Telemarketing Software Featured Article

A Lead Qualification Team Helps Sales People Start Faster

April 08, 2015
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

While many salespeople pride themselves on their extraordinary skill, sales ability will only go so far without great leads. Great leads, of course, aren’t a dime a dozen. Many sales managers focus their efforts on trying to build great salespeople, but then arm them with old, cold leads derived from some outdated source.

While it’s understood that most sales people need to run into a lot of brick walls before they find a door – in a recent blog post, VanillaSoft’s Genie Parker likens it to kissing a lot of frogs before a prince is located – by ensuring that an organization is starting with the best possible quality leads, sales conversion rates can be dramatically increased. For most b-to-b organizations, this will mean building a robust and workable lead management platform. This will include lead qualification.

According to Parker, too many companies expect their sales team to soar while at the same time they’re bogged down in footwork before they can sell.

“When you think about it, why do we expect the same salespeople to both wade through the swamp of raw leads and still make high sales?” she asks. “It takes time to find quality leads. One of the best ways to weed through the swamp is to have a separate lead-qualification team.”

A lead-qualification team can handle the difficult footwork of ensuring leads are solid, which frees up the sales team to spend more time selling and be better prepared for each contact or meeting with a prospect. The sales process is not one-size-fits-all, so a robust lead-qualification program can help sales people determine the best approach, and the right time to approach the prospect.

“As you know, all leads are not ready to buy right away,” blogged Parker. “When you use a lead qualification team to ask the right questions, they can find out which leads should go to which salesperson/team, to which email campaign, stay in the system for future follow up, or simply be tossed. Lead qualification can begin after your company determines the criteria that constitute a qualified lead and the process to move these leads effectively through the system to yield the most cost-effective sales.”

Ensuring that leads meet the right criteria to culminate in a sale is one of the most critical duties performed by a lead qualification team. In a perfect world, sales people would have the time to do this. In reality, due to manager pressure and quotas, they simply don’t have time to. Another duty that lead qualifiers can take over is segmentation of the leads, also a critical step in beginning a selling relationship with a prospect.

“The way in which you handle different types of leads can make a big difference in the closing ratio for your inside sales team,” wrote Parker. “Just like your children have different personalities, each type of sales lead is unique and different. The methods you use to handle one type may not work for the others. So the key is to ensure that your telemarketing or qualification team works and processes leads according to the lead’s characteristics.”