1. Don’t waste time
If a prospect isn’t interested in your product or service, then don’t waste your time trying to qualify them. If they clearly aren’t a good fit for your business, just focus on qualified prospects to add the most value when it comes to closing.
2. Make sure your prospects align with your ideal customer profile
Who is most likely to buy your product? Are the prospects you’re acquiring matching up? Where are they located? Your ideal prospect should be the person who is most likely to purchase your product or service, but also return for more of your product or service. Identify what “Qualifying Parameters” you want to use and if the prospect doesn’t meet those parameters, they aren’t qualified and you should move on.
3. Know the prospect
Know your prospects before you call them. Conducting research before you meet or call your prospect let’s you know exactly who you’re about to talk with. They’ll be carrying out a plethora of research themselves, so why shouldn’t you do the same?
4. Assess your prospects’ needs and interests
Do your prospects’ needs and interests align with the solution your product or service offers? Look at each prospect to see what their individual needs are and what results they want to get. If they match up, it’s likely they’re a qualified prospect!
5. Prioritize value
The value of what you offer as well as the value of potential customers is the most important thing to remember. While you do need to think about your prospects’ needs and how valuable you are to them, it’s important to think about how valuable a prospect is to you and your business.
6. Make sure your selling comes second
The ultimate goal of closing should always be at the back of your mind, but you should be focusing on acquiring qualified prospects when you are, well, acquiring qualified prospects. That should be your goal at that particular time, the selling will come later. If you succeed in qualified prospect acquisition you have achieved that goal and can then move onto the selling.
7. Define your target audience
Make sure your target audience is as specific as possible in order to increase your chances of acquiring higher quality prospects. For example, if you want to sell clothing to young women, make sure you have an age demographic at the very least. Then think about what type of cars they drive or if they drive at all, where they buy their clothes, what types of handbags they wear, etc. The more detailed your target is, the more likely you’ll acquire qualified prospects!
8. Identify your competition
Who else has this prospect purchased from or worked with? Make sure you ask them questions about what has worked for them in the past in order to make sure they’re a qualified prospect.
9. Start with former customers
It’s a good idea to call on former customers of your product or service as they may be ready to purchase from you again. They are also a great resource when it comes to finding leads!
10. Remember that you’re selling to people, not businesses
Regardless of B2B or B2C, you’re still selling to human beings and not companies. It might seem trivial, but remembering this can make qualified prospecting easier as you’re more focused on the person behind the business you’re aiming to sell to.
11. Ask prospects what difficulties they could encounter to better understand their anxieties towards coming up with solutions
If the solutions your product or service offers are suited to the problems the prospect is concerned about, then you know you have a qualified prospect. By knowing their problems, it becomes clear early on exactly who is and who isn’t a qualified prospect for you and your company.
12. Implement targeted lead generation
Rather than attempting to acquire as many prospects and leads as possible, prioritize the quality of the prospects over the quantity. Instead of acquiring as many prospects and leads as possible, try instead to acquire qualified leads and prospects as this will be much more beneficial to your company overall.
13. Consider host-beneficiary marketing
This is a great strategy, especially for start-up companies as it can boost your referral business and can be a more cost-effective way to acquire prospects. A host-beneficiary relationship involves a partnership with your beneficiary business and a complementary, non-competing host business. The host business sends a referral letter or email to their client-base in order to recommend and introduce your business to them. The great thing about host-beneficiary relationships is that the host business isn’t competing with you, but has the same target market as your business!
14. Talk to the decision maker when making B2B calls
You’ll be more inclined to have the best quality prospects if you talk with the decision maker from the get-go. And if you’re not, make sure the person you are talking to puts you in contact with him or her. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting valuable time and will extend the sales pipeline because you’re not speaking to a qualified prospect.
15. Don’t delay with your follow-ups
Move your sales pipeline along as quickly as possible by replying to messages and questions your prospects have online. Oftentimes, buyers will respond best to the companies that engage with them and answer their queries first. So it’s very important to keep tabs on all social media accounts in order to respond to your prospects and to qualify them.
16. Come up with a strategy
Finally, you should strategically be acquiring prospects in order to find the best quality leads. Implementing some sort of strategy that sales and marketing reps can agree and work together on will produce the most qualified prospects in the most efficient and cost-effective way. This will move the sales process along smoothly and quickly, which will also make sales pipeline management a whole lot easier!