So you just ran a very successful marketing campaign whether at a conference or online. Your CRM software is full of new leads! Great, right? Well, maybe. The thing about some of those leads is they might not be good ones, depending on how you gathered them.
For instance, if you were at a conference and you had a raffle or contest to gather new leads, you may have people sign up for your newsletter or to get be entered in the contest. They may not even be in your industry or ever in need of your product or service. The next step in the process is to qualify those leads before you spend too much time on them.
Here are five ways to qualify your leads and make sure they are right for your company.
Does the Buyer Have the Budget?
This is of course, one of the first things to look at. Does the buyer, or the company they work for, have the budget to afford the services you are providing? This is simple to determine. Look at their annual reports and how much they usually make. If they gross $100,000 a year, you probably will not be able to sell them a $10,000 marketing campaign that lasts 3 months unless you can prove it will increase their revenue enough to be worthwhile.
In fact, even if you do convince them, they might not have the capital on hand to finance the project regardless of how good it sounds to them. One of the first questions to ask in your first pitch of any kind to a company is “What is your budget for this project?” If you cannot do the work they want or need for the budget they have, then this company is not your customer, they are someone else’s. Don’t be afraid to let them go.
Is This Lead the Decision Maker?
If the person who dropped their card into your raffle bucket is not in the C-Suite of the company, but is a content creator or SEO strategist, they may not have the authority to purchase the CRM software you are selling. They could be looking to get their hands on CRM as a way of cleaning up their internal process for using seo tools to grow site traffic, but even if you do contact them, they may have to kick the final decision up the chain of command.
Of course, this does not mean you don’t call or email them. They might have more influence than you think, but you should not spend a great deal of time on this person as a lead. You should be looking for an introduction to the decision maker even if that is nothing more than a phone number or email. At least you have an in at the company, but try to reach the decision maker before you make a pitch to someone who can’t authorize what you are selling.
This is an area that can be deceiving too, so be careful. Sometimes people think they are more important and have more influence than they do, and you may get duped. If it feels wrong, it probably is.
On the flip side, a job title or business card does not tell all. The person could have a great deal more influence than you think, and not talking to them could be a huge blunder. Ask questions to determine where they stand, and never make assumptions either way.
Is the Revenue Worth Your Time?
There are those companies with the moniker in their credo “no job is too small.” That may not be a good fit for your industry. In addition, a job might be large, but it might also be costly if you have to put a lot of time and energy into it for whatever reason.
For instance, if you have a company that wants your SaaS product, but they are essentially starting from scratch and they have no servers, no security, and a very small IT team, deployment, unless you do so via the cloud, can be very time intensive.
So ask yourself: Is the job too small? Is the revenue margin large enough for it to be worth my time? Additionally, this might turn out to be a lifetime customer who will pay off in the long run. Realistically evaluate the revenue you will get from the project, and weigh it against the time you will invest.
Does Your Solution Add Value?
Finally, the biggest question is, does your solution add real value? There is no need to engage with a customer when you know in the end that your product or service will not do exactly what they want or need.
The goal is to make the customer happy, and a happy customer means a great lead. If this is a business or individual you cannot really help, don’t be afraid to walk away from the money or even tell them no. In the end, their satisfaction should mean more to you. Adding value is the ultimate judge of that.
All leads are not created equal. You need to qualify and vet each one of them before you spend time and money on converting them. Use these five ways as a litmus test to see if that lead is right for you.
Author: Oliver Curtis
Hi there. I’m Oliver. I’m just a young boy from the outskirts of… Okay, that’s a lie, I’m not a young boy anymore, although I certainly feel that way at heart.