Receiving a new lead is a cause for celebration. Someone has shown interest in your business and may become a customer. Plainly speaking, that person may actually purchase a product or service from you.

The harsh reality is that not every lead is created equal.

Some leads are ready to buy immediately, while others require more information before they’re comfortable in making a purchase. Prospects with high buyer intent are called qualified leads. Learning how to qualify B2B leads is an important goal for any online marketing campaign.

This way, you can better categorize your leads and meet their individual needs. In this article, you’ll learn about some business to business lead generation tactics to transform a prospect into a qualified lead.

qualify b2b leads handshakeFind Out What the Prospect Needs

This is the most basic step in qualifying a lead. When you receive a phone call or an email from a prospect, the first thing you should figure out is what they want from your business. Do they want to learn more about a product or are they interested in signing up for a free trial?

It’s important for your sales team to ask preliminary questions to prospects immediately. These questions include:

  • How did you find about our business?
  • Which product or services are you interested in?
  • Do you need more information or are you ready to buy now?

This is the phase where you’ll either decide to drop a prospect or insert them into your sales funnel.

Make Sure Your Solution is What the Prospect Wants

Following this step is arguably the most important part of generating leads. It can also be the most complicated for your sales and marketing teams. For example, let’s say that you run a medium-sized digital marketing company. A person reaches out and says that they need help improving their online visibility. Naturally, there are a lot of possible solutions to consider.

For example, you could convince the person to consider implementing a search engine optimization strategy into their marketing plan. You could also urge them to try investing in pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Both solutions could work, but there’s the chance that the person wants a singular solution or none of these.

Qualifying a lead is all about narrowing down their wishes to find out if you can provide the solution they’re looking for. For example, you could sell prospects on the pros and cons of both SEO and PPC.

As they learn more, they’ll be more likely to make the right decision and hire your company to provide it.

Gauge the Prospect’s Budget

It doesn’t matter what a prospect wants from your company. If they can’t afford your products or services, there’s no point in dealing with them any further. Knowing the budget of a prospect is essential for allowing your sales teams to craft proposals.

It also helps them to refer products and services that will fit their budget. Whatever the case may be, a prospect’s budget will instantly submerge them into your sales funnel or disqualify them completely.

Discover the Prospect’s Level of Influence

When dealing with small businesses, you’ll generally only encounter CEOs or executive decision-makers. This means that it’ll become much easier to sell a product or service because you’ll immediately know their level of interest. If you’re dealing with larger companies with a chain of command, this becomes more challenging.

A director of marketing could reach out to your company for a service but will have to meet internally with their senior officers to come to a decision. For both types of B2B leads, here is the best approach:

  • Small Businesses: Move forward with selling your products and services as usual.
  • Larger Companies: Don’t sell; instead teach the prospect about how your company’s product can impact their company’s bottom line.

Depending on your target audience and industry, these sales tactics may slightly vary. Nonetheless, the principles above will define how effectively you can qualify new leads.

Understand the Prospect’s Timeline

When a prospect finally agrees to work with you, the first thing to do is breathe a sigh of fresh air. However, what will you do when the same prospect says they expect to sign a contract several weeks down the road? What happens if you follow up but never hear from them again.

Clearly, a prospect that expresses immediate interest in your products will need more attention than leads that are simply exploring their options. This isn’t to say that prospects without an immediate timeline aren’t as important.

However, when you determine how likely a prospect is to work with you, your sales team can make the best judgment on how to move forward.

Ask Qualifying Questions

Asking qualifying questions can help move prospects through your sales funnel. It can also help you discern whether particular leads are worth pursuing or letting go of. Below are some sample qualifying questions to ask to determine a specific prospect’s buyer persona:

  • What is your role within your company?
  • What is your budget?
  • Are you exploring your options or ready to buy soon?
  • What problems are you trying to solve within your company?

The answer to these questions is key to figuring out which products and services to sell.

Hire a Business Marketing Partner

As you can see, a lot of work goes into converting prospects into qualified leads. As your company grows, this challenge will become magnified. Hiring a digital marketing company that understands this problem is vital if you want to scale your business.

It’s also best to ensure that you receive the highest return for your investment in your marketing strategies. At David Taylor Designs, we provide world-class internet marketing services for all kinds of businesses.

We can help invigorate your sales output, convert more leads, and improve your company’s revenue.

Ready to Learn How to Qualify B2B the Right Way?

Now that you know how to qualify B2B leads, it’s time to hire a digital marketing partner that can do all the hard work for you. Contact us today to speak to a member of our team to get started.