Mapping the Teleprospecting Process into your CRM

Mapping the Teleprospecting process into your CRM will help ensure that the process is being used consistently by all parties. You need to build a workflow that manages Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)-to-Sales Qualified Leads (SQL)-to-the Sales Funnel process which can be easily reviewed and approved by the Teleprospecting Manager and managed effectively by the sales team. Additionally, this process ensures that your field or inside sales teams are following up on SQLs in a timely manner. Finally, you want to see which SQLs are approved by sales and then added to the Sales Funnel as well as which SQLs are rejected and sent back to Teleprospecting (for follow-up) or Marketing (nurture).

If a SQL is rejected, you need to know why. Rejected SQLs can provide important information for marketing and Teleprospecting managers. Teleprospectors whose SQLs are frequently rejected might need training. If training doesn’t help, they need to be removed from the position. Another reason SQLs may be rejected from a particular industry segment might be because your messaging is off for that target. Rejected leads provide valuable information about your employees’ abilities, messaging, sales acceptance, and targets. Make sure that you capture the reasons for rejection and use this information to continuously improve the process and skills of your team.

Capture the Right Data

When you have determined your qualification criteria, add these as fields to your CRM. Companies often have their Teleprospectors and sales teams put information in a notes section. Most CRMs have notes fields, which are unstructured text fields where data is entered randomly by reps. Reporting on this data is extremely difficult, which prevents a company’s ability to effectively gather market intelligence to continuously improve their marketing and messaging. The randomness of information creates frustration for sales teams who need to quickly assess if the SQL is viable. When specific qualification criteria are added as distinct fields:

  • Management can run reports. For example, if “Key Initiatives” is a drop down field highlighting initiatives that redirect to your solution, managers can get a sense of real key initiatives of prospects. As these may change over time, you are still able to gain insights from this data.
  • The sales organization can have a template for reviewing all SQLs. Once the sales reps get into the habit of checking the information, they will be able to easily assess the quality of SQLs prior to the first call.
  • Teleprospectors can follow the information given while using their Call Guide. This way, important qualifiers won’t be missed as they speak to prospects.
  • The Teleprospector managers can have the information at their fingertips. They can quickly scrutinize SQLs for their compliance with the qualification criteria. If data is missing, the Teleprospector can go back to collect additional details. These details provide an overview of the SQL/Company landscape and are highly coveted by Sales.

If qualification data is crammed into notes, it will be very difficult for managers to validate and quickly understand the quality of each lead. The SQL process slows down and the sales team becomes frustrated as the sales reps are required to read through clusters of unstructured data. Therefore, add the key qualification criteria into your CRM to make this process more efficient. Your CRM will become an easy to manage prospect map that your sales teams will appreciate.


Telemarketing – Build the Infrastructure First!

Large office building infrastructure

Why is the Telemarketing Infrastructure So Important?

I have written a few blogs on the topic of the lead qualification process, however, I continue to find prospects without a clue as to the meaning of a lead qualification process or how to start begin the process.

Here are a few “Best Practice” tips that I share with all of our clients.  Numbers matter and to ensure that your company’s telemarketing is a success, the infrastructure needs to be in place to track the call activity and the progress of each lead.  Without this information, you won’t have the data to track the success of the Telemarketing team.  A successful Telemarketing organization is focused on generating qualified leads that build the sales funnel.  Without a pre-defined process, your team may not be successful.

Best Practices

Start by Mapping Your Lead Process into your CRM Your lead qualification process includes the questions that will help sales to move the sales process forward.  Most companies understand the basic qualifiers, such as:

  • Need– Prospect has a need for your solution or service
  • Authority– You uncover the person or people who can make a purchase decision
  • Budget– Prospect has assigned a budget for the solution or can set aside funds for
    the right solution or service
  • Timeframe– The prospect can make a purchase decision within a reasonable timeframe, for example, in under 6 months

These are generic qualifiers and from my perspective don’t really add value to the quality of the lead.  A lead that is highly qualified will have additional qualifiers that support your business.  These are the questions that provide intelligence that helps marketing build better campaigns and give sales a great overview of the prospect so that they are better prepared for their first prospect call.

Build a list of qualifying questions that are specific to your business and map these intoyour CRM.  Ensure that your Telemarketing team understands the value of this information and make sure that they ask these important questions.

Implement a Lead Approval Workflow

All leads aren’t created equal.  Some leads will need further development or may need to go into a nurture program.  Therefore, it is important to have a process where every lead can be reviewed and assessed before they become sales opportunities.

Build a lead approval workflow that enables your Telemarketing Manager to review the leads and pass on to Sales for final approval.   In addition, the approval process should give Sales an opportunity to validate the lead and approve or reject the lead, before it moves to the sales funnel.

Create a field that captures the “rejection” reasons, so that your Telemarketing team can understand why their leads are being rejected.  You can use this information to train your team and help them to improve their qualification skills.

Create Dashboards to Manage by the Metrics

Build dashboards to monitor the Key Performance Indicators  or Metrics that are important to your business.  These dashboards should include call activity and other sales related activity levels, campaign results and pipeline growth.  Dashboards will enable you to keep a pulse on your business.

Build the Infrastructure

Implementing these basic “best practices” will save your company a lot of grief.  You will capture intelligence that can help your marketing department improve its campaigns.  Sales will love your Telemarketers, because they will receive excellent leads from the team.  The review and approval process will ensure the quality of each lead passed to sales.



CRM: Is Your Lead Qualification Process Mapped?

Brief case of a qualified business person filled with pens, pencils, and paper

If you aren’t reviewing your CRM structure at least twice a year, it is likely outdated for your current needs—not to mention future ones.
Almost every one of the 100 plus Software and SaaS companies that we have worked with over the past 20 years had some sort of sales automation tool which they used to manage their sales operation. Most of these companies used their CRM to track sales activities and to manage their sales funnel. Some use their CRM more intensively and at the cutting edge, while many use the CRM out of the box and just scratch the surface of the power of their CRM.
Most CRM’s out of the box are designed to be flexible, powerful and extensible—which means you won’t get much out of them unless you customize them extensively and adapt them to your needs.  One critical omission, we found with many of our clients, is that they hadn’t mapped their lead qualification process into the CRM. Most often, it was because they didn’t have a well-thought-out lead qualification process, to begin with. While other times, if they had a defined lead qualification process, they hadn’t thought to map this process into their CRM.

At a minimum, an effective Lead Qualification Process should include the following:

  • The key questions that are used to qualify prospects
  • The disposition of each lead, as the qualification process progresses
  • The number of times a lead is touched before it is abandoned or sent back to a “nurture” program
  • Next step details that outline what needs to happen to fully qualify the lead to make it “sales” ready
  • A quality control process that enables sales management to review the quality of each lead to ensure that they are quality leads


Lead Qualification Process

You’ve done your Four Funnel™ Math and know how many impressions (the number of times you touch your target prospects utilizing a pre-determined marketing-mix, which can include email campaigns, social media programs, webinars, content placement, tradeshows, etc.) you need to generate the right number of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL’s) for your Teleprospecting team. Once you know the number of MQL’s required to support your Teleprospecting team, you are ready to create the process that your Teleprospecting team will utilize to generate Sales Qualified Leads (SQL’s) that will build the required pipeline to support your revenue objectives.

What Are Qualification Questions?

The lead qualification process starts with the questions that the Teleprospectors will need to ask to uncover need and interest in your solution. The right questions will uncover:

  • Need: Does the prospect have a need for your product or solution?
  • Authority: Is this particular prospect the person who can make a purchase decision?
  • Decision Maker: What is the name and title of the person who can make the purchase decision?
  • Budget: Does this prospect have money to make a purchase or CAN they secure the funds to make a purchase?
  • Timeframe: When is the prospect planning to solve their problem and purchase a solution or product like yours?
  • Decision Process: How will the decision be made? Will there be an evaluation committee or will some other process be used to make a decision?
  • Understanding of Solution: Does the prospect understand the problem/issue your solution or product resolves?
  • Next Step: If the prospect is interested in your solution, what is the next step to move the lead from an MQL to an SQL?

If your Teleprospectors gets the answers to all or the majority of these questions, you have a solid, highly qualified SQL for your Sales Team. If you agree with that statement, the next question is: Wouldn’t it be good to capture this data in a format that will allow you to run reports and track the answers? We believe the answer is “Yes!”

However, most of the clients that we have worked with didn’t capture this information in their CRM. These clients didn’t have fields in the CRM that captured the qualifying questions or the answers. They forced their Teleprospectors to put the answers to these questions in the “Notes” field in their CRM.

Not everyone is good at taking notes. Not all notes are created equally and not all notes fields allow enough characters to adequately capture the information that we listed above. Notes are difficult to read and it is nearly impossible to report on data in the notes field. If you are forcing your Teleprospecting team to put this important information into the notes field you are missing out on gathering extremely valuable intelligence that your prospects are telling you. You are missing important intelligence that could help Marketing build better demand generation programs and to improve marketing strategy or messaging.
It is an execution mistake that will keep your Teleprospectors from generating highly qualified Sales Qualified Leads (SQL’s). Our advice is—collect quantifiable data (as captured by checkboxes and dropdowns, for example) when you can and augment with notes fields.
Otherwise, you are likely to be wasting money with a Teleprospecting operation that cannot provide you the actionable intelligence you need to improve sales.


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