If you aren’t reviewing your CRM structure at least twice a year, it is likely outdated for your current needs—not to mention future ones.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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