Unoptimized lead qualification processes are a cause of concern because sending unqualified leads to your sales team generates zero revenue and costs valuable company time. Sales teams focus on setting up a good lead base, but it often masks what makes a good lead in the first place.
Without qualifying good leads, you could be feeding dead ends to your sales team. Despite the high stakes, most sales and marketing teams learn they have spent time on a bad lead only after spending time and attention.
What Makes a Lead Good and Qualified?
A qualified lead is a sufficiently nurtured prospect you give to your sales team. These prospects also must qualify themselves through their actions to signal their readiness to buy into your company.
Marketers must gather as many leads as possible, find the ones that are a good fit for your product or company, and nurture them to the point where they are ready to make a purchase.
Here are four general characteristics of a qualified lead:
1. You have good data on them
Great leads start with significant data that you get from a well-designed and well-positioned form. The data comes in the form of validated contact information and any additional information that the lead offers, helping you qualify and nurture them.
2. You know where they are in their buyer’s journey
Knowing where the lead is in the buyer’s journey will help identify if they need further nurturing. You must consider if the lead understands their problem (awareness stage) or know the solution to their problem (education stage).
Learn if they know how your product could solve their problem (consideration stage) and if the lead knows the purchasing process to acquire your solution (decision stage).
3. You have qualification information collected
Less the friction in the process, the sale will go faster, making a profit for your company. However, what if your lead wants to buy your product but cannot afford your solution? Further,
- Does the lead have a problem that your solution will solve?
- Is the lead a decision-maker in the organization?
- Can the lead implement your solution – legally, financially, demographically, etc.?
- Is there any roadblock that prevents the lead from becoming your customer?
4. The lead demonstrated an interest
The final stage is to gauge the lead’s interest in your solution. Some of the giveaways of demonstrating interest are serious email inquiries, telephone inquiries, repeatedly visiting your website, contacting your sales team to know more about the product, and inquiring about your solution’s pricing.
How is Artificial Intelligence Making Sales Teams Better?
Artificial intelligence is counted among the fastest-growing sales tech. While only 21% of sales leaders say their organization utilizes AI, its adoption will increase by 155% by 2022.
Below are what AI can do for sales teams.
It can generate leads faster
AI-driven sales intelligence platforms can fill the pipeline fast. It can mine the connections between people, companies, products, and web pages and filter those leads who may buy your products and solutions. It can find potential leads from your existing databases.
Through responses, AI can find new leads and provide the sales teams with leads’ contact details in the addressable market. Furthermore, it can discover replacement contacts when people change their jobs and find new contact details of specific contacts from potential prospect organizations.
It can nurture them
AI can keep tabs on each lead and know where they are in the sales funnel. The sales team can use the insight to assign points to different prospect/customer actions in the funnel. While the sales team can go after every lead who inquiries about the price, the lead could just be researching.
Instead, they can score the prospect/customer based on the value of action towards doing business. The AI can detect when the lead reaches a threshold and mark it as ‘hot’ for the sales team to take over. Thus, the sales teams can focus on the right group of prospects and be productive.
It enhances personalization
As per a survey, 3 out of 4 customers say they would like to buy from a company offering personalization over those who do not. AI-powered personalization can move customers through the buyer’s journey. Its algorithms can study customer/prospect behavior to receive offers and messages based on their past behavior.
Case in point, Starbucks’ marketing program showed a 300% increase in customer spending when they received personalized offers and free drink rewards based on past purchase behavior.
It offers intelligent forecasting
AI can gather impulses that may or may not work and accurately forecast sales after tallying past purchases and present behavior. It can keep tabs on existing customer journeys and give real-time insights into customer pain points and preferences.
For instance, if the AI finds a customer looking for a competitive product, it captures this data and predicts which competitive messaging the customer should see. If the AI detects that the customer/prospect has purchased a complimentary technology. It can send offers with integrated and personalized sales messaging to engage with the customer.
Sales teams will continue to fall short of delivering accurate sales unless they leverage AI’s far-reaching capabilities. AI can understand prospects and determine the lead’s true value.
The sales world is seeing how AI is the top growth area for sales teams. In the future, it is crucial to bring in as much insight as possible. Draup is a sales intelligence platform that can automate and maximize, and help build actionable data for quality leads and worthwhile repeat customers.
Draup’s proprietary Rolodex feature provides insights into every organization’s key decision-makers, including Budget Control, Deal Size Influence, Patents, Personality Influence, etc. This could help the sales teams draft appropriate messaging and craft accurate sales solutions for your prospects.