Of course, the goals of commercial managers are to increase conversion rates, hit targets and sell more to achieve high performance and greater revenue predictability. However, to achieve these results, it is important to have a solid and structured lead qualification process.
In fact, it is necessary to act efficiently, intelligently and correctly at all stages of the customer prospecting strategy. After all, if a part of the operation does not work properly, it will probably compromise the subsequent steps, affecting the entire final result.
Thinking about all stages of the commercial strategy, we have the lead qualification process as a fundamental element.
How the Lead Qualification Process Accelerates Sales
The main objective of lead qualification is to make the sales process more efficient. With this, it is possible to discover the leads with the greatest purchasing potential and increase the chances of success in the negotiation.
However, as we mentioned, it is worth remembering that qualification is part of the entire strategic operation. Because prospecting involves several aspects, such as:
- Lead generation, involving the search for leads through Big Data, data mining with the support of artificial intelligence and validation of contacts to prepare the prospecting list;
- Structuring the lead conversion flow, with a study of the purchase journey, creation of the sales funnel and design of triggers for evolution in the sales pipeline;
- Creating interest and generating value with leads, through cadence flows developed with well-personalized sales emails targeted at the pain points of leads, as well as conducting engagement cold calls;
- Qualification of leads, through a sales pitch, also via prospecting emails, or via calls and social networks, such as LinkedIn. It is important here to have SDRs, or pre-sales professionals, dedicated to approaches and speeches to build a relationship with leads and qualify them at different points of contact;
- Overcoming objections, which can be considered an integrated step in the lead qualification process. Since it is necessary to work and overcome the objections presented by potential customers so that they can move forward in the purchase journey.
With all these steps completed, in a very assertive and efficient manner, it is possible to schedule as many meetings as possible with salespeople, with real business opportunities.
That is, they are very warm leads, who see value in the service, with total fit with your company and high purchasing potential. Therefore, these qualified leads are well on their way to meeting, negotiating and with high conversion possibilities in closing sales.
Therefore, in this text, we will detail a little more about the lead qualification process to make commercial strategies more efficient and how to ask the best qualifying questions to accelerate the commercial cycle.
Key points of the lead qualification process
To emphasize the importance of the lead qualification process, 67% of lost sales are the result of sales that were not properly qualified, according to Business2Community research.
So, to carry out a qualification that generates really positive results, pre-sales professionals must work on numerous factors within the qualification process, such as:
- Identify whether the lead is part of the ideal customer profile (ICP);
- Check if the lead has the budget to purchase the solution or service offered;
- Discover the authority of the lead, that is, if he is really the decision maker for making these purchases;
- Analyze whether the solution or service can meet the needs of leads and deliver the expected result;
- See the lead’s deadline to introduce the solution, for example, if he needs the service in the short, medium or long term;
- Understand the moment of the lead to close the deal.
How to use questions in the lead qualification process
To verify all the points mentioned above, those responsible for the lead qualification process need, first of all, to do a good research on the potential client. Then, during approaches and conversations with potential customers, it is necessary to ask questions to understand in more detail the entire scenario, reality and challenges of each one.
From there, with open or closed questions, it is possible to improve qualification and accelerate sales.
It is worth remembering that 22% of pre-salespeople do not know exactly what to ask to separate potential good customers from companies that are not worth it, such as those that do not have a budget or are not ready to acquire the solution. The data is from the Gong survey.
Additionally, the study identified that asking 11 to 14 qualifying questions can increase the conversion rate by up to 74%.
To help you ask the best questions in the lead qualification process, we have separated some models of questions below, according to the factors to be mapped in the qualification.
Diagnostic questions and need
Such questions serve to understand the context of the lead, how he hopes to resolve the current situation, what solutions he is looking for and, consequently, how your company can help him. See some examples:
- How is your company performing in [prospect area, such as financial management]?
- What is your biggest challenge right now? What do you think needs to improve?
- What would the ideal solution to your current challenge look like?
- What are your biggest concerns about how the service or solution works?
- What are the possible consequences of not being able to introduce the correct solution in your business?
After this initial mapping, if it is not possible to proceed with the qualification in that same conversation, it is worth making a connection for a next conversation. Here’s an example:
From our chat, I saw that we were able to help you achieve your goals and solve your challenges of [listing the lead’s pain points], generating benefits such as [advantages of the solution]. So, I think it makes sense for us to continue talking. How about we schedule a next chat?
It’s no use having everything aligned between the lead’s needs and the benefits of your solution if the potential client doesn’t have enough money to close the deal. Therefore, these questions are indispensable in the qualification process. You can be direct and also ask probing questions, such as:
- Do you have a budget available to make this investment viable?
- Have you invested in similar solutions in the past? How much money is allocated for them?
- What are the main factors that weigh in your purchase choice? Is price one of them?
Remember that it is important that your solution is always seen as an investment that generates a return and not an expense!
Questions about authority
This is where you find out who exactly you need to talk to within the lead’s company to hammer out the purchase, or if he has the decision-making power. Check out some questions:
- When was the last time your company made a purchase like this?
- Do you have the authority to make the final decision?
- Are other people involved in the decision process? Who else can participate?
- Is there, by any chance, an internal committee that needs to approve the decision?
Lead timing questions
It is also relevant to create an analysis on the moment of the lead, the purchase period and other details about the purchase process to be able to think about the evolution of your pipeline, internal sales forecast and carrying out follow-ups to monitor the process. Therefore, ask:
- How soon would you like the problems you face to be resolved?
- Do you have an urgent need to act now to resolve these difficulties?
- How does the purchasing process work in your company?
- How is your shopping plan?
- Are there any seasonality issues for closing suppliers?
Questions about proposal submission
After the lead qualification process, the sales team schedules proposal presentation and negotiation meetings. Here, although it is a later step than what we have covered in this content, it is also important to ask some questions. And we will mention below:
- Did you like what you saw?
- Does our solution meet your needs? Is that what you expect to solve your problem?
- Do you believe that, with our service, your company can reach the objective of X?
- Got any questions?
- What is missing from us to move forward in our conversation?
Closing or closing questions
Finally, it is also worth highlighting the questions that help to provoke the lead, during negotiations, to close the sale.
- To hire our products or services, what is the next step?
- What do we need to sign the contract?
- Is there any impediment or obstacle to closing the contract?
Count with ASB Marketing to increase your sales
If you want to implement demand generation strategies in your business, it is of paramount importance to start with planning.
In this scenario, understand your audience, online behavior, preferences and, especially, make an analysis of your competitors and current demands of the market.
Then understand how your sales process works and what characteristics need to be changed to meet your ideal customer profile.
In addition, it is essential to keep in mind that demand generation does not only occur by paid media, on the contrary, inbound marketing actions (attraction marketing) and demand generation generate very advantageous results for organizations when well employed.
Finally, you can count on an experienced marketing and sales company to support the implementation of these strategies, such as ASB Marketing.
With the best innovative methodologies and tools, ASB Marketing finds its ideal customer and qualifies them through fully automated and personalized email cadence.
When the lead arrives at the purchase decision phase, we only passed on to your commercial team to close the negotiation. With this, we guarantee increased sales, reduction of trade cycle, cost optimization and support in long -term business expansion.
Do you want to know more? Go now and see how ASB Marketing can help your business!