How To Effectively Qualify Your Leads And Increase Your Conversion Rates

No matter how good you are at qualifying leads and even if you have the most effective systems in place, there are still going to be some leads that will never convert. And that’s okay—it’s to be expected.

What’s more important is having the ability to recognize when a lead is a bad fit and knowing when you’re forcing a square peg into a round hole—even those prospects who appear absolutely perfect on paper may simply not want to budge and make the conversion, even if it would mean improving their lives tenfold, and there’s nothing you can say or do to talk them into it.
C’est la vie. At a certain point, you need to know when to move on.

How To Qualify Your Leads

Qualifying your leads comes down to asking your prospects the right kinds of questions, which should touch on the four major areas outlined below.

qualify your leads

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1. Customer Profile

Questions to ask:

  • How closely does a lead line up to the avatar of your ideal customer?
  • What industry is your lead involved with or interested in?
  • Does anything stand out that would make the lead a bad fit for your product or service?

2. Customer Needs

Questions to ask:

  • What are your leads’ most significant needs—what about the needs of their teams or companies?
  • What are your leads’ biggest challenges?
  • What kinds of results are your leads hoping to achieve and what’s their timeline?

3. How Your Customers Make Decisions

Questions to ask:

  • How do your leads evaluate the pros and cons of a particular product or service?
  • Is there anyone else involved in the decision-making process?
  • How long does it typically take them to make a purchase?

4. Your Competition

Questions to ask:

  • Who are your company’s top competitors?
  • What other companies have your leads done business with?
  • What were the deciding factors that lead your leads to do business with those other companies?

Look For Red Flags During The Qualifying Process

  • Incongruencies – Does anything your leads discuss not jive with something else they’ve said? If you’re noticing too many conflicting responses, a lead may not be a good fit. Ask your leads to clarify anything that doesn’t quite add up in order to shed light on which information is the most accurate.

red flag

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  • Context, not just content – Do your leads’ words communicate one story but their tone of voice another? If their tone of voice is flat or muted, ask them about possible issues or obstacles they’re concerned about. Encourage a real conversation as opposed to cruising along, taking everything at face value.
  • Reluctancy – Are your leads giving you vague or avoiding responses? Perhaps they aren’t the right person to speak to, or maybe they’re distrustful of you or your company. In either case, ask clarifying questions to get to the bottom of what’s going on.

You Need To Align Your Key Metrics: Sales And Marketing

When it comes to prospects and leads, it’s crucial for your sales and marketing teams to interconnect. And while traditionally, sales and marketing haven’t always gotten along or been in sync, Mark Roberge of Hubspot shares a few key points to assist with this process.

mark robergeMark Roberge“To this day, you still hear sales [going], ‘The leads suck!’ And you still hear marketing saying, ‘Sales doesn’t really know strategically what business we need to be in.’ And metrics are critical to causing that relationship to actually work.

We, at HubSpot, call it the Sales and Marketing SLA [Service Level Agreement]…So what we’ve done is try to take the subjectivity out of that sales and marketing discussion and really be as quantitative as possible about the expectations from each group.

So with marketing, how many leads and at what quality are expected every single month…And on the sales side…they need to call within a certain amount of time. They need to call a certain amount of times…across its life cycle. And they need to convert a certain percentage into an opportunity. So we can measure that on a daily basis as well to make sure that these two groups are working well together.”

sales and marketing

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If too many of your leads aren’t converting, you also might be casting too wide of a net. Try implementing a more highly targeted approach to lead generation and then see what kind of results you get.

What do you think about these tips to better qualify your leads? Are you getting satisfactory returns on your lead generation/qualifying investments?