Many people in the sales industry consider every opportunity to be worthwhile. But what they forget is time is money! As a result, this is not always the case.
Although you can use your resources to promote your product or service to almost anyone, the reality is that there’s no point in targeting those customers who are unlikely to buy. No matter how many leads enter your funnel, wasted expenditures and low conversion rates will hurt your bottom line, leaving you with just a handful of leads.
It’s here that Sales Qualified Leads play a significant role. So, what’s the big deal about Sales Qualified Leads? Why are SQLs so important for organizations? How do marketers qualify a lead as SQL? This article will answer all these questions and, most importantly, tell you how to improve lead quality.
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What is SQL?
B2B Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) are those leads that have been assessed by sales executives as appropriate for direct sales follow-up. Such leads offer a chance to connect with a growing customer base to evolve and register more profits. Such contacts may have made a straightforward inquiry about a sale or responded to bottom-of-the-funnel offers like a free trial. SQLs are often Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) who have interacted with your sales team to indicate immediate and serious purchase potential. Such leads are then qualified and are deemed to be prepared to advance further down the sales funnel.
How to qualify a lead as SQL?
Before devising a Sales Qualified Lead generation strategy, it’s essential to understand how you can identify them in an already overly crowded funnel.
The exact definition of SQL may vary depending on what you’re selling and to whom you’re selling. But some factors discourage consumers from making purchases. Many businesses use the BANT methodology to evaluate leads. BANT stands for Budget, Authority, Needs, and Timeline.
Here’s a quick way to qualify leads using BANT:
It doesn’t matter how much your potential customers like your product or solution. They are not qualified as prospects if they cannot afford your product or service. To sell honestly, representatives must ascertain whether a prospect can afford your product or solution. And if they can, you need to pay attention. However, if they are unable to or are unsure, there is a chance that they will discover far better consumers.
Consider that you have a SaaS product and are speaking with a prospect over the phone. The potential customer has expressed interest and is prepared to view a demo. But does he have the power to decide whether to buy or not? Perhaps yes. However, he will likely need to consult with his management before purchasing. He might like your tool, but he’s not the only one purchasing it. Additionally, before an agreement can be finalized, a group of decision-makers must lend support. The sales representatives must ensure they are speaking to the correct decision-maker, even when there is only one decision-maker.
The golden rule to generating BANT-qualified leads is to consider whether your product or service is valuable to potential customers or not. Your potential customers might not buy your solution right away for various reasons. For instance, your product might not work with a prospect’s existing CRM setup. On the other hand, prospects who do not currently use CRM may still need your product, but they might be unable to purchase it until they do so or until your solution is integrated with their infrastructure.
There are many prospects for whom it’s not the optimum time to close the deal. Perhaps the potential business is waiting for the funds to arrive. They might decide to assemble a larger team to incorporate a specific tool. Before handing the prospect off to the account executive, sales reps need to ascertain the prospect’s buying timeline.
Why are SQLs important?
One of the key reasons why Sales Qualified Leads are crucial to your business is that you will waste time and money on customers who might not be ready to purchase.
Your marketing team has nurtured SQLs, and such prospects are probably prepared to make a purchase and speak with a member of your sales team.
If SQLs are not qualified appropriately, there’s a danger that your sales team is engaging with customers who aren’t ready to talk to them and forget about making a purchase. Additionally, SQLs might shed light on what’s lacking with your business’s marketing strategies.
By monitoring SQLs, you can get to know what is it that is attracting them and how likely they are to convert. It can also demonstrate how frequently your sales team is closing SQLs.
Finally, obtaining steady leads may help your firm sell efficiently. You can discover how to customize your messaging more effectively based on the interests of prospective clients.
Now that you know how important it is to generate SQLs, you must wonder how to generate SQLs. As briefly mentioned, SQLs are usually derived from MQLs, but you may sometimes lack the leads necessary to fill your pipeline.
Generating SQLs without enough MQLs
Many times, SQLs are MQLs who have contacted your sales team in such a manner that depicts immediate and legitimate buying potential. Sometimes you may face a situation when you do not have sufficient MQLs to fill your pipeline. In such situations, all you have to do is find the prospects looking for services or products like yours. This will save time and guarantee that your staff concentrates on the prospects that are ready to make a purchase. So, it’s essential to gather buying intent signals.
Here B2B intent data can help gather rich insights about your MQL. Intent data tracks your potential customer’s online behavior and facilitates information. Intent signals can be used to customize content based on the funnel, thus creating a better lead scoring system. But it generates SQLs most effectively when paired with firmographic data, technographic data, and engagement metrics to produce a comprehensive scoring model that also accounts for qualifying requirements and engagement. When utilized in the right combination, intent data can be a powerful predictor of which accounts are most likely to purchase your goods or services.
How to generate and convert SQLs
Throughout the customer journey, there are multiple touchpoints. This makes it hard for marketing and sales teams to determine a lead that’s sales qualified and diminishes their chances of reaching the right lead at the right time.
This is not to say that it’s impossible to identify a Sales Qualified Lead in a customer’s journey. Organizations can use a result-oriented sales-qualified lead generation strategy to walk leads across various touchpoints.
Below we have put forth a few lead generation strategies used by the sales teams to generate highly qualified leads:
Create buyer personas
Create specific buyer personas to ensure your marketing and sales teams know what a sales-ready lead is. It doesn’t matter which stage of the sales funnel you are in; if you know your ideal customer, it will be easier for you to target and sell to the most relevant audience. Do not forget to update your buyer’s persona based on customer data and feedback.
Create a list of qualified sales leads
Once you have determined your target client, make a list of sales-qualified leads. The list must include those who have already looked up, screened, and want to talk. Such people are most likely to get converted.
Ensure your list includes all crucial information, including job title, email address, and direct phone number.
Keep selling in mind while producing content
Though it’s essential to generate content specific to an individual’s current situation, you also want to ensure that your content initiatives address a prospect’s pain points and intent to buy the best solution for their needs.
Of course, there will be differences between the communication you want to create for an audience ready to make a purchase and those whom you would want to lure.
Track down dissatisfied competitor customers
Examining your rivals is one of the best ways to find new leads for your business. To be precise, you are targeting those buyers who are not too happy with your competitor. This will allow you to swoop in and win them over to your side. Social media, Google reviews, and other review websites are fantastic places to start with this.
Identify those people who have written unfavorable reviews. Then you can get in touch with them and give them a free trial or demo of your business.
It’s essential for the sales team to be able to identify the right people to whom they should sell. To be true, countless strategies can help improve sales lead conversions and generate more revenue opportunities. All it needs is to know the intent of your buyers. Interested in learning more about how you can convert more leads? Check Binary Demand’s lead generation solutions that have helped clients engage with in-market buyers!