I was doing an email back-and-forth with a friend the other day who is having a lot of trouble qualifying the inbound leads that come into his company.
He was trying to increase his sales from, let’s say it was 1 million to 2 million a year, and I asked him about what he was doing to generate leads and how many leads he was getting per month. He told me he was getting about 150 leads a month, then I asked how he was closing those deals and he went into his qualifications process.
Apparently, when he qualifies a deal, he can close it pretty instantly but when his sales team was closing the deal, they were having major issues so he always beat them. He beat his entire team in terms of sales quota which should not be happening.
In this post, I want to break down how do you qualify in inbound lead so that they buy from you.
Listen to the Complete guide to qualifying inbound leads:
First: Check the Quality of Your Inbound Leads
Separate all the leads on your system to figure out which ones are actually going to buy.
How do you figure out which leads are quality vs. which lead are going to waste your time?
The real question is:
How do we know who’s worth talking to?
This is the same process we use to warm up inbound lead and see whether they’re a good fit:
Leads in your pipeline => Quality <= Referrals
The result of implementing a system like this is that the leads in your pipeline will be of a higher quality. Working with a higher quality base of clients will lead to more referrals, both should work together to explode your business. Basically, they make you grow in a tremendous way.
#1 Learn the Different Channels to Communicate
What you need to understand when qualifying inbound leads is that user on each one of those channels is expecting a different interaction. By understanding user’s mindset when approaching, you’ll start to sell more.
So, when somebody emails one of our team, they’re going to expect a little bit longer of a response, they might be asking a question, going back and forth and you want to put juicier responses or try to get them to call as soon as possible, I always try to get them on a call.
If they are pinging on Twitter, it’ll be a short response. I always try to get them to send me their email because it’s easier to answer there and email is my strong suit as you probably guessed.
If they subscribe to Youtube and they leave a comment, I try to point them towards email. I’ll leave a big comment to help the rest of the viewers out, but if it’s something very specific to their business I’ll say: ‘Hey, would love to talk about this further! Mind sending me an email?’ and once they send an email I delete that comment to avoid spam.
On the site, I’ve disabled live chat on our chat box so that just sends me an email now when somebody fills out the chat box. Then I treat it like an email going back and forth and I book the call on the calendar.
I assume they are qualified if they are directly booking a meeting on the calendar, but this happens so rarely that it’s not even worth talking about.
Usually, users hit us up on email or chat before clicking the book a call button.
Watch my video: How do you pick a lead generation channel?
#2 Yes, you can use the email
Ask them for more information.
People openly answer to this type of questions, they’ll fill them out in both contact forms and emails (e.g. if you ask about their budget).
For instance, if you’re segmenting customers by monthly revenue or company size (e.g. > 500 employees go to one person, < 500 employees go to another person or team), you can ask them about that in the email.
Now, our inbound lead qualification is slightly different, this is for high-volume SaaS. If you were getting three or four thousand inbound leads a month or even like 50,000 inbound leads a month, this is the system you’d implement.
For us as a company, I like getting on every call or have my sales team get on every single call because you never really know what you’re missing out on.
If you’re getting too many leads for that, this is what you need to be doing:
Budget is a good thing to add for in the email. The easiest thing to ask for from inbound lead is actually a write-up of the application itself.
Let’s say they send you an incomprehensible contact form. You can ask them to look at some specs or a paragraph on what the application is, and give them your calendar phone and jump in when they are free.
Thus, they’ll book a call and you’ll be able to get a write-up of their app so you can cancel the call if they turn out to be crazy. Important, I don’t recommend canceling the calls, just get on the phone with everyone you can.
Once you’re pretty sure they’re suitable for you, you’ll want to get them on the phone to get more info on their problems.
#3 How much do the inbound leads know about your service?
By figuring out what they already know about your company, you’ll know how much you need to sell them.
For us, we do Youtube videos so if they’ve watched a bunch of our videos and read our blog posts, our teams know how to approach them precisely. If they’re cold, we are normally going to have a 45 seconds pitch that we practice which is pretty tight in order to get them sold on us as a company before we jump into the actual selling.
When can you jump directly to questions about fit and need?
You can jump to those if they’re a warm lead and they say that they’ve watched your videos.
Then you can just ask them what they are looking to do and they’ll tell you all of their problems, that’s why content marketing is a very key channel to have not just for lead gen but for speeding up the sales process.
When you assume they don’t know anything about what you do then you launch into that quick elevator pitch.
#4 Qualification on the phone
Once you have done that, you want to qualify on the phone. Once they respond and you listen to the answer, pitch how your product can fix the problem they just brought up.
They’ll be talking about all of their issues, let’s say they tell you they’ve worked with other three developers and they all burned them or they all came in way low and they are super nervous about their project, then you can answer that by telling them that you have the experience and show them your results and what they have to watch out for.
Give them your advice, consultative-selling-style to make them feel good about you versus the other developers.
#5 Close the deal
The next step is to close the deal or progress. The question I like to ask is what they think is a good next step and whatever they answer will tell you what to do next, they probably would want to show it to their bosses before they want to move forward.
From that, you can schedule them on your calendar to talk to their boss and present it to him as well.
If they are the founder, they probably would want to talk to their co-founder to make a decision, you can ask them what note do they think their co-founder would find the most value in and they will tell you. If clients want to work with you even a little, they are very open about the type of things that are going to make their lives easier when they’re selling through, at least on my experience.
I was very confused why that was happening at first but I think it’s because clients want companies that are going to deliver massive value for them. So, if you ask for help, you will get help.