While this shouldn’t be a surprise, statistics show 50% of prospects you receive aren’t a good fit for your business. In fact, only 5% of sales reps agree to receiving high-quality leads from marketing. This means 95% of unqualified leads, wasted efforts, and missed opportunities.
Not only is this an inefficient way of managing your sales funnel, but it also impacts your bottom line. So, what can you do differently? It’s time to adopt a robust, error-free lead qualification process to identify and attract high-quality leads.
Let’s dive right in.
What is B2B Lead Qualification?
Marketing lead qualification is the process of identifying if the leads you attract match your ICP and have the potential to convert to paying customers, and drive your business goals for the years to come.
Qualifying B2B leads is an integral part of the lead generation prospects – without it, you will only be shooting in the dark. All those leads entering the pipeline or the higher CTR on paid ads will be of no value until you have quality prospects to convert.
For most businesses, it starts with profiling leads as unqualified, marketing-qualified, and sales qualified. To successfully qualify leads for B2B marketing, marketers need a robust workflow, clear criteria for qualification, and actionable customer data sets to help with the process.
Based on the available data and set ICPs, marketers can qualify leads at the right time as they keep coming in.
However, if all your efforts are still not bearing results, it might be time to address the common mistakes you might be making in the B2B lead qualification process. Here are the top five-
1. Not Clarifying What a “Qualified Lead” Means to Your Business
So, you have tons of leads entering your sales pipeline. But how do you know which ones are qualified for your business? It could be a website visitor filling out a form, downloading your eBook, or subscribing to your newsletter. Some leads have more potential than others and need to be nurtured differently.
For practical B2B lead qualification, you need to have a clear and precise criterion for the same while ensuring both the marketing and sales teams are aligned.
2. Inefficient Lead Prioritization
Now, if you don’t have a clear criterion to qualify B2B leads, there’s no way you’ll be able to prioritize the most relevant ones. Which means the sales team might end up wasting their efforts in chasing disinterested leads. Or they might fail to nurture low-quality leads that are showing some potential. And that’s a situation you must avoid.
3. Your Lead Forms aren’t Effective
Correct lead information is the backbone of successful B2B lead qualification. At such times, if your team cannot collect enough information due to ineffective lead forms or unclear calls, qualified leads are bound to leak through.
4. Not Providing a Clear CTA
CTAs are integral to not just the marketing teams. Having clear CTAs for prospects is a critical step for the sales team as well. So, you can offer them a free trial or schedule a demonstration after a sales call. Or you can encourage them to check out how-to videos, case studies, webinars, and more to keep the qualified leads engaged.
5. Not Having a Strong Hand-Off Process
Are sales and marketing struggling with repeated information? Or failing to follow up with qualified leads? Or have leads leaking through the cracks? Chances are, there’s no alignment between their processes.
Establishing a solid lead hand-off process between the teams is absolutely essential. Teams need to have equal access to the correct information so that they can qualify and nurture the leads at the right time. Without this, you will have inefficient and unresponsive teams working to bring in leads for the business.
How to Avoid These Common Marketing Lead Qualification Mistakes?
Looking to make the most of your marketing efforts and fill your pipeline with highly qualified leads? Take the following steps to stay away from common B2B lead qualification mistakes
Create Strict Lead Qualification Criteria
When starting with B2B lead qualification, get specific with your definition of a qualified lead and ICP. For example, don’t settle with a category like “B2B SaaS companies”. Instead, narrow it down to the type of company, number of employees, location, and more.
At the same time, make sure it is communicated to the entire team. This way, you’ll be able to ensure you’re targeting only those leads with a high potential to convert.
Ask for More Information
As with your B2B lead qualification criteria, get specific in your lead forms and consultation calls. Apart from basic questions like name, job role, email ID, and contact number, ask particular questions like their budget, number of people on their team, and so on to quickly determine if they match your qualification criteria.
Build a Robust Lead Scoring System
If marketing lead qualification is challenging, invest in a strong lead scoring system. This involves assigning scores to specific actions taken by the lead to qualify them.
This will help the sales team to identify whether a lead is ready to buy or not and prioritize these leads for higher engagement.
Make Sure Sales and Marketing are Aligned
A simple way to ensure a smoother hand-off process between sales and marketing teams is to focus on their communication. They must work together to figure out things like, what the ideal customer looks like, what pain points they can solve, or where these customers spend most of their time.
So, the marketing team will know exactly which leads to hand over to the sales team to achieve a qualified pipeline.
Achieve a Robust B2B Lead Qualification Process
Since lead qualification is an essential aspect of sales and marketing, implementing stronger and clearer processes is the key to doing it right. But that’s not it.
What works well for you today might not be valuable tomorrow. For example, your leads might respond better to educational eBooks than how-to videos. So, keep revisiting and modifying your lead qualification efforts to make the most of it.