How Our Process Works: Bridging the "Qualification Gap":
All of the above challenges are caused by the existence of a qualification gap. For example if you are only using automated lead nurturing software and/or web forms to help you qualify leads, this is a good start, but it's not good enough because not all of your leads are being qualified. Automated lead qualification solutions typically deliver prospects that are actively shopping out a solution and have short-range urgency. But this is only a relatively small percentage of total leads. What about the other leads that have not responded to your email nurturing process? How do you qualify all of your leads and not just a small percentage of your total lead universe?
- Step One: Identifying Leads In The "Gap": The portion of your leads that never get qualified is the "qualification gap," and this gap is created when qualified prospects do not respond to automated lead nurturing. The qualification gap resides between the group of qualified leads that have responded via email to your qualification questions and those who have not. For every one qualified lead you receive via this automated process there are 6 to 7 other leads whose status remains unknown. Typically 1/3 of these leads within this "unknown group are also qualified, but the challenge is to identify them while also keeping other "unqualified" leads out of your sales funnel. This "gap" between qualified and un-qualified leads includes prospects who need to be called directly as these leads do not respond to email or forms-based qualification. Their lack of response to your lead nurturing process is not an indication of lack of interest.
- Step Two: Customized Qualification: Why do most of your sales leads fall into "unknown" status? Many of your leads need your solution, but know little about your company. They require relationship building and live one-on-one sales interaction before agreeing to review your product or service offering. Without a phone call to nurture and qualify these leads, very few will ever develop into good sales opportunities by relying on automated processes alone. There is nothing like a phone conversation to engage the prospect. Many prospects respond more favorably to live communication with a real person and trained sales reps can often detect subtle nuances from the customer conversation and uncover additional pain points that might go unmentioned in an email.
- Step Three: We'll Do The Training: Another challenge that most B2B sales organizations face with lead qualification is that even if they have decided to attempt some level of live lead qualification, they tend to assign the task to someone who is inexperienced or poorly trained. For example, many organizations route their inbound sales inquiry phone calls to an administrative assistant. If your first point of contact with new sales leads is someone who doesn't have a sales background to properly assess sales leads, ask questions, build relationships and make the right decisions, you're going to miss out on a lot of good sales opportunities and you'll end up passing along too many unqualified leads to your sales team.
- Step Four: Timely Lead Follow Up: While you are sending your automated emails to advance leads into your sales funnel, your prospects may already be engaging with your competition. Why? Because if prospects are eager enough to fill out an online form, that means they probably want to speak to someone right away. Also, you're probably not the only vendor that they have contacted; a high percentage of inbound leads are being pitched by multiple vendors at the same time. So if your competition is already talking with your prospect, you may need more than just a qualification email to capture the prospect's attention by getting on the phone. Leads that do not respond to your initial automated lead nurturing process need to be called quickly, and you need to have a customized lead qualification process in place to avoid losing good sales prospects to your competitors.