Lead qualifying is ancient. Aristotle’s modes of persuasion (ethos, pathos, and logos) can be interpreted as steps of the sales process today i.e. ethos = establishing authority.
Lead nurturing and scoring is the natural evolution of the process. And should be standard protocol.
The 2017 Demand Generation Benchmark Survey found that focusing on “lead quality over lead quantity” is the top demand generation priority for B2B organizations. More than half of those surveyed projected revenue growth rates of 20 percent or higher.
Here’s how technology can be the best assistant when it comes to focusing on lead quality.
(The factors below address BANT and all of its variations as covered by HubSpot)
Tech-Powered Tips for Qualifying Leads
Budget / Money / Funds
A budget-related term appears in any materials on this topic, and rightfully so. Budget vs. cost discrepancies are conversation killers. Terms like “money” and “funds” illustrate the idea providing ROI and demonstrating value open up the possibility a fixed, long-term budget.
A champion is usually the person benefitting most from a product but not the decision maker. Ideally, this contact and the sales rep can work in harmony to deliver a winning executive pitch.
Authority / Economic Buyer
Practice account-based sales by personalizing campaigns for champions vs. managers and decision makers. Sales conversations need to expose goals and challenges for each role, specifically and collectively.
Timeline is always a factor but standards vary greatly. Enterprise software requires a long sales process so the timeline isn’t a huge factor. This explains the rise of content creation and distribution. The Demand Generation Survey found plans to test or deploy multi-channel lead nurturing increased to 50 percent this year (from 41 percent in 2016).
Metrics / Negative Consequences and Positive Implications
These terms consider the prospects outlook from a statistical and emotional sense. Their desired solution usually falls under two categories:
- Save: cost savings, improved efficiency, consolidation, etc.
- Growth: increased revenue, demand generation, improved customer experience.
Your product should fall in line with one or both of the categories or the long-term outcome is questionable.
Challenges / Identify Pain / Need
The fastest way to progress a sale is by demonstrating how a business problem will be solved. Qualified prospects should all share this same problem so sales training can be scaled and optimized.
Goals / Decision Criteria
A prospect’s goal or decision criteria indicates why they’re researching a tool in the first place. Are they looking to solve a developing problem or improve something that has been a problem for some time? This ties in closely with challenges and metrics.
Other filters to consider include:
- Company Type
- Business Model
- Technology and Tech Stack
- City, State, Zip, Country
The ability track user actions over time is another tech advantage for lead qualification. This can be done with a CRM, analytics platform or with proprietary methods. The remaining qualifiers of prioritization, urgency, and interest are addressed by analyzing behaviors such as:
- Downloading multiple content assets – particularly after a demo or call.
- Returning to the site or app after reviewing the pricing page.
- Importing data into a trial environment.
- Completing the onboarding walk-through.
- Watching product videos from start to finish.
One challenge with behavioral data is that intent is subjective. People and the organizations they represent are different, so the intent behind their actions differs. A treatment for this is data verification and enrichment. Prospectify has APIs that can be leveraged to add more context to a potential buyer’s intent.
For example, you can implement Prospectify APIs behind a form. In this example, when you collect an email, it’s verified so it won’t bounce and is confirmed as a work email (verification). Our APIs also create a profile for the email (providing a name, title, etc.) as well as a company profile that includes company size, revenue, industry, etc (enrichment). This process can integrate with marketing automation like HubSpot and CRMS like Salesforce, so a lead can be scored, disqualified, assigned, emailed, etc.
And, the best part? All of this is done from just a one-field form. Just ask for the email and watch your lead volume skyrocket, while verifying and qualifying without lifting a finger.