B2B lead generation is essential for lead driven organizations, but it’s only step one of a thorough inside sales process. Despite how targeted a marketing campaign is, not every lead is going to be the best fit for the products or services offered or will be the best fit at that moment in time.
Once marketing generated leads come in, the next step is to score the leads to determine which ones are sales qualified and should be passed on to the sales team in order to ensure that the sales team is spending their time as wisely as possible.
Here are some important things to consider when determining how a lead should be scored and whether or not the lead is ready to be passed on to the sales team:
Who the Point of Contact Is
When a lead comes in via a website lead form, email, phone call, social media channel, etc. it’s important to take note of the name of the person getting in touch and investigate what their position/title is and responsibilities are at the organization they are representing. When a lead is ready to be passed on to the sales team, it’s ideally the name of a ranking decision maker at the organization, someone who has the power to make a purchase.
In some cases, the initial lead comes in from one of their employees. When this happens, it’s necessary to do some investigating during the lead qualification process to uncover who the decision maker is, and only pass the lead on to sales when an appointment can be set up with that person.
If the Lead is a Good Match
Some company representatives spend a lot of time conducting research and determining whether the products or services offered are a good match for their needs before becoming a lead. However, this isn’t always the case. Since simply filling out a lead form doesn’t require any kind of commitment, some company representatives skip right to this step at the beginning of their research process, hoping to figure things out as they go.
No matter how clear your website and other marketing collateral is regarding what types of companies you work with, there’s no guarantee that it will be read. This means that not every lead will have potential. The lead qualification and lead scoring process will filter out the bad ones before they are passed on to sales.
If the Timing is Right
It’s the job of the sales team to close deals. The lead scoring process should determine where the lead is in the sales funnel. If a lead is only at the very top of the sales funnel, early in their decision-making process, they require further nurturing before they are passed on to sales.
The sales team’s time is best spent selling. Not every lead that comes in is going to be a good match, which is why they shouldn’t automatically be given to the sales team. The lead qualification and lead scoring process ensure that only the leads with the most potential at that time are given to the sales team so that their time isn’t wasted.