A Qualified Sales Lead Process To Power Your Business

How to create a qualified sales lead is the do-or-die question. Sales and marketing meet when you create sales leads and every business person should learn how opportunities are qualified regardless of whether your lead generation program is in-house or outsourced.

You may have a great your product or service, a revolutionary idea you are bringing to the market, or a super-talented team. However, without a Qualified Sales Lead process you may stumble and fail.

This section will lead you through the steps of properly qualifying a sales lead relying on a methodology known as VBANT which stands for Vision, Budget, Authority, Need, Timeframe. Your team may also find a sales lead sheet utilizing these concepts effective for planning day-to-day sales calls.

Get help creating a Qualified Sales Lead Process for your business or share your expertise and experiences!

Cold Calling TechniquesCold Calling Scripts TemplateCold Calling TipsFree Sales LeadsBusiness Sales LeadsSales Lead GenerationUsing a Sales Lead SheetSales Lead ManagementAn Effective Cold Calling RoutineProspecting TipsSales Process ManagementQualified Sales Lead Consultant

Why Qualify?

You may outsource some of your sales lead program to a sales lead provider or one of many lead generation companies. Nevertheless, the sales process only begins once you and your team are managing the opportunity hands-on.

Qualification is both the cornerstone of the sales process as well as a crucial component through the opportunity lifecycle. Each sales begins, is progressed by and ends with rounds of questions on everything from customer needs to contracts. Knowing how the process to create a qualified sales lead works enables you to:

(a) manage the overall quality of leads you generate

(b) equip your sales team to qualify and requalify opportunities

The central theme of your information gathering is to ascertain your customers' changing needs and to continually progress the process of providing solutions that are beneficial and of great value to them.

Qualify, Qualify, Qualify

Every master salesman is a master listener first. In terms of the process to create a qualified sales lead and a sales itself, qualifying simply means to gather information. A sales opportunity is rarely hindered by too much questioning but a lack of questioning and proper qualification can rarely be left out from amongst the reason for losing deals.

Ask, ask, ask. To quote Rudyard Kipling, "I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who." Continuing to use and reuse these six honest serving-men will lead to your success. The process does not stop with an answer either; you must continue to probe at each and every aspect of the sales process as is relevant. For example, train yourself to ask "Why?" five times each for each problem you uncover:

Customer: My costs are too high.
Why are your costs too high?

Customer: Because there is too much overhead.
Why is there too much overhead?

Customer: Because the process is too labor-intensive.
Why is the process too labor-intensive?

Customer: Because there is a lack of automation?
Why is there a lack of automation?

Customer: We've just never gotten round to it. Why have you not been able to put a solution in place before?

Don't be too eager to jumpy to "juicy" questions or push the sales process on without exhaustive qualification at each step. The customer needs to trust that you have their wellbeing in mind first and foremost. Creating a qualified sales lead is not about revenue forecasts or money. Sales is not about revenue forecasts or money. Business is not about revenue forecasts or money either. It's about the customer, always.

VBANT: A Lead Qualification Blueprint

Does your customer have a vision of the optimal solution for his problem? More specifically, does he have a vision for how your solution can help? Vision is especially important for an innovative new solution that may not have the market recognition - and appeal - of more traditional solutions.


Does the customer have money to spend for this project? Is it money that is generally allocated or for this specific solution? Remember that you are going to have to work hard to distinguish your solution from amongst many competing solutions and alternatives.


Where does the customer sit within the food chain of their organization? Organizational politics becomes more and more important as the size and complexity of deals increase, and their strategic import to the customer. Does the customer have the necessary authority to transact or positively influence this transaction?


Is there a defined need for which a solution is being sought? Sales messaging is of two kinds, to solve a pain or to provide a valuable benefit or gain. Ideally, the two come together in the customer solution but traditionally more gets done to solve a problem then to improve things. Is the need a "latent pain" that needs to be demonstrated for the customer?


What is the projected timeframe for the completion of this project? Is there a "compelling event" factoring how fast a solution should be in place? The customer's enthusiasm will be based on the impetus for this project from amongst the many other they are involved in. Coax opportunities along keeping the all-important element of timing in mind.

To Summarize: Qualify!

The process you have in place to create a qualified sales lead for opportunities is a critical benchmark of your overall sales and marketing success. After all, if you cannot create leads, you cannot create sales and your business will fail. The secret of creating strong sales leads is to quality and requalify at every stage of the sales process.

Qualifying sales leads is not just to create an opportunity and make a sale. The process helps build relationships as well as allow you to glean valuable feedback for your ongoing business transformation and growth. The extent to which you take the time to feel the customer's pulse at every step of the way will differentiate you from your competitors and solidify your status as a partner and consultant as opposed to just another vendor.

Get help creating a Qualified Sales Lead Process for your business!

Cold Calling TechniquesCold Calling ScriptsCold Calling TipsFree Sales LeadsBusiness Sales LeadsSales Lead GenerationUsing a Sales Lead SheetSales Lead ManagementAn Effective Cold Calling RoutineProspecting TipsSales Process ManagementQualified Sales Lead Consultant

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Qualification Is An Ongoing Process 
I really like your approach to making cold calling conversational and that you should try and engage your customer in a friendly and non-threating manner …

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Hi Prabhakar: Do you have specific questions on this? http://www.sales-and-marketing-for-you.com/qualified-sales-lead.html Regards, Hussain

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