How to Qualify a Lead in Sales (Explained)

How to Qualify a Lead in Sales (Explained)

Running a successful prospecting is critical as  to answer the question of how to qualify a lead in sales.

Lead generation is not synonymous to lead qualification, but the most primary stage of the sales pipeline. Therefore the qualification process concept must be well understood so as to achieve execution.

Importance of sales qualification 

The importance of sales qualification is to ensure that the right product is prescribed to the right customers and that the right prospective clients are identified too. It allows salespeople to avoid wasting time on the wrong prospects once again. As a result, sales are maximized and closing rates are increased. 

Three stages for complete sales qualification 

Stage #1:

  • Primary lead qualification

Intelligence research is the main lead generator depending on the size, type and structure of a business. Other companies use the marketing department to run the intelligence process, while others use direct lead generation by the sales department. In this regard the sales team connects directly with prospective buyers then qualifies them. This stage is the first process of sales prospecting.

Stage #2:

  • Halfway lead qualification 

The stage one generates the list of leads and refers it to the appointment setters. At this stage the appointment setters will run a further qualification process to confirm leads for appointments with sales closers.

Phase #3:

  • Final lead qualification

Before closing every successful sale a closer just needs to qualify the potential buyer in terms of the following:  Right fit, bulk buyers, once off buyers, recurring and more. The acquisition of this knowledge will further provide guidance to the salesman with regard to close deals.

How to qualify a lead in sales 

What makes a prospect qualify are the following: The first qualification step is to verify  if a prospect matches the designed buyer persona profile. This method only qualifies leads based on their industry, company, status, and other factors. Nonetheless, all of these procedures are based on assumption, with no guarantees as to whether the lead will convert into a customer  Second, after a successful appointment setting, the salesperson has the confidence to speak with a lead. 

How to qualify a lead in sales step by step

The best way to qualify a lead is first to identify a potential buyer, then refer back to your own buyer persona. Then go through the verification process to see if the prospect fits the requirements to become a future user of the product, service, or solution.

    1. Find lead: Leads are being generated by either a lead  generator or salesmen.
    2. Verify: The salesmen or lead generators are the ones going through the verification process before moving on.
    3. Confirm: The confirmation part is about confirming whether it is a match, and done by any lead generator as mentioned above.
    4. Book for appointment: Note that setting appointments with leads does not mean approving buyers for sales, but an advanced level of qualifying leads.  The appointment setter when available or salesmen  will proceed with setting appointments with potential customers. 
  1. Confirm booking appointment: Either the appointment setter or the salesmen do follow up to secure a sure appointment with the prospect before closing the deal

Qualified lead

A lead is qualified after  a potential buyer has successfully progressed to the final stage of the sales funnel, then a sales closer is ready to close the deal.

Qualified leads come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including current and future buyers. In the current category, certain product lines have same-day sales. Instant purchase also falls into the same category as pre-arranged meetings. However, Closing sales transactions following weeks or months of follow-up through meetings, calls, and emails is for potential customers who will become clients in the long run.  

How to find the buyers

  • Salespeople meet prospects in the office, on the street, over the phone, and through cold emails at first. Furthermore, prospects are approached differently in each situation. This should not be complicated to salespeople prospecting, but working with a well-designed target aim is a simpler way to attain it.
  • An ideal buyer is a business owner, a decision maker, a buyer, and a person who places orders on behalf of companies. Note that, decision makers involve anyone that can influence the purchasing of any stock for the business. Depending on the corporate buying policy, the above can be a CEO, general manager, department manager, supervision, or anyone else. 
  • A profitable buyer buys in bulk, saves you time. The qualification process at an advanced level is a  procedure that not only allows you to find the best fit, or save time but also reveals whether the prospect has the bulk purchasing power or not.

Therefore, the best way to qualify buyers in sales is to follow the professional guideline above and enjoy the success. A well-run business should have a buyer persona established for the present product on offer.

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