Want to improve your inside sales team’s revenue and productivity? One of the best ways you can achieve fast growth is by better qualifying your leads. When your quota-carrying account executives are spinning their wheels talking to unsuitable prospects, it’s wasting time that they could be spending closing deals and moving valuable leads through your funnel. By quickly and efficiently qualifying inbound sales leads, you can improve productivity and ensure that salespeople are selling to suitable leads.
Step 1: Identify Your Qualified Customer Profile
As inbound leads come in, your reps need to be able to quickly ascertain whether they’re suitable. Novice reps often assume that if a lead is contacting them, they must be qualified. But there are a number of reasons why this might not be the case. Are they the right business size? Do they have compatible technology? Do they have the right business case? Is there budget?
That’s why it’s absolutely essential to identify a profile of what qualified leads look like. Depending on what you sell, there are any number of reasons that a lead might not be qualified for sales. Perhaps they aren’t interested in buying enough licenses, lack budget or simply don’t want to make change in the right time frame. It’s important to identify what your customer profile looks like.
Want some help identifying your buyers’ personas? The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson features some cards that you can use to help identify your different buyers and their needs. I’ve used these myself and have found them to be helpful when crafting questions that are directly relevant to your buyers achieving their goals.
Step 2: Choose the Right Qualification Questions
After identifying your customer profile, you need to then identify some questions that reps should be asking in order to determine leads’ suitability. These questions may often extend beyond BANT (Budget, Authority, Needs, Timeline). As an example, from day one RingDNA was built for Salesforce customers. It’s not uncommon for us to get inbound leads that think our products look awesome but don’t have Salesforce (or any plans to adopt it). Since being a Salesforce user is part of our customer profile, one of the first questions our reps ask inbound leads is whether they use Salesforce. That way reps don’t waste time giving a pitch to leads that aren’t qualified.
It’s important to understand which qualification questions are relevant to each buyer. They can be based on a lead’s referral source, buyer persona or other factors.While the qualification questions your reps ask prospects will vary depending on a number of factors, our ebook Socratic Sales highlights some of the the sales questions we think are most important for qualifying leads and accelerating deals.
Step 3: Provide Reps with Lead Qualification Cheat Sheets
Whoever said that cheaters never prosper probably never worked as an inside sales rep. Since different qualification questions will be relevant to different leads, we’ve found that providing reps with lists of relevant lead qualification questions in context is one of the best ways to help reps perform well. One way to do this is to use flash cards. But better yet, you can utilize a tool that can automatically deliver a list of relevant questions dynamically. For example, RingDNA can trigger a CTI screen pop the moment the phone rings with lead qualification questions that are relevant to a lead’s marketing referral source.
Help your sales reps qualify leads with our free eBook Socratic Sales: The 21 Best Sales Questions for Mastering Lead Qualification and Accelerating Sales.