Written by Moritz Dausinger | Refiner.io
There is no better way to guarantee more sales than by qualifying leads.
Having even the simplest lead qualification process in place will result in an almost immediate boost in sales productivity and higher close rates.
But did you know that lead qualification could help you improve your team’s processes and each rep’s effectiveness at work too?
How, by providing the basis for coaching them into sales heroes.
In this post, I’ll show you how to do that, exactly. Before we do that, though, let me clarify something…
Why Would You Use Lead Qualification as the Basis for Sales Coaching?
Many other data sources could provide insights to coach salespeople too, after all, right?
Well, yes. But there are also some aspects of sales work that qualifying leads targets better than other strategies.
Take the sales performance, for example. The qualification process, at its core, aims to save reps time and reduce their effort while maximizing the output at the same time.
In doing so, the qualification process reveals much about factors that drive sales performance:
- Lead quality and various methods for assessing it quickly,
- The best approaches to engaging leads on the phone or via email,
- Understanding what engages leads and helps move the sale forward.
The lead qualification process is also, typically, tightly knit to the company’s vision for the future.
Much of the time, the process aims to help identify not only ideal customers for now but also, the people the company would like to do business with tomorrow.
Using that data for coaching ensures that the training and help provided prepares sales teams for what’s coming.
The qualification process is practical in nature. As a result, its actionable data provides an incredibly solid foundation for improving sales performance.
But, as I alluded at the start, you rarely see it as such a foundation. So, let me show you how to use the lead qualification to coach salespeople better.
How to Use Lead Qualification in Sales Coaching
The coaching process you’re about to see will help you improve sales performance by making various aspects of the reps’ work better:
1. Improving Understanding of the Ideal Client Profile (ICP)
At the center of the lead qualification process lies a deep understanding of whom the company would like to sell to the most.
The ideal client profile (note, I’ll refer to it as ICP in the rest of this article,) defines who will see the value from the company’s products or services the most, and who’s the most likely to buy from it.
The purpose of qualifying leads is to train reps to spot ICPs and avoid processing dud leads.
But, often, the ICP concept can get “murky” for salespeople, particularly after having worked in a company for quite some time.
On the one hand, the ICP model evolves as the business changes. Unfortunately, salespeople often do not respond to those changes by re-evaluating their lead generation strategies. When that happens, the company begins to acquire clients that match the ICP only partially. In the end, this begins costing it money because:
- Such clients often require additional support, and
- They churn out much quicker than people matching the ICP perfectly.
Using lead qualification processes, you can coach sales reps in who is the ideal client for the company now and in the future.
2. Teaching Reps to Spot the Best Leads Early
Another critical aspect of the lead qualification is defining the must-haves of the ideal client, and specific ways to identify those.
Most companies, or at least, those qualifying new potential customers, have one to three factors every rep must look for in each lead.
The process helps determine whether the lead is, in fact, the right one for the product.
In the case of ExecVision, the two factors are having the right tech stack and team size. The company knows that to experience the value of its product fully, a company has to have a minimum number of seats and a relevant tech.
This means that anyone not meeting these criteria, will most likely not benefit from the product, and churn early.
3. Identifying the Best Times to Reach Leads
I’m sure it’s a common occurrence for your team. Reps spend hour after hour dialing numbers only to get through to the handful of leads.
And even when they do, these people might not be ready to talk the sale anyway.
But imagine what would happen if reps called leads exactly when they think about the product? Or when they have just finished researching the website?
Part of the lead qualification process focuses on analyzing the buying intent signals – Lead’s actions that suggest he or she is ready to discuss the purchase.
These actions will differ from company to company and might include:
- Visiting the product or pricing page,
- Adding more users to the product, in a case of software packages,
- Viewing the product’s brochure or any other marketing collateral online,
- Engaging with the support or pre-sales teams via phone or live chat,
- Clicking on a call to action in an email, and much more.
Lead qualification utilizes many different strategies to monitor for such behaviors, from website visitor tracking, product usage, conversation intelligence, document and email open tracking and more.
It does, then, define which of such actions denote a buying intent.
Analyzing this data will reveal much about the customer’s buying behavior that you could incorporate in the coaching.
4. Understanding How to Engage Leads Better
Let’s face it; nothing is more frightening in sales than the first couple of seconds of a call.
You have no more than a fleeting moment to engage the lead, and convince them to keep talking to you, after all.
But you also know that the task becomes much simpler if you reference specific topics the lead finds interesting.
The trouble, how to know what those topics are, actually?
This is where lead qualification comes handy as well. Just like in the point above, the qualification process will deliver insights that could enrich your customer conversations.
You can reference insights from product usage data, like the customer adding more users during the trial.
Analyzing the best lead conversations with software like ExecVision will help you understand what drives lead engagement among your ICPs.
Evaluating website visits or marketing collateral use can fuel the first things you say during the call as well.
But, much like with the other strategies I’ve referenced in this guide, you can only get this data if you incorporate lead qualification into the coaching process.
Author bio: Moritz Dausinger is the founder and CEO of Refiner.io, a lead scoring and qualification tool helping B2B SaaS companies with a self-service model uncover their product qualified leads on autopilot.