Not all leads are created equal. So how do you tell if a new lead is promising and interested in what you have to offer? First, let’s clarify the difference between an inbound lead and an outbound lead. Outbound leads are generated through direct and intentional contact initiated by a sales team. An inbound lead on the other hand contacts you first through a channel such as your website, social media profile or by direct referral.
The way a sales team handles inbound and outbound leads is often very different, primarily because inbound leads need to be qualified and their level of interest needs to be determined internally. A great question we hear often is “How do you know if an inbound lead is really interested and worth pursuing?” Here are our tips for gauging an inbound lead’s level of interest.
How did the lead connect?
Understanding how a new inbound lead contacted your company is the first step in qualifying a lead. Was it through an “inquiry” or “contact us” form? Did they request a demo? Maybe they signed up to receive a free white paper or other free material you offer. All of these scenarios are positive inclinations that the lead is actively seeking information about your company or service, however, they are most likely at two different stages and should be treated differently.
An inbound lead who contacts you directly through your inquiry form or requests a demo is most likely, but not always, further along in the information gathering stage and is ready to learn more about specific details such as pricing and timing.They are eager to talk to someone and your team should respond quickly and efficiently. However, an inbound lead who downloads your latest whitepaper could be in the early stages of information gathering. They could simply be interested in the topic and looking to learn more.
It’s still important to reach out to these leads quickly but they might not be ready to jump into discussions about specific details quite yet. You will need more information about them and their business. These leads require nurturing and time to develop into VIP Sales Leads.
Ask The Right Questions
Now it’s time to understand why the lead contacted you. Even if a lead fills out your inquiry form, and seems like a good fit on paper, you still need to ask the right questions before qualifying them as a VIP Sales Lead. Here are some important questions to ask to further qualify an inbound lead.
- Does this lead fit your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)? Are they the right size, in the right industry and location?
- Does your product or solution solve an immediate need?
- Is the person you are talking to a decision maker? If not, how can I get in touch with the decision maker?
- What is their budget? What is their immediate purchasing capacity? What is their budget or buying capacity in the future?
- What is their timeline? Do they have an immediate requirement that needs to be met?
Have a Follow Up Plan
The next important step is having a plan to follow that includes documenting the qualifying process. As the new lead travels down the sales pipeline it’s crucial to have a system in place for tracking leads. Lariat LEADS helps streamline this process for sales teams across multiple industries. Our unique platform can help you create the best pipeline for your business so that every inbound, or outbound, lead gets the attention they need. The ultimate goal is to turn every inbound lead into a VIP Sales Lead and our platform can help you get there.
To learn more about Lariat LEADS and our other services please contact us for a demo. You can also find more posts, like Five Reasons Why New Leads Turn Into Dead Ends, on our blog.