Remember the good ol’ gold rush? You go to the riverbank with a pan and collect the soil and water. Now you have mud. But, when you sift through it, you might get those little gold nuggets.
Lead generation is like going to the riverbank and gathering soil, and lead qualification is like sifting for gold. Right now, we’re in a digital gold rush.
It’s not enough that you’ve got hundreds of leads. You need to sift through them and find sales-ready leads. We’re here to help! In this article, we’ll be talking about:
- Why lead qualification is important
- Utilizing the BANT framework
- Stages of lead qualification
Why is Lead Qualification Important for Businesses?
Finding leads takes a lot of time and resources. Unfortunately, that’s not where the money’s at. Your business gets revenue from leads that convert into paying customers.
Lead qualification identifies leads worth the time and effort. It helps answer questions like which leads are worth sending cold emails to or which fits your ideal customer profile.
A site visitor that clicked on a product won’t necessarily be ready to buy. Going for those people might just end up in a loss for your business.
But, with a solid strategy, lead qualification is going to be second nature for your sales team. One of the most prominent strategies you’ll find is the BANT.
How to Use the BANT Framework
If you’re struggling to find the qualities of a qualified lead, you can always fall back on BANT. It takes into account a lead’s budget, authority, need, and timeline.
- Budget refers to how much a lead is willing and able to spend on your products or service.
- Authority identifies the key decision maker for a sale.
- Need finds out if a lead truly needs your product or service.
- Timeline answers how much time a lead needs to make a purchase.
Let’s get an in-depth look at each of the stages:
Rather than focusing on how much a lead can spend, find out how much they’re spending now on a problem or business need. This can go into the realm of direct competitor comparisons.
In your first-touch email campaigns, you can include pricing comparisons, case studies on cost savings, or present your product/service as an opportunity to grow.
Finding out the key decision-makers is essential to closing a lead. But, for industries like SaaS, there could be several stakeholders that have a say in purchasing decisions.
You’ve got the end users, the head of finance, managers, and other department heads. Take this into account when communicating. Ask if “X stakeholder” can join the next meeting.
Research the potential pain points you can solve or growth opportunities you can provide to your lead. Identify if the need is closely tied to their goals. If it is, decisions would be easier.
Try to find out if your product or service can solve unforeseen pain points. Dig deeper and find other areas of your lead’s business you can help with.
How urgently does your lead need a solution to their pain points? Urgency doesn’t always have to come from your team. In some cases, it can come off as your sales personnel being pushy.
But urgency can come internally for your leads. It could be a deadline, project implementation, or quotas. Ask your leads about these potential internal urgencies.
Stages of Lead Qualification
Bant is one of many qualification frameworks you can use. Each business can have its own strategies implemented to fit specific needs. To create your own unique strategies, consider the following stages of lead qualification:
Creating an ICP
An ideal customer profile (ICP) creates an outline of the leads you want to go for. These are the people most likely to benefit from your products or services.
For example, a business that offers email marketing solutions could go for salespeople struggling to land leads. It could also go into more specific roles within an organization.
Think authority figures, key decision makers, or other stakeholders. Go for the people who understand the issues within their organization and those able to make a purchasing decision.
Building criteria allows you to filter out leads that aren’t likely to convert. Different types of businesses could have different criteria. But, as a rule of thumb, you should consider:
- Purchasing authority
- Urgency for new solutions
- Interests and intent
Create checklists for each. This helps your sales team have a uniform system of evaluating potential sales-ready leads.
Utilize Lead Qualification Tools
Whether you’re finding leads through social media or email outreach campaigns, you’d want to use a tool that helps you streamline and optimize the process.
Look into customer relationship management (CRM), email validation, or analytics tools. Make sure to use tools that can help you gather and transform data into useful business information.
Do In-depth Research
With the right tools at your disposal, research becomes much easier. You’d want a personalized experience for your leads.
Find things you can genuinely connect with. Build a relationship. And, more importantly, add value in every step of the sales pipeline.
Look into the current and previous roles of your leads. Are they active on LinkedIn or social media platforms like Twitter? Dive deep and find golden nuggets of information.
After doing your research, it’s time to reach out. The deeper the research, the more personalized your first-touch point communications will be.
When doing outreach, remember to track your progress. Look into the open rates of your cold emails or calls. Use personalized email templates to help you scale. And compare strategies to see which ones work best for you.
Lead qualification helps your business focus on sales-ready prospects. This saves you time and money so you can focus on what you do best—closing sales. Here are a couple of key details you might’ve missed:
- Use frameworks like BANT as a metric to qualify leads.
- Build an ideal customer profile (ICP) to get an outline of what you’re looking for.
- Use lead qualification tools to streamline and optimize the process.
- Always do in-depth research to personalize communications.
- Keep track of your campaigns when reaching out to qualified leads.
With a solid list of qualified leads, all that’s left is to reach out. There’s no better way to do so than through email. Sign-up with Instantly for free today and see how easily you can 10x your leads, meetings, and deals!