Some Tips on Dealing with Less-Qualified Leads
Marketing drums up excitement for your organization’s offerings, and this produces leads. Those leads flow down the pipeline to your sales team, which then works on the close. In a perfect world, every lead sent down the pipeline would be super qualified. In the real world, not so much.
That's not to say that the battle's already lost though – your sales team can still work with less-qualified leads, it just takes a little more effort. The important thing is not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Dig a little deeper to find out why marketing is delivering less-qualified leads in the first place. Start there and your sales team will be back to closing in no time flat.
Dig a Little Deeper
When a lead comes in that isn’t as qualified as you’d like, first identify in what way the lead falls short. Is the person not in charge of making a purchase decision? Does your organization not have solutions to help with his or her problems? Getting answers will involve a conversation that shouldn’t take too much time, and can result in huge dividends if done right.
With today’s CPQ software, you should be able to quickly find solutions to solve any problem the lead might have, assuming that he or she, in fact, makes decisions.
Nurture for Later
You might find that the lead isn’t quite ready to make a decision at the moment. In this instance, put the lead on ice and schedule regular communications over time. You never know when that lead may become more qualified in the future. The last thing you want to do is send the lead into the open arms of a competitor just because now is not the right time for deal making.
Think of it as tilling, planting and watering the soil for the harvest to come. It's an investment. And while each and every seed may not yield fruit, you can be sure that none of them will if you don't make an effort. This season's less-qualified leads just might be the prize of next season's bounty.
Close Them Anyway
With guided selling, products and services are bundled by way of analytics identifying and recommending the most effective techniques. In practical terms, what this means is that any lead can be made more qualified – it just takes the right salesperson and a little elbow grease.
This is where CPQ software comes in handy. You should be able to find that sweet spot that the lead responds to, using all the resources at your disposal.
Cut the Cord on Less-Qualified Leads
If you find that closing the lead is virtually impossible, now or in the future, don’t be afraid to discard it completely. Your time is far too valuable to waste on opportunities that won’t respond to your pitches.
Have a Conversation with Marketing
A few less-qualified leads are understandable; but what do you do when most of the leads coming down the pipeline are poorly qualified? If that's the situation you find yourself in, it might be time to sit down with the head of marketing to find out why.
Adjusting your marketing message, aiming at a different cross section of people, and reconfiguring your offerings to make them more enticing are all possibilities worth considering.
However, I’m willing to bet that a well-trained sales staff using correctly-configured CPQ software will be able to close most leads that others may consider less than qualified. It just takes a little finagling, a bit of guided selling, and the right offerings to turn any lukewarm lead into one that’s hot and fit to close.