Lead qualification is important for every business, but especially for B2B, where as many as 37% of marketers quote it as their biggest challenge. For those unaware, it refers to the prediction of likely sales prospects, gathered through a lead generation process and continuing all the way until that sales prospect becomes a customer.
The difficulty comes in the fact that not all leads are going to be equal. Some are not in place to become a customer in the immediate future, and some are never going to be in a position to become a customer. In this way, lead qualification is about finding qualified leads – those who are authorized to purchase from your company and have the budget and intent to do so.
What Is The Process Of Finding Qualified Leads?
The three most important qualified leads include:
- the product-qualified leads, which are those who engage with your services or product in a way that indicates intent.
- marketing qualified leads, which are potential customers that show interest at the top of the sales funnel stage
- sales qualified leads, which are those who have been pinpointed by the sales team through a manual process.
Many of these leads are now gathered from their social media marketing platform, meaning there is both a manual process and an automated process when it comes to attaining them – more on this later in the article. Once the leads are established, and they have the intent and the authority to close a deal, they are then passed to sales, and the process is complete.
When it comes to B2B companies, one of the most popular ways of establishing leads is through the manual process – actively engaging with a lead and gleaning information from them on their intent to purchase. Before this, however, many opted to use a scoring system to rank their leads based on data, with sources including meta-data and form submissions. Once the point system is established and the company knows which leads are the most qualified, communication can then be had to complete the last stage and turn the qualified lead into a buying customer.
Why Is It Important For A B2B Company?
The reason lead qualification is important is simply because it guides the sales team towards leads that will actually make purchases, increase revenue, and support nurture cadences. There are many differences between B2B and B2C companies, but this is one of the most significant. Unlike B2C, this isn’t about coming up with a product, opening up shop and hoping the customers come to you. A lot of it is about understanding the leads, communicating with them efficiently and building a relationship that will turn them not only into a customer but a returning customer.
It is an irreplaceable step but a difficult one, as a B2B sales team can spend up to 50% of their time working on the qualification process. As mentioned before, however, there are a number of efficient, practical ways to investigate and recognize new leads. Social media, as mentioned before, is a perfect source of data that can be utilized for marketing, promotion of web content, and lead qualification. It is important that you use platforms like this to not only maximize your qualified leads but decrease the time spent by the sales team and focus that time on other profitable areas.