An influx of sales outsourcing companies in recent years is a sign that many organizations take advantage of this business model as a great way to get the expertise and resources needed to scale, expand into a new market, add specialty roles, or improve your customer's buyer journey. But the more choices we are presented with, the harder and longer the decision process, and finding the right partner can be the difference between success and failure. To help you make this important decision, here are some key considerations when evaluating potential outsourcing partners.Read More
As of 2022, 92% of the United States' total population has internet access. That translates to over 305 million users. Whether their intent is to find information, entertainment, or to connect with others, one thing is certain- today's customers live online. And with a reported 40,000 Google search queries per second, it looks like they are pretty active. This creates an ocean of opportunities for organizations to utilize their online presence and leverage a plethora of tools and channels to spark curiosity, capture leads, and nurture them throughout their buyer journey.Read More
Back in the late 90s, an American software designer, Alan Cooper, developed a concept that changed and redefined how today's marketers and sales teams target and interact with their buyers. "To create a product that must satisfy a diverse audience, logic might tell you to make it as broad in its functionality as possible to accommodate the most people. This logic, however, is flawed. The best way to accommodate a variety of users is to design for specific individuals with specific needs." This Cooper's statement led to the invention of a concept known as "Buyer Persona" which proves to be the most crucial step in targeting and engaging with the right prospects. Researching and finding out who your current as well as ideal buyers are and whom your product value proposition resonates with will help you define the right parameters for attracting viable leads and retaining your audience.Read More
As business solutions grow increasingly complex, some buyers require additional assistance to introduce and implement new products or services into their company’s environment successfully. It’s no longer enough for business-to-business (B2B) sales organizations to sell a product or service and leave the customer to their own devices. Today, they need support and knowledge over the long haul.Read More
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed the way we do business, including how we sell enterprise technology. With employees working from home, licenses for on-premise enterprise software are being replaced by software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscriptions. Cloud solutions have been with us for some time, and adoption has accelerated thanks to the pandemic.Read More
Understandably, 2020 has been a unique year for many sales reps. Many businesses have delayed or canceled investments in products and services until the COVID-19 pandemic is over and they can more accurately plan for the future, others have seen a surge in demand and require quick action and product education. In both scenarios,, the business-to-business (B2B) market is growing increasingly competitive.Read More
In today’s highly competitive B2B sales climate, lead qualification has become an increasingly important part of the sales process. It not only saves you time and resources—by helping to ensure you’re only talking to the right people—but it also provides customers with a more personalized experience, improves close rates, and boosts revenue.
However, many sales teams lack the time or experience needed to really focus on lead qualification. But consider this: On average, only 25 percent of leads are legitimate and will advance to a sale. Without a robust lead qualification process, your team is wasting time on three-quarters of their leads.
Of course, turning prospects into sales is easier said than done. But without qualifying leads, your salespeople are working hard to convert leads who aren’t going to turn into customers no matter what they try.
To hone in on the right leads, it’s important to understand the three core levels of lead qualification: marketing qualified leads, sales accepted leads, and sales qualified leads.
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
The first stage of leads, MQLs, are those who have been deemed qualified by a company’s marketing team. Generally, these leads are more likely than others to become customers.
A lead might be considered to be qualified by marketing if they are flagged in lead intelligence software. Or, the person may have taken a specific action that indicates interest, such as downloading a piece of content or signing up for a webinar. These specific behavioral actions can help qualify an MQL and are signs that a lead is ready for the next step.
Sales Accepted Leads (SALs)
When a lead is determined to be an MQL, they are passed on to the sales team for further investigation. At this point, the sales team works to gather additional information on each lead to determine whether to accept them.
At each individual company, the sales team should determine what constitutes an SAL. A reliable way to qualify an SAL is through the ANUM method:
- Authority: Is the lead a decision maker at the company?
- Need: What does the lead need, and would your company’s product or service meet that need?
- Urgency: How soon will the lead need to make a decision?
- Money/Budget: Does the lead have the money to buy your product or service?
After SALs are evaluated based on these four criteria, each lead is either discarded, sent back to marketing for further nurturing, or developed even further along in the sales pipeline to become a sales qualified lead.
Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)
If a lead is qualified by marketing and accepted and vetted by sales, they then become an SQL. Typically, a prospect becomes an SQL after they have been nurtured by the sales team; however, some SQLs enter the sales funnel at this late stage of their own volition.
In most cases, SQLs are nearing the end of the Buyer’s Journey. They are relatively invested in the purchasing decision, but before they become customers, they may have specific questions or need some one-on-one time with a sales rep.
At this stage, it can be helpful for the sales team to leverage any information gathered on the lead during the MQL phase, such as resources they have downloaded. Then, the sales rep can have an informed discussion with the lead about their needs and how your products or services can help.
A Worthwhile Exercise
Lead qualification takes time and effort—there’s no doubt about it. But when sales and marketing work together to guide leads through the three phases mentioned above, they wind up with stronger leads in the long run. In fact, Forrester reports that a targeted sales nurturing program results in 50 percent more sales-ready discussions at a 33 percent lower cost.
Of course, not every sales team is equipped to handle lead qualification from end to end. This is one key function that can readily be outsourced to a Sales as a ServiceⓇ provider. By partnering with an experienced Sales as a Service provider that specializes in lead qualification, your team will benefit from higher-quality leads as well as ample time and resources to guide prospects through the final stages of the Buyer’s Journey.