For complex B2B sales, there is one key element that is critical to ensuring that a lead is truly qualified, and it can often go overlooked in the quest to set an appointment.
In my experience, if this key element is covered, there is a much better chance of client success and a deal that will lead to a close.
Define the Need
To truly qualify a lead, it’s essential to uncover the data from a prospect that will define their need. If there isn’t a thorough understanding of the prospect’s need, then the lead isn’t truly qualified and may end up wasting your sales team’s time.
When a lead is passed along the sales pipeline, there should be enough information obtained from a prospecting call to provide a detailed description of what could be solved or improved through acquisition of your service or product.
Defining the need means asking a lot of open-ended questions and then actively listening to the answers, avoiding the pitfall of dominating the conversation with any kind of features and benefits presentation.
Questions that serve to define a prospect’s need include:
- What solutions are you currently using and what is your level of satisfaction?
- Are you currently using an outside vendor or are you trying to handle things in-house?
- Do you have a budget or timeline established to find solutions or products that meet your needs?
- What objectives for cost reduction/increased production have you established for the current situation?
Open-ended questions that guide a prospect into uncovering real information will lead to a thorough conversation, and uncover opportunities and better B2B leads.
They allow a caller to build a solid profile and be confident at the end of the conversation that this is a prospect worth pursuing.
Lead generation for professional business development and complex sales requires a real conversation that results in a thorough and comprehensive lead sheet to pass on to a sales executive.
If the information is incomplete or irrelevant to your product, service, or solution, then you will be costing your company, and your other team members, a lot of time following up with unqualified leads.