3 Social Selling Lead Qualification Tips
As technology plays an increasingly large role in the social selling process, one of the biggest challenges for new sales reps is to know which sales opportunities to chase and which to let go. The pressure of having to meet a quota leads many reps to chase after each and every opportunity they come across. Time has a way of solving this problem – the rep either learns to be disciplined and chase prospects that will help him meet his quota or he fails.
A good sales process will automate lead qualification so that reps are focusing their time on high-value sales targets and leaving the time-wasters for someone else. In a simple lead qualification process, leads are scored based on 2 criteria – 1) the lead’s fit to your ideal customer profile, and 2) the lead’s interaction with your sales process.
Your ideal customer profile describes the characteristics of companies that are most likely to become profitable customers. Some of the criteria by which you can identify your ideal customer profile include:
job title/seniority level
internal structure (example: companies that have 5 or more salespeople)
A simple lead qualification matrix
Here’s a graphical depiction of a lead-qualification matrix:
This lead qualification regimen separates your leads into 4 categories:
Close match to your ideal customer profile, high interaction with your sales process. These are your best leads, call them now!
Close match to your ideal customer profile, low interaction with your sales process. These are potentially good leads, but either aren’t ready to buy or you aren’t on their radar screen. Do some more research to see if these prospects are in a buying mode. If not, nurture them with social selling techniques.
Low match to your ideal customer profile, high interaction with your sales process. Don’t chase these leads! Review each opportunity to decide whether to “take an order” or let it go.
Low match to your ideal customer profile, low interaction with your sales process. Don’t waste your time.
The ability to sort leads using this or similar criteria will help your sales reps focus on the right opportunities and employ the right social selling tactics with them. Here are 3 tips to use sales technology for lead qualification in your social selling process.
1. Use lead generation forms to determine match to your ideal customer profile
Demographics are the first cut in determining a prospect’s match to your ideal customer profile. For example, your target prospect may be information technology companies with between 50 and 250 employees. Include a question in your lead generation forms that asks the lead for the industry of her company. Use simple drop-down responses that allow the lead to quickly choose an industry. Include a limited number of industries you target and include a choice of “other” for non-targeted industries.
You can include similar drop-down questions for other lead qualification for criteria like company size and the role the lead plays in their organization. Your marketing automation software will be able to segment leads by demographic criteria. For example, it might identify leads that are business owners or executives at information technology companies with between 50 and 250 employees.
In the context of the lead matrix above, this tactic will determine which of your leads closely match your ideal customer profile. Sales reps can perform further sales research to determine “psychographic” characteristics that further qualify the prospect.