Map Your Lead Qualification Process into Your CRM

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1 When was the last time you audited your? What are your #1 and #2 Sales professionals asking to qualify their prospects quickly and accurately? : IS YOUR LEAD QUALIFICATION PROCESS MAPPED? If you aren t reviewing your structure at least twice a year, it is likely outdated for your current needs not to mention future ones. Almost every one of the 100 plus Software and SaaS companies that we have worked with over the past 20 years had some sort of sales automation tool which they used to manage their sales operation. Increasingly, many of our clients use Salesforce.com. Most of these companies used their to track sales activities and to manage their sales funnel. Some use their more intensively and at the cutting edge, while many continue to just scratch the surface of what they can do with their s. Most s out of the box are designed to be flexible, powerful and extensible which means you won t get much out of them unless you customize them extensively and adapt them to your needs. One critical omission, we found with many of our clients, is that they hadn t mapped their lead qualification process into the. Most often, it was because they didn t have a well thought-out lead qualification process to begin with. Other times, while they had improved on their lead qualification process, their s have never been updated to reflect these updated qualification processes. At a minimum, an effective Lead Qualification Process should include the following: The key questions that are used to qualify prospects The disposition of each lead, as the qualification process progresses The number of times a lead is touched before it is abandoned or sent back to a nurture program Next step details that outline what needs to happen to fully qualify the lead to make it sales ready A quality control process that enables sales management to review the quality of each lead to ensure that they are quality leads LEAD QUALIFICATION PROCESS You ve done your Four Funnel Math* and know how many impressions (the number of times you touch your target prospects utilizing a pre-determined marketing-mix, which can include campaigns, social media programs, webinars, content placement, tradeshows, etc.) you need to generate the right number of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL s) for your Teleprospecting team. Once you know the number of MQL s required to support your Teleprospecting team, you are ready to create the process that your Teleprospecting team will utilize to generate Sales Qualified Leads (SQL s) that will build the required pipeline to support your revenue objectives. WHAT ARE QUALIFICATION QUESTIONS? The lead qualification process starts with the questions that the Teleprospector will need to ask to uncover need and interest in your solution. The right questions will uncover: Need: Does the prospect have a need for your product or solution? Authority: Is this particular prospect the person who can make a purchase decision? Page 1 of 5

2 Decision Maker: What is the name and title of the person who can make the purchase decision? Budget: Does this prospect have money to make a purchase or CAN they secure the funds to make a purchase? Timeframe: When is the prospect planning to solve their problem and purchase a solution or product like yours? Decision Process: How will the decision be made? Will there be an evaluation committee or will some other process be used to make a decision? Understanding of Solution: Does the prospect understand the problem/issue your solution or product resolves? Next Step: If the prospect is interested in your solution, what is the next step to move the lead from an MQL to an SQL? If your Teleprospector gets the answers to all or the majority of these questions, you have a solid, highly qualified SQL for your Sales Team. If you agree with that statement, the next question is: Wouldn t it be good to capture this data in a format that will allow you to run reports and track the answers? We believe the answer is Yes! However, most of the clients that we have worked with didn t capture this information in their. These clients didn t have fields in the that captured the qualifying questions or the answers. They forced their Teleprospectors to put the answers to these questions in the Notes field in their. Not everyone is good at taking notes. Not all notes are created equally and not all notes fields allow enough characters to adequately capture the information that we listed above. Notes are difficult to read and it is nearly impossible to report on data in the notes field. If you are forcing your Teleprospecting team to put this important information into the notes field you are missing out on gathering extremely valuable intelligence that your prospects are telling you. You are missing important intelligence that could help Marketing build better demand generation programs and to improve marketing strategy or messaging. It is an execution mistake that will keep your Teleprospectors from generating highly qualified SQL s. Our advice is collect quantifiable data (as captured by checkboxes and drop downs, for example) when you can and augment with notes fields. Otherwise, you are likely to be wasting money with a Teleprospecting operation that cannot provide you the actionable intelligence you need to improve sales. Leads have their own Lifecycle. If you don t know where a lead is at any given point in time, you don t know if your qualification process is working or not. LEAD DISPOSITION The Lead Disposition is the label you assign to leads as they go through the qualification process. The dispositions help Sales Management to quickly identify the progress of each lead, if a Teleprospector is having trouble qualifying leads and to zero in on leads that are ready to go to Sales. Here are a few of our favorite Lead Dispositions: Untouched: This disposition tells the Teleprospector that this is an MQL that has never been contacted. This disposition helps Managers to see if the team has enough new MQL s to contact. It can also help a Manager determine if MQL s are being called in a timely manner. Pursuing: When an MQL is in the pursuing disposition, it means that the Page 2 of 5

3 MQL has been called, however, no contact has been made with this prospect Contacted: Once a call has occurred and contact has been made with the prospect, MQL s can be moved to the disposition contacted. Key Conversation: Not all connects are created equal. If important information or Key information was gathered during a connected call, this should be listed in the disposition. Managers should report on this important disposition, during their meeting with Sales. Key conversations are the conversations that move the sales process forward. If Teleprospectors aren t having a number of Key conversations, each week, there may be something wrong. This disposition enables the Manager to identify problems with the MQL s, target list or Teleprospecting skills. Potential SQL: A potential SQL is a lead that has definite interest and need. The Teleprospector may need to gather more information to turn this lead into an SQL; however, this is a hot target. Over time, Potential SQL s build, creating the Teleprospecting pipeline. Managers keep track of these leads because these leads are likely to become SQ Ls fairly soon. SQL: SQL s are ready for the Sales organization. They have the information required to make a highly qualified lead. They are the leads that will go into the Sales funnel. Bad Data: You can try your best to get leads with the most accurate information. Sometimes, prospects leave their positions and move to another company. Sometimes prospects give false information on registration pages. Sometimes the data is incorrect and you may not know why. It doesn t matter. If the data is bad, the Teleprospector won t be able to reach the prospect. Take the lead out of the leads area of the and have someone work on the lead to get better data. Unable to Reach: If the Teleprospector has reached the limit on the touch rules and has had no response from the prospect then the lead disposition becomes unable to reach. Your administrator should take these leads out of the leads area and put the lead into a nurture program. These dispositions will help your Teleprospectors to effectively manage their call activity and enable the Manager to track lead progress and identify issues quickly. These dispositions will enable Marketing to get a pulse on the success of their campaigns and the quality of the MQL s that they are creating for the Teleprospecting team. TOUCH RULES Work diligently, but respect your prospects right to not be hounded. Part of the lead qualification process is determining the number of times a lead will be touched before it is abandoned or put into a lead-nurture program. You don t want your prospects to feel as if they are being stalked by your Teleprospecting team. Keep the rules simple, which will enable compliance. Here are my touch rules: First call: Touch #1. Leave a voic and send an . Wait 2-3 days before you make another call attempt. Second Call: Touch #2. Move on. Wait 2-3 days before your next call. Third Call: Touch #3. Send an . Wait a week before you make another call. Fourth Call: Touch #4. Leave a voic . Wait a week before you make another call. Page 3 of 5

4 Fifth Call: Touch #5. Move on. Touch #6. Send an stating that if the prospect has a need that they should call theteleprospector back, at their convenience. After Touch #6: Change the disposition to Unable to Reach and put prospect into a nurture program. Your business may require different touch rules. What we have found, working with over 100 Software companies, is that if a prospect doesn t return calls or reply by after 6 touches, they usually aren t interested. They may have interest, in the future and may respond during some point in the nurture process. Knowing what the Next Step is crucial to moving the sales process forward. Your Teleprospecting Manager should approve each SQL before transitioning these to your sales reps. NEXT STEP DETAILS In our experience, a Teleprospector will touch a prospect 3 to 4 times before they get all of the information they will need to turn an MQL into an SQL. After each good connection with a prospect, information is acquired and the Next Step details should be updated. The Next Step field details the requirements to move the sales process forward. For example, a next step might be to provide the prospect a private web demo. The Next Step is not just a call back. It is an action that moves the sales process forward. QA SQL S Once a lead is qualified, fully, the disposition becomes SQL. Before the SQL is passed to Sales, the Manager should review and approve the SQL, to ensure that the SQL meets the minimum qualification criteria. s, such as Salesforce.com, provide workflows that can trigger an action, such as when a Potential SQL moves to an SQL. We have set up workflows for our clients that trigger an to the Manager, who takes the action of reviewing the lead before it is converted to an opportunity for Sales. Once Sales has reviewed and contacted the lead, Sales should Approve or Reject the lead, before it is converted to an opportunity. The QA process enables the Manager to keep close tabs on quality and provides the team instant feedback, as Sales reviews and processes leads. If more than, say 10% of the SQL s are rejected by Sales, there may be a problem. This process ensures quality leads and instant feedback for the Teleprospecting team. CONCLUSION: MAP YOUR LEAD QUALIFICATION PROCESS When you map your leads process into the Sales, you will gather important intelligence that Marketing can use to improve their message, targets, and demand generation programs. Sales can use the data to begin the sales process with prospects. It is critical that this data not wind up in the dead zone of notes. The lead process must include a QA process that enables managers to review the quality of each lead. Once Managers review leads, a process for Sales approval is the next step in the QA review. Take time to ensure that you develop a lead qualification process. Once you have developed this process, implement the process using your. After each call, your Teleprospectors will have a place to capture valuable intelligence. The QA process will ensure lead quality and funnel growth. Page 4 of 5

5 ABOUT SOMAMETRICS SOMAmetrics enables clients to revitalize their Sales and Marketing organizations, so that they meet and exceed their revenue objectives each and every quarter. We named our company SOMAmetrics, because SOMA stands for Sales Optimization and Marketing Accountability. Our single purpose for being is to help your company realize its full potential by significantly accelerating your Revenue Realization Cycle and increasing your sales pipeline which will help you to achieve your revenue targets. New Salesforce.com implementations; upgrades; data migrations; and integrations OUR SALESFORCE.COM PRACTICE Over the past ten years, we have worked on a variety of Salesforce.com implementation projects including: new implementation; significant upgrades and optimization projects; data cleansing and migrations; and integrations with other cloud based tools. We have assembled a team of experts ranging from marketing and sales consultants, to business analysts and programmers to assist with Salesforce.com or other implementation project. Contact us today to find out more of how we can help you meet and exceed your revenue objectives quarter after quarter. Headquarters Fremont, CA Website: Phone: For Sales: Call Gwen Justis, Vice President of Sales Page 5 of 5

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