Lead qualification is an essential step that many companies miss out on even today or they are not doing it right and the keep the lines blurred between lead qualification and sales call. If your sales team is spending a lot of time chasing stale leads or if you are generating a lot of leads and yet are not able to convert them, here are the following lead qualification errors that you might want to look into:
Not having an Inside Sales Team
This sits at the top of all problems. Companies that do not have an Inside Sales (IS) team to qualify their leads, have the sales personnel following up every lead that comes. This in turn, takes a lot of time and effort of the sales team and becomes difficult for them to concentrate on good leads. In a B2B company, the products usually have a longer selling cycle and if the sales team is busy following up on leads where they should spend their time converting leads to opportunity, the company is already on its downward spiral. To avoid this, companies should have a dedicated inside sales team to sort out the good leads from the bad ones and sending them ahead to the sales team.
More time taken to touch base
Today, with communications becoming dynamic, customers are expecting shorter turnaround time to their queries or problems raised. In this case, if the company does not have an inside sales team, or if they have one and the IS team takes up a lot of time in getting back to the client with their answers, you will be facing a more agitated or uninterested client. Employing a smart CRM software systems come in handy when you need to pull information about the client or when you need to answer any of his query. Hence, shortening the time taken to touch base. Responding faster to a customer ensures not only a happy customer but also generating loyalty in the long run.
Just having an IS team does not mean that your sales team will get better leads and you will generate more revenue. The first contact between the customer and the company sets base to the future dealings. If the customer perceives that the company is not interested in them or does not seem to understand their problem, it is guaranteed to be a bad start for the relationship. The management should regularly monitor the IS team and the sales team for their pitch, language and attitude through voice. The customer should be made to feel important and their query priority and more than that, calm. The first contact is the hardest and the most important to set the dynamics between the company and the customer which you cannot afford to ignore.
Complete isolation from the sales team
Having an IS team does not mean that they are not part of the sales team and vice-versa. The IS team and the sales team cannot be kept in isolation and nor in competition with each other since they exist to complement each other. The sales and the IS team should work in accordance with each other. Having input from sales team on prospect quality or how can they modify their pitch to gauge more from the client. Having a harmonious relationship can strengthen your lead qualification process and be less stressful to everyone.
No means to gather more info
Traditional methods of gathering information from client include calling them up or asking them to fill a set of questionnaire or using a CRM software. While a CRM software is beneficial to gain knowledge about existing or past clients including prospects, the IS team will face challenges to gather information on the new prospects. To overcome this difficulty, you can invest into Social CRM in which you can integrate different social channels and use it to find more about your customers and what do they think about your brand or the industry in general.
While every industry differs in their processes, it remains the same in one aspect – the customer. Customers are dynamic today and they expect a certain level of service from companies, failing which, the relationship between the customer and the company might be hitting rough waters. The lead qualification team is one such aspect that you cannot afford to take lightly. It is the right time now to go back to your lead processes from qualification to sales and see what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. There is always a room for improvement and do not miss that.