Think of your business as a water treatment works. Sales leads are like water, pouring into your business every minute of every day. Some of the water can be filtered and purified, some of it can’t. A sales lead on its own has no intrinsic value. You and your sales team need to have the right information from the lead to make an informed decision whether or not to pursue them further, and you need to have it quickly before your window of opportunity closes.

Qualifying Leads Quickly and Decisively

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This will enable you to know exactly which leads are going to convert and which are going to simply be a waste of your time. You need to qualify the incoming leads fast and you need to do it without looking back.

But that’s easier said than done!

While there are useful tools like Visual Visitor that can help you profile visitors to your website, it’s also important that you and your sales force know the key metrics used to qualify leads as well as when and how to act on them.

Here are some questions that you need to ask to qualify a lead quickly and decisively.

Do They Have Interest Or Intent?

While either of these things is good, only one can be converted into a decisive action quickly (unless you have an unbelievably talented sales force). If a man walks into a car dealership he may be interested in buying a used car for his daughter… But if his daughter is only thirteen then it’s going to be a while before he has any real intent to buy.

So, while he may certainly be worth keeping track of, he’s not a qualified lead just yet.

How Well Do You Know Their Profile?

Whatever your source of lead generation, profiling is extremely important and it may not be determined entirely by the answers on your contact form. A lead’s score can be strong while still being a weak prospect. What’s their household income? What existing financial commitments do they have? What position do they hold? All of these need to be determined to ascertain the lead’s buying potential.

What Can You Learn From Their Online Presence?

If you’re selling to a business, have a look at their website. What is the nature of their business? What products and services do they offer? Do you see how they would either use or have need of your product on a regular basis? Do they offer a product or service that’s similar to yours,m identifying them as competition?

If you’re selling to an individual, take a look at their social media presence. How much potential interest and intent can you gauge from their work, their hobbies, and interests or their social circle?

Use Your CRM

If you’re using and paying for a CRM solution then it’s a good idea to make full use of it. Ensure that nobody else is working on your prospect, and if they’ve been engaged previously, how far along did the transaction get. What, if any, were the barriers to closing on the deal? This knowledge can help you get a real inside track!