What are your best tips to qualify prospects and leads? Do you have any specific steps you go through to find out if they’re a good fit?
I use a balanced score card system. If a customer reachs a certain ammoutn of points, they are considered qualified for further developments. The points cover stable (size, market share, revenue, etc) and dynamic (value proposition, influence in market, etc) so the final result is also helpful to prioritize qualified customers in a sort of “attractiveness” scale.
In my opinion, the most important part is to really know what your ideal customer is and what he is not. Here you have to think about criteria such as size, industry, number of employees, mission, values or whatever criteria is most relevant for you. Make a profile of your ideal customer and how much deviation for each criteria is still acceptable. Don’t waste time trying to close a deal with a person/company that is obviously not a fit. Invest the time in understanding what consitutes a bad match for you and your service (and in that matter for them as well), so you can quickly refer them to other companies or agencies.
Agree with @cantgen and @GabrielMelo. On a more concrete level, think about questions that will let you sort out the good-fitting leads from the ill-fitting right away. I personally use the IBM’s BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing) methodology, which is also quite widespread. You can read more about it here: https://www.inc.com/guides/201108/how-to-qualify-a-sales-lead.html However, there are a lot of other approaches out there, so you gotta see what makes the most sense for your case.
Qualifying your prospects and leads will save a lot of time and will improve your closing ratio as you’ll be targeting the people who are most likely to buy from you. The qualifying criteria will ultimately depend on your company and the industry. Nevertheless, there are general topics you can use to qualify leads and prospect such as: they match your customer persona, their business challenge aligns with the product you’re offering, your able to connect with a decision maker, their level of digital interaction, etc.
While there’s a ton that you can do in office to qualify a prospect, by far the best thing to do is make a cold call. Boots on the ground is by far the most accurate way to gauge a potential account, you’d be surprised at what you might find vs. a phone call or just browsing the company website.