Leads qualification is a tricky business! New SDRs sometimes commit huge mistakes by qualifying the wrong leads. Sales pipelines are filled constantly but nothing valuable is generated.
4 key steps to kickstart your outbound sales process
1. Give SDRs better goals: The top management should first estimate and determine the right figures in their plan. The most important things here are average deal size, close rates and sales cycle length. If you never got the time to calculate these, take some time to figure these details out before moving ahead with rest of the planning. These are the building blocks for your future sales process.
2. Give SDRs better data: If your data is not right, no matter how much value your product has, you are not closing any sales. Finding the right data is not that difficult. The planners should determine the right market size to enter. The right companies based on their suitability with your product. Also, the average company size that matches your required deal cycle. One of the most key factors in the data is the right profiles that are both the right decision makers and relevant to your product.
3. Increase your Touchpoints: According to a Laurie Beasley, it takes from 7 to 13 touches to deliver a qualified sales lead. So, don’t lose hope and put some extra effort in there. If you are sure that you have the right profiles, this is just the beginning. Rest of the outcomes depend on how much input you are putting in the outreach process. So, don’t give up too early and strive hard.
4. Deliver value, don’t spam: We have always stressed upon a point that you should craft your messages instead of sending out plain emails. From writing intriguing emails to choosing the right words in a call, best timings to deliver a message and understanding the pain points of your prospect.
Sales Success is all about maintaining the right relationship with your prospects.
Stuffing up your sales pipeline with random, unqualified leads is a disaster for your sales process. Sales reps can make a list of leads without determining their use, but this is only good enough to relax your mind temporarily. Sales pros are always never interested in the quantity of leads, just quality. In plain terms, they like a hot lead! The final phase in a lead life is to successfully pass through a sales closing process. This cannot be expected from random leads.
Let’s define a hot lead first. There is a BANT approach that establishes the distinct stages of qualified leads. In time, this increases the efficiency of your sales process.
Identifying HOT leads with the BANT lead qualification system
Every lead that doesn’t qualify in the BANT system lengthens your sales process. What is BANT? Let’s discuss these 4 points in detail.
1) Budget: Does the prospect have the budget to acquire your product? If your cost increases their budget size, you may need to lower your price or the deal just won’t work. Do your research on your prospect! Depending on their age or recent funding, budget may be a lower concern than priority. Does your prospect urgently need a solution like yours soon? We’ll get into this more in point #3.
2) Authority: Does person in contact carry decision-making power? If not, you’ll be spending countless hours educating the wrong person who is simply going to refer you to someone next in the ladder or eliminate the sales process at the end. Don’t be afraid to ask! “Are you making the buying decision for your company” is a simple, straightforward question that your prospect will eventually expect anyways. Learning this upfront helps you manage your time with each person you speak with, and determines how fast you can move up their internal chain to get to the real buyer.
3) Need: This is a critical point where a sales rep needs to identify whether the problem a prospect has can be solved with the product. Remember, your prospect’s have a totally different set of responsibilities, worries and timelines than you. What is going to solve their pains or problems? Additionally, finding out the impact of your solution determines need AND priority. How urgent is this buying decision, and how important is that pain it will solve?
4) Time: Time is one of the most principal factors in BANT system. Knowing when a lead will convert can help your team predict future results. If the prospect’s timeline matches your average deal cycle, you’re in luck. If you carelessly ignore this factor and spend time with prospects that won’t close for a year, consider the valuable leads that are ready to buy Now, that are waiting to be contacted. Just like our tip on Authority, ask about their timeline. If you can influence their purchasing timeline, you may have made a quicker sale!
A special thanks to Jacco van der Kooij for his great tips on BANT!