Lead generation is crucial for any B2B company. Obviously, the quantity of leads is important – the more leads you collect, the more deals you can close. However, you should not forget about something possibly even more important – quality of leads. When you know only an email address and name, your sales team has to contact this person and find out everything else – industry, real willingness to buy your products, their needs and experience with solutions similar to yours etc. This means that you lose time and money talking to people who are not your target group or are not likely to buy. If you know all the details before you contact those people, you can make the purchase much more likely – the sales person knows who they are talking to and can personalize the message.
Sounds good but how to do that? The answer is simple – start using leads qualification. This is the process of collecting additional information about prospects to make conversation easier and more effective.The key to effective lead qualification is asking the right questions– you find out as much as possible and do not scare users off. An elegant way is to use a sales framework. The most popular of them is BANT (Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline). This framework is used by many companies, including Google and IBM. But when it comes to qualifying leads on the website, another framework might be more useful.
CHAMP stands for Challenge, Authority, Money and Priority. Questions asked in this order allow you to capture crucial information even if the person answers just one or a few questions and then stops. A list below presents questions and explains why it’s worth to ask them.
1. What problem do you hope to solve?
B2B often offer sophisticated services, which might be misunderstood by visitors to the website. Focus on those whose problem you can solve and don’t waste time on others.
2. Are you currently using other providers or looking for something new?
Determine who is familiar with similar services and who is new to the business. Users of other solutions probably are more educated and but can have higher expectations than visitors who want to get started using a service in your industry.
3. What will be the consequences of not resolving this problem?
Some problems, if not solved, can get the company go broke. Other might add 15 minutes of work a day to one employee. Discover what is the case and start with focusing on the most serious problems first.
1. Who is involved in buying process in addition to yourself?
Quite often people who find your solution are its final users who are looking for a solution to their problems. Their opinion is important but probably there other employees who are involved, e.g. the person responsible for financial issues.
2. Who has the final word in the buying process?
Final users of your solution might be not those who decide whether to buy it. Of course, you should address needs of final users so they are interested in pushing those who decide about buying. But keep in mind that if you were to choose one person from the group involved in buying, this should be the person whose opinion is the most important.
1. What is the range of your budget?
Some buyers might be interested in a kind of services that you provide but not willing to pay their price. For some of them, much less sophisticated services that come at a lower price might be enough.
2. Do you have a part of the budget assigned to this solution?
The purchase is much more likely when the company has a budget for that. All unplanned investments are more difficult to push. If there is a part of the budget assigned specifically to a solution like yours, it means that high level of decision makers in the company is aware of the problem.
3. How do you usually allocate budget for a solution outside of your regular budget?
Some companies have strict rules of unplanned investments. Sometimes it can even be impossible to push a substantial investment, which was not involved in a budget – then your efforts won’t change much and you should focus on persuading them to include this investment in the next budget.
1. When would you like to implement our solution?
The simplest way to discover how much time the buyer has for an implementation of the solution. Your negotiating strategy depends on that – whether the buyer has a week or 2 years.
2. How high is this issue in your hierarchy?
Some issues might be not time-urgent but really important. Other might be urgent but of little importance. The combination of high priority and urgency gives you the biggest advantage in negotiations as the buyer is under pressure.
You already have an overall idea how to qualify leads. Using this order of questions, you get useful information even if a user doesn’t complete the survey. A common framework of lead qualification for marketing and sales will make information flow easy and quick. Sales reps will be able to focus on the leads who seem to be the most likely to become your customers so their work will be more effective. If you want to know more about lead qualification then take a look at my ebook about lead qualification for inbound marketers.