Lead qualification – an essential part of B2B lead generation

Since you are reading this you probably have a challenge in the lead generation area. If it’s any consolation you’re not alone.

  • MarketingSherpa: Over 80% of companies surveyed said a lack of “quality sales leads” is their single biggest challenge. (Up from 70% last year!)
  • CEO Insights: found the lowest percentage of salespeople making quota ever tested.
  • Sirius Decisions: found that companies with fewer, better qualified leads sold more than companies with lots of leads.

So, what can be done about it?

Define what a good lead and opportunity looks like

Whether you run a marketing and sales team, or if you’re on your own, a vital step at the start of B2B lead generation is to decide and agree what is actually a ‘good’ lead.

Also, since there are many terms used, such as; suspect, prospect, inquiry, lead, opportunity and others, agreement to a common vocabulary across the marketing and sales team removes misunderstanding.

A ‘qualified opportunity’ is more specific than a ‘lead’, and will need to meet many criteria that you identify as right for your business.

Lead qualification – The MAN

A simple approach is to check you are ‘Selling to the MAN‘ – Money, Authority, Need.

Apply this to lead generation to help you aim where there is a budget (or current expenditure), high up the organisation (owner, director etc) and to a Need, or Pain, especially if it has a date associated with it, such as a regulatory requirement.

Lead qualification – SCOTSMAN

Another qualification ‘tool’ with a pneumonic that I’ve applied is SCOTSMAN, which is particularly useful for higher value project sales.

It stands for:

  • Solution – that the prospect clearly wants what you have a track record of delivering, otherwise there’s a mis-fit at the start
  • Competition – that you are competing with similar organisations, if not then chances are one of you is in the wrong race, or the prospect is unclear about what they want
  • Originality – once you can ‘meet requirements’ what additional elements do you offer that this prospect values, that differentiate you
  • Timescale – to quick or too protracted could be a warning sign, but it also depends on your workload. If you are at capacity then there’s no value taking on another urgent project. If you are not the reverse would apply.
  • Size – size of client and size of opportunity, relative to you and the client. If your sweet spot is a £20k initial project with a £500k t/o company then any major deviation could be a warning sign and a risk.
  • Money – is the budget assigned, or does it still need to be justified, or is it dependent of other factors, like the client winning a big contract themselves.
  • Authority – are you talking to and building a good relationship with the decision-maker – because if not, who else might be?
  • Need – is there a compelling business need and justification for the purchase, and if they didn’t go ahead what would be the impact. Understanding this will help when building justification and gaining the go-ahead.

Wurlwind can provide a review to help you keep this in mind when creating your marketing campaigns; to educate the readers of your communication and pre-qualify your inquiries and leads towards your USPs and criteria.

Wurlwind can also help you clarify and develop the criteria of a ‘good’ lead. We can then help you to use this as the basis for other elements of your lead generation campaigns.

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