Not every B2B lead generated by marketing is sales-ready, and when sales teams receive a large number of leads that aren’t qualified for sale, a significant effort can be wasted in nurturing leads that had no chance of going anywhere anyway.
Ideally, your sales manager should ensure that every lead passed to your sales team is qualified and sales-ready.
Lead qualification requires that you define what your organisation means by a “qualified” lead.
You may develop a lead scoring system to identify which leads are worthiest of follow-up.
You will need to know what your various buyer personas are: their job titles, questions, concerns, work goals, and decision-making capacity.
Following are seven questions you can ask when qualifying your B2B leads.
1. What Made You Choose to Solve This Problem Now?
When you ask your lead, “Why now?” you could get any number of answers, including, “We’re falling behind the competition,” and “We finally have the budget for it.”
Knowing why the lead believes now is the time to act helps you determine whether your products and services are a good match for their needs and how prepared the lead is to act on an opportunity.
2. How Urgent Is Solving This Problem?
With B2B leads, urgency is necessary in qualification.
If their problem is on the back burner, then you may not consider them qualified yet.
Knowing the urgency of their situation helps you know whether it’s time to build the business case for your solution to their problem, and the expected return on investment for them.
3. Who Are the Decision-Makers in Your Organisation?
Is your lead in a position for making purchasing decisions?
If so, subsequently asking whether he or she is responsible for establishing budget helps you make the transition from talking about decision-making authority to talking about the budget.
You need to know who to talk to, particularly if you encounter a price objection in your talks.
4. What Is Your Ideal Outcome from Solving This Problem?
You may firmly believe that your company is in the perfect position to resolve the lead’s problem, but qualifying leads also mean gauging their expectations.
Are they realistic? Knowing what they expect from resolving this business problem helps you properly educate the lead on what you offer, potential ROI, or another mutually beneficial conclusion.
Understanding your leads’ expectations helps you know if your products and services are the right fit.
5. Is There Money in the Budget Allocated for This?
It’s not always easy asking B2B leads what their budget for solving this particular problem is.
But you do need to ascertain an idea of what they expect to spend to fulfil their requirements.
When B2B lead generation turns to talk about budgets, be prepared and have valuable information about typical ROI and why it represents a worthwhile investment.
6. What Is Your Purchasing Process?
With qualified B2B leads, it’s important to understand the company’s purchase process.
Some companies want to start with a pilot project, and some are ready to go full-tilt.
Some require the CEO to approve deals, and others don’t.
Asking your lead what the process is for reaching a purchasing decision is can be tremendously useful when qualifying leads.
7. Are You Considering Any Other Providers?
A lead may demur when asked this, but you may be able to obtain valuable information if they’re willing to talk.
For one thing, you can learn whether they’re in the right league for your products and services.
And you may determine whether you’re facing competition, so you can ensure your team is optimally prepared.
Exceptional B2B Lead Generation Requires Effective Lead Qualification
Qualifying leads in the B2B world requires a bit more effort up front.
But what it can save later in terms of time not wasted nurturing leads that simply aren’t ready to buy is even greater.
B2B lead generation isn’t only about amassing the largest number of contacts, but about learning enough about them to know if your products and services are a good fit.
Also, you should be aware how close their company is to making a purchasing decision, and what their expectations are concerning the outcome.
At Internal Results, we specialise in helping tech companies like yours make the most of sales opportunities by helping them engage with qualified B2B leads.
The result is a maximum positive impact on your sales pipeline, with measurable results.
Contact us today to talk about how you can make B2B lead generation deliver outstanding results for your organisation.