooperating with this client is worth the effort or whether they do not correspond to the company’s requirements. In turn, the questions are also divided into several categories.
- Does the client have expectations regarding the cost of the product?
- How much are they willing to pay for such a service?
- How much do they usually spend on similar products?
- Do they have a flexible budget?
If the potential client’s budget is less than your cost of services, it makes no sense to waste them and your time since they still won’t make a purchase.
- What power does the contact person have?
- Are there other stakeholders in your business?
- Who in the company makes the final purchase decision?
Understanding the authority of the contact person is essential to close the deal. If other stakeholders also influence the making purchase, you will also have to convince them to buy your products or services. It will also help you set the priority of business leads.
- What are the problems of potential customers?
- How does this affect their activities?
- What do they expect from your product?
You have to assess the extent of the potential customer’s problems and determine whether your product can solve them. If the answer is negative, it makes no sense to close the deal.
- What are the terms of purchase for a potential customer?
- Are they ready to close the deal as soon as possible?
Once you understand your potential customers’ time frames, you can prioritize and focus on those in need of urgent action. This will allow you to make the sales process more efficient.
GPCTBA/C&I. Many companies are faced with the fact that BANT is no longer enough. It was the basis for a new model creation: Goals, Plans, Challenges, Timeline, Budget, Authority, Negative Consequences and Positive Implications. This is the longest sales chain, but it is effective because it considers all the modern features to generate leads and their transformation into potential customers.
At this stage, you have to define the goals of the potential client to solve their problems. You can also help the buyer to think bigger and motivate them to make a purchase.
Once you have identified the company’s targets, you will need to learn more about its plans. These are the actions that they will take to achieve strategic goals. At this stage, you can already offer them specific ways how they can implement the ideas using your product.
This is an essential tool for qualifying leads for a business. Here you have to understand whether the client can solve their problems with the help of your services.
Like the previous model, this step involves defining the client’s time frame to solve their pain points.
The next thing you need to do is define a lead’s budget to compile a quality B2B database. You cannot help them if the cost of your service is beyond their financial capacity.
Understanding who is making a purchase decision is an important step that saves time and effort in closing a deal. Quite often, sales reps have to negotiate with lover-level managers while acquisition decisions are up to senior management. Your task is to promptly determine who will influence the deal’s closing and motivate this person to make a purchase.
Negative Consequences and Positive Implications:
Here you have to understand the negative and positive consequences of a potential client if they achieve their goals. It is the final stage to determine the value of your proposal.
CHAMP. This model stands for Challenges, Authority, Money, and Prioritization. Perhaps it makes no sense to decipher each of the steps since their description can be obtained from the models mentioned above. The advantage of the CHAMP framework is to help sales reps close more deals. It corrects BANT’s errors and begins by identifying client pain points to assess whether your product or service can help them instantly.
What a Business Can Get by Generate Leads and Qualify Them With a Proper Tool
Here’s a couple of advantages of automated tools:
- manage sales representatives’ time efficiently;
- enhance the quality of customer follow-ups;
- improved return on investment.
Best Business Leads Qualification Software
Nowadays, the lead generation market offers vast opportunities. Below, we will look at 5 most popular tools that enable businesses to optimize their customer acquisition and sales processes.
Powered by artificial intelligence technology, this software automatically identifies the leads that best match your ideal customer. The tool offers easy integration into your current sales process. Pathmonk identifies basic information about potential customers and estimates the likelihood that they will accept the deal.
The software analyzes the actions of all your visitors, comparing them with your products or services. This allows you to identify who is most interested in your brand. Pathmonk ensures that their clients get instant results without any additional effort. On their website, you can order a demo of how the application works and automatically prepare an estimate and revenue prediction.
This service allows you to automate a wide range of marketing tasks, from generating new business leads to successfully closing deals. Developers claim that their customers’ revenue has grown by an average of 34% as a result of using this software.
More than 2.8 million businesses of various sizes are now using this platform. It has four main subscription plans that clients can choose from depending on the goals of their company. You can see a demo for each plan on the website and calculate the approximate cost of services based on your business’ peculiarities.
This platform allows you to manage all aspects of lead generation and qualifications. Automate your marketing leads, route calls to the right sales reps, schedule online appointments to qualify leads, and more.
Limecall also provides all aspects of the client relationship management system and analytics. In addition, the site contains useful content on marketing strategies. The price of using the platform depends on the size of the business.
Headquartered in Chicago, this company provides small and midsize businesses with cloud-based solutions to improve their customer experience. It includes various types of marketing and tools for sales automation. Initially, ActiveCampaign started out as a consulting firm and later developed into a full-fledged automation solutions provider. Its users have access to detailed behavior tracking capabilities and precise marketing opportunities through segmentation.
At this stage, the platform is used by more than 90,000 customers, it offers integration with third-party services, including Salesforce, WordPress, Shopify, PayPal, Stripe, Gmail, Facebook, etc. Despite the wide range of tools, many users complain that sometimes it is difficult to customize and use the platform’s features.
#5 HubSpot Marketing Hub
It is a platform that allows small businesses to build and apply user-friendly marketing tools. It serves to attract the attention of clients, evaluate them, and take effective actions to close deals. HubSpot Marketing Hub helps to build brand awareness and improve conversions.
The platform is part of the HubSpot service, which controls all actions over the leads from the beginning to the deal’s closing. It also involves the creation of custom chatbots, which helps to serve potential clients 24/7. In general, it is a useful tool for a small business, although the price is relatively high.
To Sum Up
Marketing strategy automation and lead qualification software is undoubtedly important, especially if you were unable to correctly customize the processes yourself. It enables companies to improve the quality of their sales and generate additional profits. However, the cost of such platforms can be too high.
Even automated tools can be challenging to use without knowing the specific features of assessing leads. Therefore, if you want to effectively use your sales representatives’ time and focus only on worthy customers, you should use professional B2B lead generation services. Sales and marketing experts will help you qualitatively set up internal processes, leading to an increase in profits in the shortest possible time. Since 2017, Belkins specialists are using top-notch custom automation software and have helped over 400 clients achieve impressive results through the quality lead qualification process.
About the author:
Maria Hoffman | Marketing Expert
With over 13 years of experience in product promotion and sales, Maria has become a real marketing shark. She uses cutting edge approaches to generate leads and convert them into repeat customers. Maria can easily involve any client in an effective and useful marketing campaign.