Fill The Lead Qualification Gap With SSM Lead Qualification & Nurturing Services

You’ve got plenty of inbound sales leads coming in through various marketing channels but many of these leads are never qualified. Sound familiar? Are you giving up on good sales leads that don’t respond to your initial email or first follow-up call? Your lead nurturing process may have an easy to fix the design flaw. If you don’t have phone qualification in your lead nurturing workflow then you have a “qualification gap” and many of your sales leads are going to end up with an “unknown” lead score. By adding SSM phone qualification services to your lead nurturing process your piles of “unknown” leads that in the qualification gap will shrink and you can convert more leads into actionable opportunities.

  • After databasing your inbound sales leads they are sent directly to your sales reps without any advanced qualification. Your sales team is frustrated by the high number of unqualified leads. Some of your reps have stopped following up on these leads because they are deemed waste of time”.
  • You are manually emailing or using an automated emailing program such as “HubSpot” to qualify each lead by sending qualification questions and passing responses back to your sales reps for direct follow-up. Only a small percentage of your sales leads are responding to your emails, and therefore you have a significant amount of leads not being qualified.
  • Your sales team is busy selling and servicing existing leads and customers. They don’t have the capacity to properly follow-up with all of your sales leads, and as a result, good leads are falling through the cracks. Many B2B companies get promising sales leads from trade shows, conferences, and webinars, only to discover that they don’t have enough time to follow up with the leads beyond a simple call or email.

All of the above challenges are caused by the existence of a qualification gap. For example, if you are only using automated lead nurturing software and/or web forms to help you qualify leads, this is a good start, but it’s not good enough – because not all of your leads are being qualified. Automated lead qualification solutions typically deliver prospects that are actively shopping out a solution and have short-range urgency. But this is only a relatively small percentage of total leads. What about the other leads that have not responded to your email nurturing process? How do you qualify all of your leads and not just a small percentage of your total lead universe?

Step One: Identifying Leads In The “ Gap”: The portion of your leads that never get qualified is the “qualification gap,” and this gap is created when qualified prospects do not respond to automated lead nurturing. The qualification gap resides between the group of qualified leads that have responded via email to your qualification questions and those who have not. For every one qualified lead you receive via this automated process there are 6 to 7 other leads whose status remains unknown. Typically 1/3 of these leads within this “unknown” group are also qualified, but the challenge is to identify them while also keeping other “unqualified” leads out of your sales funnel. This “gap” between qualified and un-qualified leads includes prospects who need to be called directly as these leads do not respond to email or forms-based qualification. Their lack of response to your lead nurturing process is not an indication of lack of interest.

Step Two: Customized Qualification: Why do most of your sales leads fall into “unknown” status? Many of your leads need your solution but know little about your company. They require relationship building and live one-on-one sales interaction before agreeing to review your product or service offering. Without a phone call to nurture and qualify these leads, very few will ever develop into good sales opportunities by relying on automated processes alone. There is nothing like a phone conversation to engage the prospect. Many prospects respond more favorably to live communication with a real person – and trained sales reps can often detect subtle nuances from the customer conversation and uncover additional pain points that might go unmentioned in an email.

Step Three: We’ll Do The Training: Another challenge that most B2B sales organizations face with lead qualification is that even if they have decided to attempt some level of live lead qualification, they tend to assign the task to someone who is inexperienced or poorly trained. For example, many organizations route their inbound sales inquiry phone calls to an administrative assistant. If your first point of contact with new sales leads is someone who doesn’t have a sales background to properly assess sales leads, ask questions, build relationships and make the right decisions, you’re going to miss out on a lot of good sales opportunities – and you’ll end up passing along too many unqualified leads to your sales team.

Step Four: Timely Lead Follow Up: While you are sending your automated emails to advance leads into your sales funnel, your prospects may already be engaging with your competition. Why? Because if prospects are eager enough to fill out an online form, that means they probably want to speak to someone right away. Also, you’re probably not the only vendor that they have contacted; a high percentage of inbound leads are being pitched by multiple vendors at the same time. So if your competition is already talking with your prospect, you may need more than just a qualification email to capture the prospect’s attention by getting on the phone. Leads that do not respond to your initial automated lead nurturing process need to be called quickly, and you need to have a customized lead qualification process in place to avoid losing good sales prospects to your competitors.

Our Solution: Live Sales Lead Qualification

In response to these concerns and to help our clients bridge the “qualification gap,” Strategic Sales and Marketing (SSM) is offering a specialized service: live inbound and/or outbound lead qualification.

SSM offers a sales lead qualification team that serves as an extension of your sales and marketing department. We provide a team of trained sales reps to serve as your company’s touch point for existing sales leads that fall into the qualification gap. This means that your in-house sales people only have to work with sales leads that have been adequately vetted and qualified up-front.

We serve as your company’s team to handle inbound and outbound sales inquiries. We provide an added level of support for your lead qualification efforts by:

1. Talking live to decision makers using key qualifying questions to get more information about your prospects.

2. Building relationships with prospects to determine which sales leads are truly good quality leads and are ready to be passed along to your sales people.

3. Acting as a pre-screening filter to keep the wrong sales leads off of your to-do list – saving time and improving the efficiency of your sales people.

Instead of chasing many unqualified leads, we help you make sure that your in-house sales reps are getting the best sales leads and that your sales team is aligned with the right opportunities.

The SSM lead qualification team operates as an extension of your organization. We’ll pick up the phone, we’ll respond to your PPC forms, we’ll handle any direct mail responses – we serve as the front end of your sales process. Instead of letting your sales leads talk to a receptionist or sales assistant, you’re giving your leads to an extension of the sales team.

We can handle the complexity of multiple marketing campaigns. For example, if you have multiple toll free numbers for prospective customers to call, we can track and measure the success of different sources. We show you how many sales leads come in from each channel or from each campaign, and how many of those leads are actually qualified. For example, we’ll show you if you get the most leads from Google, but maybe 90% of the leads are not good – we’ll give you insights that lead to better marketing strategy.
Depending on the scope of involvement that you want us to have, we can deliver any of the following lead qualifications and lead nurturing services:

  • Outbound sales inquiries: Our sales reps and appointment setters have the sales-specific professionalism to treat every call as the first step toward a potential sales relationship.
  • Sort and route inbound e-mail inquiries: With our team’s attention to detail, no sales leads will fall through the cracks. We will train our people on your company’s internal systems and structure so the right people within your organization get contacted at the right time about each sales lead or customer question.
  • Qualifying inbound sales leads: Many companies have a customer service team that is responsible for taking phone calls from inbound sales inquiries, but they might not have a consistent system in place to qualify these new sales leads, or route and assign sales opportunities to the right sales reps. The first phone call from a new prospective customer is not just a simple moment to jot down contact details; it’s a chance to start the sales process by asking questions and listening to the customer’s needs. Our people are trained in the sales-specific skills of how to do this subtly and effectively – from the first call, we’ll start to gather valuable insights on which prospects are most in need of your solution and which ones are most likely to buy.
  • Assist with customer research: As part of our role in sales support and lead qualification, we can help fill in the blanks on who the contact people and key decision makers are at the prospect’s company: job titles, background notes, and more.
  • Do appointment setting with the right sales reps: We’ll work closely with your in-house sales team to make sure each qualified sales lead gets directed to the right people for follow-up – along with the detailed notes from the early conversations with the customer. Your salespeople will be getting much greater visibility into each prospective client conversation as they start their process of working toward a sale.
  • We do whatever it takes to handle your sales leads with a higher level of professionalism, while asking good lead-qualifying questions to sort out the highest priority leads. We make sure your salespeople are working on the right opportunities, not wasting time on bad sales leads.
Our team of sales reps and appointment setters are experienced in all of the major CRM systems, including Salesforce. We can easily integrate with your CRM system for a seamless exchange of customer data. Our goal every time is to be an extension of your sales team.
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