You and your team of salespeople likely excel at closing sales. You likely have a firm grasp of managing your top enterprise accounts. However, managing a funnel of leads and prospecting and qualifying them for growth are also likely consistent challenges.
You aren’t alone. As data shows, 25 percent of leads are legitimate and should advance to sales, but 79 percent of marketing leads never convert. What’s more, 73 percent of leads are not sales-ready, and 50 percent are qualified but not yet ready to buy.
What does this mean for your sales team? That lead qualification is essential if you want to grow revenue. To help iterate its importance, consider these three reasons why nurturing and qualifying leads is critical to successful sales.
1. It Saves You Time by Only Talking to the Right People
As we’ve discussed, the term lead qualification gets bandied about in the sales industry, but it is highly subjective. What one company views a qualified lead, another may consider a huge waste of resource. To avoid losing time on dead-end leads or businesses outside your target parameters, it’s crucial to outline how your team qualifies leads.
Being aware of personas—in relation to their profile attributes and buying cycle—helps identify factors, such as industry, company size, location, and buyer’s role, which helps you determine where leads are in the qualifying process. For example, if you generally cater your services around enterprise businesses, you probably aren’t selling to SMBs. Why waste a salesperson’s time with a client who can’t afford your services in the first place?
2. It Provides Personalization
Lead nurturing and scoring are reliable methods of quantifying and scaling your targeting efforts. Nurturing prospects before directly reaching out increases efficiency and overall performance in your qualification program. Combined with targeted sales engagement, nurturing and qualifying leads delivers 50 percent more sales-ready discussions and 20 percent more sales opportunities at lower costs of up to 33 percent.
Lead nurturing and qualification solutions provide organizations with a pathway for prospects to receive relevant information and personalized engagement. Account-based marketing principles ensure your team is communicating with an individual prospect to deliver customized content and offers based around unique needs, and that they are likely to resonate with.
It’s important for your sales team to do their due diligence before calling prospects.
By synchronizing your efforts around key messages and touchpoints, you guide prospects through the emotional checkpoints of their decision-making process. Ultimately, this helps move them through the funnel toward a final purchase, often at a faster rate.
3. It Improves Close Rates and Boosts Revenue
Conversions, manifested across your sales team as closed deals, is how revenue is generated. While it’s a no-brainer that qualified leads improve close rates, it’s imperative that your marketing and sales teams are on the same page. Therefore, it’s up to you and your team to develop and implement a successful process driven by clearly defined terms.
Cross-departmental communication ensures you maximize the conversion of qualified leads into sales. Generally, the qualifying process has three prongs: marketing qualified leads (MQLs), sales accepted leads (SALs), and sales qualified leads (SQLs). To make sure both marketers and salespeople are aligned, it’s important to leverage a qualification process. A common way for teams to qualify leads is through the ANUM method:
This process determines the quality and stage of a prospect, and we’ve often found that if a company has verified authority and need, the budget can be found for the right solution. Outlining your nurturing and qualification processes based around tried-and-true methodologies such as this helps you know exactly where prospects are in the buying process as well as and how much time, effort, and money are required to convert them into customers.