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Your business targets a large number of people through your sales and marketing campaigns. Maybe you’re able to get a sizeable number from that crowd who are interested in what you offer. But you find that a lot of these people aren’t the types of leads you want. This happens all too frequently, and it’s costing your business a lot of money.

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Typically, salespeople will try to avoid this outcome by sifting through the tons of leads they garner, to identify the ones that have a high chance of purchasing their product. This process of evaluating and selecting quality leads from a larger pool of prospects is called lead qualification.

Besides saving businesses time and money, the lead qualification process makes it easier to convert people into paying customers. That’s because the individuals (or businesses) who come through the qualification process tend to be seeking a solution like the one you provide and are more willing to engage you.

If you would like to begin qualifying your leads (and gaining the benefits that come with it), you can do so by asking these questions about your initial prospects.

Is The Prospect In Your Target Market?

Your product or service is likely designed for a defined target market, which is made up of at least one specific demography. When qualifying a lead, one of the things you’ll want to check for is that they belong in this category.

A person who fits your ideal buyer persona is more likely to become your customer than one who doesn’t. That’s because there’s a higher chance that they will want the type of product you sell. If you’re offering a B2B (Business-to-Business) solution, you will want to be sure that the business you’re looking to convert is in an industry that you sell to.

Who Really Needs Your Product?

It’s one thing for a prospect to match your ideal customer profile, and quite another for them to actually need the product you’re selling. You should be seeking out potential customers who have a challenge that your offering can help them solve.

When evaluating leads, go for the ones whose needs are most obvious and urgent. An individual or business that has an obvious need for your services will be easier to convert into a paying client, other factors held constant. This also applies to people who have an urgent need for the kind of service you render.

How Likely Are They To Buy?

A long list of leads with people who have little or no desire to buy your products serves no good purpose. Your lead qualification process should help you find people who are likely to purchase your product (or at least the type of product you sell).

It’s not always easy to determine the likelihood that a person will buy your product. However, there are subtle signs you could detect in your interaction with them that might indicate this. For example, a person who sounds enthusiastic or genuinely interested in what you’re pitching to them might be more likely to eventually buy from you than one who comes off as disinterested from the start.

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Are They Familiar With The Type Of Product You Sell?

Leads who are familiar with the kind of items you provide will generally make quicker decisions about purchasing them. When you present them with a chance to acquire your product, their knowledge of your product category will enable them to quickly decide if it’s what they want.

Besides the speed of decision making that prior knowledge enables, it also allows your prospects to understand the value of what you’re offering them. If they have used something like your product or service in the past, they may appreciate its worth enough to try it out.

Do They Have The Time To Engage You?

More often than not, you will need some time to take prospects through each stage of the sales funnel and get them to become customers. If your prospect is hard to reach, your chances of successfully engaging them will be limited.

You need to know when the leads you’re pursuing will be available to talk. If you find out (through your own effort or from a trusted source) that they are very difficult to reach, you may want to place them further down your priority list.

Can They Make A Purchasing Decision?

Does your lead have the authority to make a decision to purchase? This question is especially important if your potential client represents a business. Unless they are in the position to make the purchasing decision, your efforts at courting them might come to nought.

When seeking out corporate clients, do what you can to connect with people who are higher up the decision-making hierarchy at those businesses. This will make it easier to clinch valuable deals when you have successfully interacted with them.

Final Words

It’s important that you qualify your leads and prospects. Doing so will save you a lot of time, effort, and money, and make it easier for you to turn them into paying customers. By asking the questions we’ve posed, you can whittle down your collection of prospects into quality leads that’ll be easier to convert.

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This article was first published on 28th February 2022


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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