What “qualified” means to you will depend on what you’re selling. It’s important not to assume qualified only means the prospect can afford your solution. Here are a few qualifying criteria you should have in your lead generation strategy to ensure you are generating the right sales leads for your sales team:
Although your sales team may be able to sell to almost any size of company, the best sales will come from companies that represent good value to you. Company size will give you an indication of the potential value of each account. For example, if you sell an IT solution, you will want to define the number of seats or users that a good value client would have; if you sell a sales solution, the number of people in the sales department will be key. Defining the size of an organisation will ensure that only companies large enough to be good sales leads are passed onto your sales team.
Finding out the size of each company will ensure that only companies large enough to be good sales lead are passed onto your sales team.
Annual turnover is another way to understand the potential value of a prospective customer. Many prospects are hesitant to answer direct questions about their annual turnover so ask about annual turnover towards the end of a call once you have built rapport and trust first.
Prospects are often more comfortable providing a range for their turnover rather than a specific amount. For example, ask them which band their turnover falls into:
• Less than $5 million
• $5 million to $20 million
• More than $20 million, etc.
And remember that if you are purchasing a prospect database, some list brokers can provide annual turnover as a data set or criteria. This gives you the benefit of targeting only those companies that fall within the revenue band that would make them a qualified sales lead.
By knowing what your prospect is doing or using now, that your solution would replace, you can get an indication of the quality of each opportunity. They may have an in-house solution, or they may be using one of your competitor’s products, or they may have no solution in place at all.
It’s also helpful to know how long they’ve been using their current solution or living with that problem without a solution.
A company that has recently engaged with your competitor, has invested considerable time and money on their current solution is unlikely to consider making a change.
On the other hand, if a company’s current solution has been in place for a while and they are still experiencing pain, it is a great opportunity to show how your solution could remove that pain from the business.
If your prospect is not interested now, that doesn’t mean there is no potential future interest. Ask when they are likely to be reviewing this solution again. Knowing the expiry date of a contract or policy allows you to call the prospect back a few months before this date so that you can build a relationship and pitch your services to them at the ideal moment.
Depending on your product, it might be appropriate to schedule a call back a couple of months up to 12 months prior to their review date. All prospects that meet your qualifying criteria, but are not interested now, should always fall into your lead nurturing strategy.
Knowing a company’s annual spend with your competitor will give you an indication of the potential value of the account. Some prospects might feel uncomfortable answering direct questions regarding this, but are often happy to give you information about their average order size and frequency of order, or respond within band ranges.
Meeting with the right sales leads will improve your sales conversion rate and give you better quality clients.
You will get a better outcome for the business if time is taken to get the lead generation process right. Given that your salespeople are a costly resource, their time is best spent pitching to qualified sales leads who have a need and the budget for your solution, rather than just meeting with anyone who will take a meeting.
Please call us today, if you’d like to know more about how FMG’s lead generation services can generate a consistent pipeline of the right sales leads for your sales team.