How does your lead qualification process work?
If you're like most businesses, it probably looks something like this.
Sweet, someone filled out a form!
Quick, fire off an email.
Wait a day (maybe two.)
It’s time for lead nurturing! Let's give them a little more—maybe suggest a demo?
Oh, education. Yes, let's send them a blog post.
Crap, they didn't bite. Maybe a retargeting ad?
See what's missing? Most never stop to see if the company that filled out a form was a good fit to begin with.
Too often, we assume they must be at least halfway good leads if they filled out our form.
Sadly, it's not quite so simple.
Maybe you're smarter than the average bear, and you have some lead qualification chops. You might use a tool or let your CRM take care of lead qualification.
There's a chance they don't know what they're doing either—especially if you're using an ABM model.
Whether you want to update your current sales qualification process or double-check a tool you're already using, Leadfeeder's sales qualification lead scoring form will help.
Note: Leadfeeder identifies site visitors, even if they don't fill out a form. Sign up for a free two-week trial and see who's visiting your site 👀
What is lead qualification?
Lead qualification is the process of determining whether a lead is worth pursuing. It involves gathering information about a sales prospect, evaluating that information, and deciding whether or not to continue with the lead. Effective lead qualification will help you save time and money by only pursuing people who are already interested in your product or service.
What is lead scoring?
Lead scoring is a method of assigning numerical values to leads based on how likely they can become potential customers. Lead scorers assign points to each lead based on the likelihood that they will convert into customers and use those numbers as a guide for identifying which leads should be given more attention.
Lead scoring systems generally take into account both historical and behavioral data about a lead: for example, whether or not they've visited your website before or how often they've downloaded content there, how long it took them to respond to an email, etc.
How to qualify leads the right way
Lead qualification is one of the biggest challenges for marketing and sales teams. In account-based marketing, it's even more important, because you'll invest a lot of energy into converting high-value accounts. If you start off with poor-quality leads, you're going to waste a ton of time. 😱
Before we get to the lead scoring form, let's talk about how to qualify leads the right way. Here are three questions that will help make sure you're on the right path.
Do your MQL and SQL metrics match?
A great lead qualification process starts with marketing. They decide if a prospect is a good match and passes them on to salespeople.
Too often, however, what marketing considers qualified and what sales reps consider qualified are vastly different. That's because they often target different stages of the funnel. Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) tend to focus on the top of the funnel, while sales focus on the bottom.
While SQL (Sales Qualified Lead) and MQL won't be the same, they should be complementary. Otherwise, you're going to end up having a bad time.
Start by making sure your sales and marketing teams are aligned. That means ensuring everyone is looking at the same data and is looking for the same indications of interest. Have cross meetings and share what is working and what isn't.
Do they have buyer intent?
The best leads aren't just ones that fit your ideal customer profile. They might be in the right industry, have the right amount of revenue, and even need your solution.
But if they haven't expressed intent to buy, you're wasting your time. Use buyer intent gathering tools to zero in on accounts further down the sales funnel so you don't waste time on leads that aren't ready.
Or don't, we're not the boss of you.
Why did they come to your website?
Ideally, a form serves as the first step in the lead qualification process. If they take the time to fill out a form or download your ebook, you hope they are a high-quality lead.
Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Tracking which campaign brought them to your site or the traffic source (such as social or organic) can provide a ton of insights into whether that lead is qualified and how to convert them.
Here's an example. At Leadfeeder, we produce a lot of content for both sales and marketing teams. Some content, like our top HubSpot integrations post, is very specifically for marketers.
If a user comes to our site for our marketing content, we want to make sure the content we use to convert them to a lead is marketing related.
If they come to our site for sales content, we want to push them to sales tips (e.g. “how to set up sales process”, “stages of a successful sales cycle”, “what are the pain points of lead generation”, etc). That's because our tool does different things for different teams.
What if they're looking at both sales and marketing content? Well, maybe they do both. Or maybe they're a competitor looking to see what we're doing. Maybe they are not quite ready to convert.
We'll have to figure it out later, but knowing what drew them to the site is the first step to figuring it out.
Sales qualification lead scoring model
Now it's time to get down to business. How do you qualify your leads?
This form will help you manually qualify leads. Just keep in mind that you may need to adjust it to fit your business. For example, specific on-site behaviors might carry more or less weight based on revenue or other factors.
Dig into past conversions (and conversion rates) to see what actions indicate a user is more likely to convert and adjust the points accordingly. Also, note that some items on this list may need to be broken down into smaller bands with varying points.
For example, Leadfeeder breaks leads into revenue bands, so companies with a higher revenue would carry more weight. Depending on your business, you might take the same approach with location, industry, number of employees, company size, etc.
Note: you need to decide what score is good enough to say that lead is qualified and is ready to be sent to the sales team. For example, based on the values above, the qualified lead should reach a score of 1,000. This way, this lead should:
Visit your website twice in 1 week (+200 points), visit your pricing page (+450 points) and fill in the form (+350 points). This way, this lead gets a score of 1,000 points and is ready to be sent to sales reps.
This will need to be iterated over time with the more data points you get and understand how well your lead scoring system is set up.
Sometimes a lead feels like a great fit but then falls off. Maybe they converted for a competitor or just changed their mind. If that happens, you'll need to take points away.
Negative scoring attributes can vary by business and industry, but here are a few to consider adding to your sales qualification lead scoring model.
Bottom Line: Intent is the key to qualifying leads
There is no one right way to qualify your leads. However, to be effective, businesses need to pay close attention to buyer intent data — especially in ABM. Rather than just creating a list of possible accounts and hacking away at it, take the time to see if those accounts have visited your site.
Then, use the sales qualification lead scoring form above to see if those accounts are a good fit. Pay close attention to indications that they're slipping away, like unsubscribing to your email newsletter or not using a free trial.
Not sure where to get that intent data? Leadfeeder tracks the on-site behavior of companies—even if they never filled out a form. You can see how many pages they viewed, where they are located and much more.
Note: Leadfeeder identifies which companies visit your site — and what they do when they get there. Sign up for a two-week trial and get access to more sales qualification data.
Now that you're here
Leadfeeder is a tool that shows you companies that visit your website. Leadfeeder generates new leads, offers insight on your customers and can help you increase your marketing ROI.
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