Are your leads ready for a call? A quick look at qualifying

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This is a guest blog from Justin McGill, the Founder of LeadFuze, a solution to automate sales prospecting and engagement.

Sales development representatives (SDRs) working with inbound and outbound marketing methods are constantly trying to tweak their methods.

A small change here, a minor move there — all in the hopes of closing more deals this month than you did last month, right?

There are many stages of the sales funnel that you can test and make those changes. But in this post, we’ll be honing in on finding the moment when leads are ready to get a phone call discussing your product.

Here are some micro and macro ways of identifying when leads are ready to get a call (all in the form of questions to ask yourself). And, we’ll talk about how to make their readiness even more clear.

Let’s get into it.

 

How well does the lead fit your ideal buyer profile?

At this point in the sales environment, buyer profiles (or buyer personas) are non-negotiable.

If you’re B2B, it means finding the right target industries. Things like the number of employees and the roles of decision makers (e.g., VP of Operations, etc.) shows you which companies to pick your leads. If you see a potential buyer visited your site from an industry that loves your product — they could be ready for a call.

B2C is slightly different. Instead of the vitals of a particular brand, you’re looking for demographic information like age, gender, and the lead’s location.

If you’re selling boats and someone visits your site, and they say they’ve recently moved from a landlocked city to the beach, you know it’s highly likely they are ready for a call.

 

Has the lead interacted with your content?

For most of your inbound traffic and leads, it’s not going to be as easy. You’ll have to rely on the things that brought them to and keep them on your site.

How about an example?

Let’s say you’re selling an inventory software product. You have a piece of content that explains how to reduce shrink (or inventory loss). A social ad takes leads to this content in exchange for their email address.

  • 100 people click and give you their email address
  • 50 don’t bounce (meaning they likely read a decent amount of your resource)
  • And 5 respond to the call to action at the end of your inventory resource

This means that those five may be ready for a call (or an email, at least). Just downloading your guide isn’t enough to warrant a call. But if leads continue to move through your content — it’s likely a good indicator.

Which leads us to the next point.

 

Has the lead interacted with you (via Email)?

As for the leads who downloaded a resource (or joined your mailing list another way) and made it into your CRM software, you likely send them through an automated email sequence.

Hopefully, each email has a good call-to-action (CTA) – one solid goal to get leads to move through your funnel. When leads actually heed certain CTAs, it could mean they’re ready for a call. At the very least, it will increase their lead score telling you how close they are to needing a call.

For instance, one email may be a call to register for an upcoming webinar. This won’t likely need a call. However, if they respond to a CTA button asking to speak with someone, that’s pretty obvious.

 

Have you asked them for a call?

Leads that come into your CRM software typically go through a series of emails. The purpose of these messages is to build trust with your audience — getting them closer to the sale.

It’s perfectly fine to ask for an appointment after a few quality emails (full of value for the reader). In fact, it’s necessary to ask leads if they’re interested to find the prospects and sales opportunities. Few sales actually happen without qualified leads being asked by a sales rep if they’re ready to buy.

Let’s build this out a bit with a sample schedule.

  • Email One: Resource that you promised when they signed up or sent via cold email.
  • Email Two: Another resource related to the first saying something like, “I saw you read X. If you liked that, here’s something even better!”
  • Email Three: An invite to an upcoming webinar explaining something related to the other resources.
  • Email Four: Ask lead to make an appointment for a quick “fit” or “qualifying” call.

Here’s the best way to ask for a call.

Use a scheduling software, something like Calendly, to give them some options that best fit the lead’s schedule.

Here’s a template that you could use.

Hi {First Name}!

I hope you like the webinar. Thanks for taking the time!

I’d love to get your feedback and talk to you more about how {Your Product} can help {Lead/Business Name}.

We can do a call this afternoon, or you can schedule when it’s best for you right here (link to your Calendly).

 

Have they asked you for a call?

Using Calendly at the end of your email sequence is a great idea. But you can make some of your CTAs include a link for leads to request a callback.

Obviously, this isn’t going to work on all of your CTAs. You’ll have to be careful, and it will largely depend on your target audience and product. Some companies don’t give you anything until you hand over your phone number and that works for them.

Most of us have to be careful to nurture leads in the CRM before we try them on the phone.

 

Are you ready for the sales call?

The last question isn’t really about your leads; it’s about you. Even the most qualified lead doesn’t say “yes” without a bit of selling. The person on the other end of the phone may (and probably does) have questions, objections and other reservations.

Make sure you’re mapping the journey your leads are taking accurately and keeping quality notes in your CRM. Before the call, review everything and go over your script.

Then, both you and your lead will be ready for the call.

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