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Guide: The Difference Between Qualified and Unqualified Leads

We know that you spend lots of time during your workday developing your lead generation strategy.

You check out your site analytics, develop re-marketing campaigns, make cold calls and send follow-up emails.

But for all of that work?

Only 80% of marketing experts say that they feel their lead generation tactics are still only moderately successful.

What’s more?

Many companies still feel like they’re not able to shorten their average sales cycle in any way.

Something needs to change.

So, what’s missing?

The fact that many companies don’t know the difference between qualified leads and unqualified ones.

Ready to find out for yourself?

Then keep on reading this post.

What Is an Unqualified Lead?

Let’s start by clearly defining what exactly makes a lead unqualified.

First of all, an unqualified lead isn’t even fully aware of what exactly your business has to offer. They don’t know if they actually need your products or services, and truth be told, they’re not really in much of a rush to find out.

In fact, they don’t even know basic facts about your products — like whether or not they can actually afford them.

And even if what you have to offer is within their price range?

They’re nowhere close to their current sales cycle. Maybe they’ve even just purchased or started to work with one of your competitors. In short, even if they do like what you have to offer, they’re just not interested in forming a relationship with your company at the present time.

The truth is that many companies waste tons of time and energy on unqualified leads that don’t really have much of an interest in working with them.

They’re not even trying to jerk you around — they’re just not seriously considering your company as an option at this time.

You need to focus on developing relationships with a qualified sales lead instead.

What’s a Qualified Sales Lead?

First of all, a qualified sales lead has already done the basic research on your company.

You’re likely one of a few options that they’re choosing between, so they already have a definite need that your company is able to fill.

They’ve listened to your pitches, they’ve followed up with you, and they even subscribe to your newsletters and comment on your blog.

They also know how much money they have to spend, and connect you to the people in their company who are in charge of making buying decisions.

They know which of your services they’re the most interested in, and they have a firm timeline when it comes to making a final decision.

Most of all, they’re willing to hear you out, do their own research, and connect with you to listen to the different types of solutions that you can provide them with.

Remember that leads that are more qualified will be more in control of their own sales cycle, and will want to work with you on their own terms.

It’s your job to be patient, but persistent.

How to Get More Qualified Leads for Your Business

The first step that you need to take if you want to get rid of an unqualified lead?

Make sure that you’ve clearly identified your average buyer persona/target market.

This means that you know a lead’s overall budget, that you are certain you’re talking to someone with decision-making capabilities, and that the lead has a genuine need for your products.

You also need to understand the potential lead’s overall timeline.

Will they need your product/service within the next week? Month? Year? Are there more qualified leads with faster timelines that could jump ahead of them in line?

This will help you to ensure that you’re spending your time, energy, and resources on people who are the most likely to make a purchase — and that will do so within a reasonable, cost-effective timeline.

In addition to taking the time to develop a generalized buyer persona, you should also create your own criteria for leads. In other words, think about the kinds of people that you want to do business with.

What size companies are you looking to work with, and within which industries would you like to concentrate?

Run every potential lead through both of these filters in order to generate more quality leads.

Finally, if you want to connect with more leads in general, you need to take a hard look at your current SEO and digital marketing strategy. What sort of outreach are you doing to find these people?

How are your website design or even email campaigns working to find them? If you have an IT service, how is it working to ensure a solid site uptime and fast loading speed?

These are things you need to focus on.

Let Us Help You to Earn More Qualified Leads

We hope that this post has inspired you to start thinking about all of the ways in which you can start collecting and following up with more qualifying leads.

Remember to develop buyer personas as well as focus on things like SEO and website design in order to guide these leads through a natural sales funnel.

Of course, we understand that you don’t always have the time to nurture and collect these qualified leads on your own.

That’s where we can help you.

Spend some time on our website and blog to learn more about the wide variety of digital marketing and IT services we have to offer.

Then, reach out to us to start getting more qualified leads as soon as possible.

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