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A day in the life of a sales rep is an apt example of a busy day filled with hard deadlines, countless tasks, long list of to-do’s, endless meetings, and everything else that comes standard as part of the package.
If being busy was equal to being productive, sales people would go on to win maximum awards.
But the reality is different.
In sales, the difference between ‘busy’ and ‘productive’ is often the difference between a team that chases goals with a hit-or-miss approach, compared to a team that works with a consistent system in place to maximize their odds of success.
Ask any sales rep and they’ll confirm that they would love to focus more on tasks that leads to high reward and a lasting impact, but too often, they find themselves running against the clock or going in too many directions to make time for impactful work.
Essentially, this is not a problem of will or skill, but it’s a result of a lack of guiding principle required for converting goals into reality.
Without a guiding principle, it’s easy to get into the ‘busy trap’ and think that you’re doing great, whereas in reality, you’re only getting distracted by every opportunity (or the lack of it) that comes your way.
Qualifying your leads before spending with them is one such principle that can help sales teams solve two critical problems that most often come in the way of success.
How? Let’s dive deep.
1. The Prioritization Problem: Wasting too much time chasing the wrong leads
According to a Salesforce report, only 34% of a sales professional’s time goes towards selling.
The rest of the work hours get spent on routine tasks like – internal meetings, data management, prospecting, data management, etc.
When your day is jammed with humdrum tasks that pull you into different directions, the last thing you want to do is waste time dealing the uninterested leads.
Chasing low-quality leads is both a waste of time and effort, plus it can be frustrating and stressful for your sales team in the long run.
Here’s an important finding – as many as 79% of marketing leads don’t convert into customers.
Understanding whether a lead fits your ideal buyer or target persona, thus, is step 1 to be sure if someone is worth your time and attention or not.
To identify this, you can start asking some basic sales qualification questions like –
- What problem are they trying to solve?
- Have they ever made a purchase before to solve their problems?
- Are they interested in taking the next step, such as a call, a demo, or a meeting?
- Do they have the budget and authority required to make a purchase decision?
With these questions, you can easily get an understanding of who you’re speaking with and whether they fit the ideal buyer persona or not.
Put simply, lead qualification shows you the people who’re closest to your ideal buyer profile, so you can reach out to them first and try converting them.
Over time, a proper qualification process will help you in managing your inputs and making the most of the limited resources you have, so you can have focused, meaningful conversations with relevant opportunities.
When every target looks like a lucrative opportunity, sales reps need to develop the skill and understanding to spend their limited ammunition wisely i.e. utilize their limited time and energy in the right direction.
2. The Personalization Problem: Lacking enough context to offer a personalized experience
According to research, 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase when offered a personalized experience. Therefore, sales teams should spend more time personalizing their messaging.
Personalization is the first step to persuasion. It’s the driving force behind a winning sales pitch. Without personalizing your pitch, you’re half selling and half guessing.
Once you know that a lead is a prospect or someone who’s a good fit for what you’re selling, the next step is to go beyond the basics and ask deeper questions that help you build better understanding and rapport with prospects.
People prefer having conversations that help them get closer to their goals, which in every case, is finding the right product or service that fits their needs or wants.
The challenge here is – every person is different and it can be a bit tricky to develop a deep understanding of their buying behavior, especially when you’re running against time.
Despite this challenge, you can uncover insights about your prospects by asking these sales qualification questions –
- What are they looking for in an ideal solution?
- How do they feel about existing solutions?
- Do they want to solve multiple problems with one solution?
Once you get answers to the above questions, it becomes easier to know what prospects are really looking for. This understanding should help you personalize your sales pitch for maximum persuasion.
The power of personalization is immense. A Salesforce study stated that 76% of consumers expect brands to understand their needs and expectations better.
Leading with a personalized sales pitch is powerful – the more you know about your prospects, the easier it gets to have conversations with them that lead to conversions.
Qualifying leads can help you kill two birds with one arrow – first, it can help you focus on your best prospects faster. Second, it gives you the opportunity to have more meaningful interactions.
In both cases, you are improving your odds of success!
All the time you can save by not chasing cold leads can be utilized for high impact activities, the ones that you never seem to have enough time for, such as –
- Researching your competitors deeply
- Understanding your target audience better
- Personalizing sales pitch according to prospects
The impact of lead qualification on your end conversions is immense – according to research, companies that adopt a lead qualification framework can generate up to 50% more sales opportunities at up to 33% lesser costs.
To sum it up:
- In the short run, a well-established lead qualification process can help you identify relevant opportunities faster and utilize limited resources better.
- In the long run, qualifying leads can help your sales teams build personalized relationships, and most importantly, manage sales-related stress better.
Start qualifying to start solving your problems!