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How Do You Classify a Qualified Lead Before Handing Over to Your Sales Team?

As a business owner, you know that generating leads is only half the battle. The other half is converting those leads into paying customers. One way to ensure that your sales team is focusing their efforts on the most promising leads is to classify them before handing them over.



In this blog, we’ll discuss how to classify a qualified lead and the importance of doing so, with statistics to back up our recommendations.


1. Define Your Ideal Customer Profile

The first step in classifying a qualified lead is to define your ideal customer profile (ICP). This means creating a detailed description of the type of customer that your business is targeting.


According to Hubspot, 64% of marketers that exceeded revenue goals have documented buyer personas, and businesses that exceed their revenue goals are 2.4x more likely to use buyer personas for marketing (Aberdeen Group).


Creating a detailed ideal customer profile involves identifying demographics, psychographics, and behavioral characteristics. Demographics include age, gender, income level, education, and location. Psychographics include values, interests, and lifestyle. Behavioral characteristics include how leads interact with your website, how they engage with your content, and how they respond to your marketing messages.


2. Use Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is a method of ranking leads based on their behaviour and level of engagement with your business. This involves assigning points to leads based on criteria such as their website visits, content downloads, email opens, and social media engagement.


According to MarketingSherpa, businesses that use lead scoring see a 77% increase in lead generation ROI compared to those that do not use it.


The higher the lead score, the more likely the lead is to be interested in your products or services. This allows you to prioritise your leads based on their level of engagement and focus on the ones that are most likely to convert.



3. Implement a Lead Qualification Framework


A lead qualification framework is a set of criteria that a lead must meet before they are considered qualified. The framework typically includes criteria such as the lead's level of interest, their budget, their timeline for making a purchase, and their authority to make buying decisions.


According to MarketingSherpa, businesses that define lead qualification criteria experience a 192% higher average lead qualification rate compared to those that do not define it.


By implementing a lead qualification framework, you can ensure that you are only handing over leads that are ready to be converted into paying customers. This saves your sales team time and effort and improves the overall efficiency of your sales process.



4. Segment Your Leads


Segmenting your leads involves dividing them into different groups based on criteria such as their behaviour, demographics, or other factors. According to Mailchimp, segmented email campaigns have an open rate that is 14.32% higher than non-segmented campaigns.


By segmenting your leads, you can tailor your marketing efforts to specific groups and increase your chances of converting them into customers. For example, you can segment leads based on their job title, industry, or location.


This allows you to create targeted marketing messages that speak to their specific needs and interests.



5. Use Marketing Automation


Marketing automation is a software that automates repetitive marketing tasks, such as lead nurturing and scoring. According to Marketo, businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.


It allows you to personalise your communications with leads based on their behaviour and interests, and helps you identify when a lead is ready to be handed over to your sales team.


Marketing automation tools also provide analytics that help you track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and make data-driven decisions.



6. Monitor Your Leads


Monitoring your leads involves tracking their behaviour and engagement with your business over time. This helps you identify when a lead is ready to be handed over to your sales team.


According to Marketo, businesses that use lead monitoring experience a 10% increase in revenue within 6-9 months.


By monitoring your leads, you can track their activity on your website, their engagement with your marketing messages, and their response to your sales efforts. This allows you to identify patterns and trends that help you determine when a lead is ready to be converted into a paying customer.



7. Work with Your Sales Team


Finally, it's important to work closely with your sales team to ensure that they understand your lead classification system and how to follow up with leads.


According to MarketingSherpa, businesses that align their sales and marketing teams experience a 24% faster three-year revenue growth and a 27% faster three-year profit growth.


This involves providing your sales team with the information they need to effectively engage with leads, such as their level of interest, their budget, and their timeline for making a purchase. It also involves training your sales team on how to use your lead scoring and lead qualification framework to prioritiue their efforts.


In conclusion, classifying your leads before handing them over to your sales team is a crucial step in converting them into paying customers. By defining your ideal customer profile, using lead scoring, implementing a lead qualification framework, segmenting your leads, using marketing automation, monitoring your leads, and working with your sales team, you can increase the efficiency of your sales process and improve your chances of success.


By following these best practices, you can ensure that your sales team is spending their time and resources on the leads that are most likely to convert, while also providing a better experience for your potential customers.

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