Not everyone in your CRM is worth contacting. If your database is like most, it contains data from dozens of sources. Formatting may be inconsistent, records may be disorganized, and nobody knows everything about the whole thing. Qualifying Leads is the way you find that information.
Lead qualification is the process of separating the wheat from the chaff, indicating your decision, and then reaching out to folks worth talking to. This way, you reduce the time and effort required to work through your list, improve your success rate, and get out of the morale-crushing cycle of constant rejections from prospects you shouldn’t have called in the first place.
Why Do You Need to Qualify Leads?
Not everyone is worth contacting. Plenty of people will blow you off, run you down, or pass you along to someone else. You don’t want to waste time pitching to them if they don’t want to hear from you. Lead qualification saves you time and energy.
To qualify your leads, you need to find out if they are likely to be interested in your products. Then, you need to find a reliable way to contact them, compose a message that will suit them, and work on initiating a conversation. That all takes time and energy that can’t be applied to another task. So it’s not worth it to simply reach out to everyone on your list. That would be like calling everyone in Manhattan to pitch your product. Sure, emails can be sent automatically, and that’s great for marketing. But direct sales requires a more personal touch, so it’s harder to pawn off the work on a computer.
Good leads need your product and are interested in buying. The better your qualification process, the more good leads.
Qualifying Leads In Your CRM
The easiest way to indicate qualified leads in Zoho CRM is with the lead status field. You can set Workflows to automatically adjust this field when you change the record to match a specific condition. You can also manually adjust the status based on the interactions you’ve had with them.
Changing Lead Status Manually: Lead status can be adjusted manually by editing the CRM record. While manually lead management is tedious and time-consuming, it’s also the most complete method. To manually qualify leads, create a clear and practical workflow that covers as many scenarios as possible. Reduce judgment calls as much as possible, and let salespeople rely on the algorithm instead of best guesses.
Changing Lead Status Automatically: If you have an Enterprise license for Zoho CRM, you can use a lead qualification Blueprint to automatically qualify your leads. Blueprints are a mixture of step-by-step guides and automatic decision-making, which reduces the number of errors made by both humans and computer programs. With Zoho Form, you can automatically ingest leads into Zoho CRM, then qualify them as leads based on some simple criteria. It’s not as powerful and Blueprints, but Workflows will cut down the significant time it takes in your lead qualifying process.
Setting Lead Status Intelligently
The way you qualify leads will have an enormous impact on how well your sales team will work. Without a clear lead qualifying structure, you’ll have a hard time sorting the good from the bad. To find the best prospects, think about what makes your leads most valuable to your company.
Consider job title, seniority, internal organizational details, estimated budget, time to purchase, frequency of purchase, and dominant industry. If you’re not sure what makes the best prospect, look back at your largest sales. Try to identify any common trends between the prospects, and establish those are your parameters for lead qualification.
Don’t be afraid to throw out more leads than you keep. Remember that your numbers should be about completed sales, not the number of rejections. If a strong lead qualification process improves your team’s sales average, that’s what important, even if their absolute number of contacted prospects has decreased.