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6 Tips on How To Qualify Leads More Effectively

Victoria Berezhetska
Copywriter
25 minute read

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Victoria Berezhetska
Copywriter
25 minute read

The discovery call remains one of the most meaningful conversations a sales representative can have with a prospective client.

More often than not, it’s an essential part of the lead qualification process and the decision point for both the salesperson and the lead. Sales qualifying questions during the inbound calls help uncover customer pain points and determine whether the leads are suitable for your product or service to warrant a further conversation or if it’s time to part ways.

This article will walk you through the essentials of lead qualification and sales qualification methodologies and explain how businesses can leverage tracking and lead qualification tools to qualify sales leads more effectively.

What Is Lead Qualification?

Lead qualification is how companies determine which prospective clients are most likely to purchase. Lead qualification involves determining whether a prospect has specific recognized needs, purchasing power, and an interest in meeting with a sales representative. It’s a critical component of the sales funnel because it regularly consolidates many leads, but only a tiny percentage of them convert.

Qualifying customers can provide a variety of advantages for the company, such as:

  • Save the time of sales representatives and make them more efficient
  • Synchronize the efforts of sales and marketing teams
  • Personalize approaches when reaching out to and qualifying leads

There’s no denying that lead qualification is essential for allocating sales and marketing resources as effectively as possible. Suppose businesses ensure sufficient funding in client prospecting without assessing sales qualifications first. In that case, they will end up wasting resources on leads who, no matter how well brands interact with them, are less likely to make a purchase.

But the process of qualifying sales leads is more complex than it may seem, and each company has to either develop its unique method or use one of the standard methodologies.

Let’s examine in more detail the sales qualification frameworks companies typically use for successfully qualifying in sales.

Lead Qualification Frameworks

There are five primary methods for qualifying leads, each with its qualification criteria and logic.

Let’s examine in more detail these lead qualification frameworks:

1. BANT

Today, BANT remains one of the most popular lead qualification models. It has endured because of its effectiveness, memorability, and adaptability. Businesses can use it for a variety of products and sales qualification processes. This framework works best when combined with insightful questions.

ACRONYM     QUALIFIERS   

QUESTIONS

B Budget

How much is your lead willing to spend?

A Authority

Is your lead calling the shots on whether or not to purchase your product?

N Need

Can your product satisfy the lead’s business needs?

T Timeline

Will the lead purchase or implement your product shortly?

 

2. MEDDIC

MEDDIC is a set of questions that brands can use for qualifying a prospect and potential buyer. Here’s a detailed explanation of the acronym and a short sales qualification checklist

ACRONYM     QUALIFIERS    

QUESTIONS

M Metrics

What goals do you wish to achieve?

How do you assess your product functionality?

How do you measure success?

E Economic Buyer

Who has responsibility for budget allocation?

Who is involved in the final decision?

D Decision Criteria

What are the most essential technical and financial decision criteria?

D Decision Process   

How do you validate and finalize the decision process?

I Identify Pain

What are your principal pain points?

What issues affect your bottom line?

C Champion

Who will sell on your behalf?

Is the person interested in your product?

3. FAINT

FAINT is designed to offer a slightly different perspective on how to qualify leads and prospects. Since many unplanned purchases are unplanned, they might not be associated with a set budget. Here’s a short explanation of this sales lead qualification framework.

ACRONYM     QUALIFIERS    

EXPLANATION

F Funds

Focus on the sales leads with the most significant funds.

A Authority

Narrow this lead pool to those who can call the shots on whether or not to purchase your product.

I Interest

Educate your leads on how your product can help them accomplish their goals.

N Need

Learn about the needs of your leads and how your offerings can satisfy them.

T Timing

Make your leads commit to buying from you and ask to provide a timeframe for the purchase.

 

4. ANUM

The ANUM sales lead qualification framework scrambles the BANT framework’s principles but prioritizes Authority over Budget. It is divided into four stages and includes the following prospect qualification checklist:

ACRONYM     QUALIFIERS    

EXPLANATION

A Authority

Find out if the lead is the decision-maker. 

N Need

Learn about the lead’s needs and if your product can satisfy them.

U Urgency

Find out if your lead will make up his mind soon.

M Money

Make sure your leads have the money to buy your product.

 

5. CHAMP

CHAMP is similar to the ANUM sales lead qualification framework, but it prioritizes Challenges over Authority.

ACRONYM     QUALIFIERS    

QUESTIONS

CH Challenges

What are the most pressing issues your lead needs to resolve?

What led the lead to look for the solution you’re offering?

A Authority

Is your lead the critical influencer in the company?

How are purchasing decisions typically made in your lead’s company? 

M Money

Is there a budget specifically allocated for the solution you’re offering?

When is your lead planning to ask about the budget allocation?

P Prioritization  

Does your lead have other priorities at the moment?

When does the lead see the company implementing your solution?

 

What framework should your company choose? That depends on a variety of factors.

The company you run, the type of customers you work with, and the audience you target influence which framework will be the most impactful and effective in terms of the qualification of sales leads.

Qualified Leads vs. Unqualified Leads

Leads are classified into two categories based on where they are in the marketing funnel. Let’s take a closer look at these categories:

  • Unqualified leads: These are the ones that need to be sufficiently nurtured to purchase. Businesses can mark leads as unqualified for various reasons, including uncertainty about your brand’s offerings, not knowing what they’re looking for, and high prices.
  • Qualified leads: These leads are aware of your product’s advantages. Marketing teams typically collect and qualify prospects through email campaigns, sales blogs, white papers, quizzes, and courses – all products that meet the needs of their leads. Qualified sales leads are categorized into three types: information-qualified leads (IQLs), marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), and sales-qualified leads (SQLs).

During the prospecting sales process, efforts will be wasted if a sales representative concentrates on checking off only a couple of lead qualification criteria; they must ensure that all requirements are met.

In this situation, how does one know how to qualify leads effectively? How can marketers ensure they’re getting something out of it?

How Lead Qualification Works

Qualifying a sales opportunity entails evaluating generated leads, categorizing them, automating follow-up emails, and implementing lead nurturing strategies to convert them into customers. 

Brands should understand the characteristics of their ideal customers to identify and obtain the most qualified sales leads. Understanding these traits and characteristics enables sales and marketing teams to develop a system for prospecting new businesses, evaluating potential buyers, and focusing the resources on leads with all of the required characteristics.

Today, brands use various features and lead qualification services to qualify leads. For instance, businesses often use landing pages to capture high-quality leads, CRM software for lead scoring, and marketing automation tools like Phonexa’s LMS Sync to aid in lead management, analytics, tracking, and nurturing.

Utilizing a marketing automation solution is critical if your business deals daily with thousands of inbound leads. Without automation, a company may miss out on engaging and qualifying a lead.

Phonexa’s lead tracking and analytics solution and ping tree feature enable brands to capitalize on powerful analytics and increase revenue by matching organic leads with qualified sales experts and lead buyers.

Let’s dive deeper and figure out how to qualify a customer in sales.

First, brands must understand the importance and benefits of a lead qualification checklist. It can be challenging to know where to begin without a streamlined process to follow. And the longer the lead list grows, the more daunting the process can become.

However, businesses can make it more manageable and strategic by breaking it down step by step with a lead qualification checklist. On top of that, a checklist can ensure that your lead qualification process is consistent.

Here are some questions businesses must ask to win more leads with a better qualification process:

  • Is a person looking to buy your product?
  • Is the lead genuinely interested in your offerings?
  • What is the current use for your product?
  • What is the person’s ideal price range?
  • Does a lead feel he’s paying a reasonable price for the current solution?
  • Where is the person in the buying journey?
  • What is the best time for a lead to make a purchase?

If you can identify the most frequent reasons for disqualifying your leads, you can tailor and refine your lead qualification checklist to fit your unique client base.

To begin, create an “unqualified reasons” list and record the reason whenever a lead is disqualified. If a significant number of leads are disqualified for the same reason, it could indicate that your list of requirements needs to be more specific.

Ultimately, you will be able to refine the checklist and better align it with your customer base if you get a deeper understanding of why some of your leads are dropping off.

6 Tips on How To Qualify Leads and Prospects

Implement a Lead Scoring Model

A successful approach to qualifying leads for sales is to use a lead scoring model, which helps gather the necessary information without actually making prospective customers answer numerous questions.

Lead scoring collects information based on their interactions with your business and previously captured data. Simply put, the higher their score, the more they interact with your brand, content, and website.

Marketing professionals frequently employ a numerical score based on specific factors such as conversion eagerness, professional information, and level of engagement.

Here’s an example of a unique lead scoring matrix based on prospective clients’ demographic profiles and behavioral patterns.

6 Tips on How To Qualify Leads More Effectively - 1

Source: Cyberclick

This model allows having up to 16 lead combinations that can be then assigned specific temperatures based on the details of each case.

Carry Out Thorough Research

Online prospecting entails searching for information about qualified sales opportunities to understand your audience better. Businesses often implement lead tracking and distribution solutions like Phonexa’s LMS Sync to get insights and value from every lead. 

Brands also collect data from social media interactions to learn more about their prospects’ demographics and psychographics. For instance, Facebook Audience Insights can assist marketers in creating compelling ad campaigns and understanding their potential customers’ needs.

Use Lead Tracking and Analytics

Every company has its opportunity qualification process and criteria. However, most businesses look for advanced sales tools that can provide contact information and detailed analytics to streamline their sales qualification process

Brands equipped with appropriate tracking, distribution, and lead qualification tools can identify businesses or users that visit their websites, provide contact information for designated decision-makers, and offer a detailed analysis of their buying journey.

Ultimately, it can help businesses understand their prospects’ and leads’ interests, challenges, and pain points and, as a result, implement more impactful sales lead qualification approaches.

Select the Appropriate Framework

Numerous sales qualification frameworks can assist businesses in qualifying prospects. For instance, brands looking to start lead qualification can begin with BANT, which will help them evaluate such lead qualification criteria as budget, authority, needs, and time.

Depending on the company and industry you operate in, it’s crucial to pick the framework that will work best for your business and design intelligent questions to move leads closer to a sale.

Use the SPIN Selling Methodology

Neil Rackham developed SPIN selling to assist sales experts in asking the appropriate questions during the sales lead qualification to obtain the data required to nurture leads successfully through their sales pipeline while demonstrating the significance and worth of their offerings and enhancing lead engagement.

6 Tips on How To Qualify Leads More Effectively - 2

Source: HubSpot

But is this approach still relevant, and how asking SPIN questions can help businesses understand what they can improve about their business? Here’s what Neil Rackham, the SPIN Selling creator, has to say about this:

Create Complete Data Profiles

What is the point of creating data profiles? First, they can quickly alert sales and marketing experts to what areas of lead qualification data they’re missing and what information they need to request during their following communication. 

CRMs help create the appropriate data profiles; some can even connect profiles to the lead-scoring model a business uses. After all, data is critical to business success and successful sales.

Start Building a Lead Qualification Workflow

There’s no denying that lead qualification is a critical component of sales and marketing. Businesses looking to be impactful and successful must incorporate efficient processes, models, and approaches that address and meet their organization’s needs.

Whether you’re a marketing professional or a business owner, a marketing automation solution has to be a critical part of your martech stack to ensure that all of your marketing efforts, call and lead tracking, or lead qualification perform efficiently at scale.

Schedule a consultation with one of Phonexa’s experts to learn how our suite of marketing automation solutions, including LMS Sync, can help you take control of your sales funnel and automate your lead management and lead qualification process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to qualify a lead?

Qualifying a lead implies determining whether a lead or prospect meets your company’s requirements. Qualifying a lead saves businesses time, effort, and money by not pursuing leads who aren’t ready to invest in your offerings.

When does lead qualification happen?

Lead qualification is typically done during a discovery or sales call. Company representatives should ask specific questions when qualifying a customer to determine his intentions and purchasing power.

What is prospecting in marketing?

Online prospecting is the process of identifying potential customers. Sales representatives typically use it to increase the size of their potential client base. Online prospecting entails contacting potential leads and converting them into qualified sales opportunities.

What is a qualifying question?

A qualifying question assists the sales expert in determining whether or not their lead meets one of the qualification criteria.

Victoria Berezhetska avatar
Victoria Berezhetska
Copywriter
Victoria Berezhetska is a Copywriter at Phonexa. Victoria has a degree in Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with extensive working experience as a PR specialist and content writer, touching on many different areas of digital marketing. In her work at Phonexa, she covers a wide range of topics, including call tracking, lead generation, marketing automation, and so much more.

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