Qualifying Leads is important to All salespeople want them, but not all salespeople know how to handle them properly.

If you are gonna succeed in sales today, you need to generate Qualifying Leads.  That’s a no-brainer.  However, it doesn’t end there.  Once you have these leads, you now need to be sure that you Qualifying Leads them, or you will have a sales funnel full of false hopes.

The first step in a strong sales lead management process is effectively qualifying leads.

Qualifying LeadsYou must make sure that you use your valuable time and energy wisely, making every prospect count.

To begin, don’t make the mistake of going full steam ahead when first meeting with a prospect, hoping to get the prospect to see your value.

Here’s the problem:  when you are pitching to a client, you are not doing what you should be doing, which is listening to the concerns, issues and problems of the prospect.   And there’s no reason for them to even consider you if you haven’t considered their needs, or listened carefully to what their needs really are.

You have a chance during those first meetings to really get to the core of your prospect’s needs.

Ask them pertinent Qualifying Leads questions, such as who is the main decision maker in the company?  How are their buying decisions made?  What information would be particularly interesting to them? What problems need to be addressed?

Sample sales Qualifying Leads questions:

  • What if your company didn’t buy (this)?
  • What is the process for key decisions?
  • What is your market position?
  • What’s the current financial situation?
  • What is the perceived value of the solution?
  • Who has the power to purchase?
  • Who sign the check?
  • Who will influence the decision?
  • What needs to happen before approved?

Determine whether your prospect is serious or not. you must place them in the Qualifying Leads stack.

Also before Qualifying Leads, you need to sell where the money is.  If you are trying to sell to a company that has no budget for your product or services, you may want to redirect your energies elsewhere.

Make sure that you focus on finding out if the people that you are dealing with and meeting with within a company actually have the financial ability and authority to allocate funds.

Another important factor in qualifying leads effectively is to learn all that you can about the company or business that you are prospecting to see if you have what it takes to meet their needs and solve their problems.

It’s surprising how many salespeople do not take enough time to prepare and learn about the customer BEFORE  going forward with their “pitch”.  There are needs that the prospect will have that may not be easily known.  Work hard during the meeting to uncover any needs that the prospect may have.  Only after you truly understand their needs should you begin telling them about how your product or services will add value.

Also, once Qualifying Leads enter the sales funnel or process, even the well-qualified leads can take time before they come out the other end.  Therefore, it is important for you to establish some kind of intent to purchase timeframe for this to occur.

It’s important that everyone involved in the sales process, from sales to management, knows and understands where each qualified lead is in the sales process, customizing how to approach prospects effectively.    Each part of the sales process is important in getting you to the end result – a signed deal, and everything in  your sales funnel should be worthy of being there, so be sure to “clean house” now and then to get rid of any leads that have run their course.

Qualifying leads is a critical, yet sometimes overlooked piece of the sales process.

What do you think the best Qualifying Lead Question is?

Also remember this:  it’s quality over quantity. Each client and prospect is unique.

The better informed you are about each prospect, the better the questions you can ask, in order to offer solutions to their needs. The greater your chances that these Qualifying Leads will result in closed deals.