I am often asked how leads are qualified or have you thought of qualifying a lead this way etc. This blog post is about different ways to qualify a lead. There are many lead companies in the market and they all have different names for how the qualify a lead. I have made the names up below and in no way represent any particular companies lead qualification process.
This list is generally from the least to the most qualified lead. Note that as a lead becomes more qualified it cost more because it takes more leads to find the highly qualified lead and it takes more time to find it. This does not mean that the most qualified lead is the best for your company. To determine which is best you will need to test each type and do a careful ROI analysis with at least a sample of 100 leads. You must also take a close look at your sales process to make sure it is efficient but also has the correct follow up and closing processes in place. And of course make sure your product or service has enough markup to afford the purchase of sales leads. If it doesn’t then you have a bigger problem and may have to look at your product / service costs or sale price.
1) Phone lists – purchasing a list is the least expensive cost per lead. This can be very effective if you create the list with the right parameters (company or house hold size, geographic location, house or company purchase / start date etc.) however you will need to have an efficient process to harvest sales from the list since there will be thousands of them. A good list is checked by the seller of the list every 3 to 6 months; this is to insure the contact information is correct.
2) Web form leads – requests submitted online from a form. No verification is made however it can be assumed that the buyer is interested in the service which is a step above a cold call. Of course there are fraud and spam results that have to be weeded out.
3) Automatic electronic verification. This is used when a lead comes from a web or advertising source and is electronically verified for correct contact information. Additional information can also be appended to each lead as well.
4) Phone verified basic – this is when a call center calls to verify the basic information. For example is the contact information correct, did you ask for a quote?
5) Double phone verified – same as phone verified except all the leads are called back for one more question to verify accuracy. This is commonly done in call centers; sometimes this is done on random leads.
6) Phone verified advanced – this is when a call center calls to verify a lead information but also asked specific industry and product or service related questions. The call center then makes a decision if the lead is real and feasible or not.
7) Phone verified custom – this is the same as the advanced verification except specific questions are asked for a particular vendor. In this case questions are asked to make sure the lead will fit criteria for one service or product by one vendor. This could also include appointment setting.
Finally the above can be combined to screen leads as well.