A good rule of thumb for determining a qualified lead is to focus on the following four criteria. Make sure your sales and marketing teams each weigh in and then compare their answers.
Budget: Can they afford what you’re selling? Google industry news and speak to other suppliers where appropriate for financial insights.
Authority: Is the person you’re connecting with the decision-maker? If they are not, are you speaking to an influencer or gate keeper who can get you to the decision maker? It’s also important to determine if there are multiple stakeholders whom you need to engage with. Whether they have the authority to buy or not, make sure that you treat everyone your brand interacts with respectfully. Today’s receptionist or junior buyer could be tomorrow’s CEO.
Need: Do they have a pain point that your solution can solve? It’s important to understand what solutions they currently have, what is and isn’t working, how big the need is and if your solution is competing for budget that could be directed elsewhere.
Timing: Are they currently in the market to buy? This will be determined by whether their need is immediate or eventual. Don’t disqualify customers with an eventual need, however, keep them in the pipeline and nurture them.
Create a lead scoring system that assigns values to the different criteria you are tracking. A sales-qualified lead will have a high lead score, and any leads with a low score can be disqualified.