It seems so obvious. Sales people want qualified leads. They want prospects that are already looking for the solution being sold, and are pre-disposed to accept a sales call. Success in lead management includes the pillar of Lead Qualification—the process of consistently providing lead pools with a large percentage of pre-disposed buyers. Putting truly qualified prospects into the lead pool motivates sales professionals and improves the odds of more sales.
Qualification Thresholds: A useful strategy for success is evaluating the qualification thresholds for each campaign in relation to engagement activities. You automatically track activities such as web page hits, video views, collateral downloads, and software trials. Be sure to listen for patterns in feedback from the sales team or channel partners. Consistent complaints about non-qualified leads on a particular campaign might justify fine-tuning the thresholds. Scoring allows you to empirically judge the quality of leads previously designated as “qualified.” Data from a scoring system enables rational adjustment of controls, and helps to minimize passage of unqualified leads to sales.
Multi-Tiered Lead Qualification: In a large, global organization, using an automated, multi-tiered lead qualification process will provide more granular control and accuracy. For example, one of the world’s largest computer manufacturers faced declining revenue from an old channel business. Its goal was to significantly grow enterprise revenue without hiring (expensive) direct outside sales reps. The company created a new program targeting end users that directly used channel partners for fulfillment. A closed-loop lead generation system segmented prospects in an existing database. Results were more than 6,000 qualified leads resulting in $15 million in incremental sales during the first two quarters. ROI was 1,250% with $60 million of incremental pipeline sales (for more info, please view the Success Story on the Crimson Consulting website).
Building a multi-tiered process like this one entails the use of technologies to automate the nurturing of leads, along with a team that can help exploit lead management data. These capabilities initiate a growing relationship with a prospect before it goes to sales. With truly qualified prospects, sales professionals can spend their time responding to people who are ready to engage.
What techniques do you use to ensure your leads are well-qualified?