Generating leads is crucial to sales. If you aren’t contacting people and offering them your services, you won’t sell anything.

But how do you know if a particular lead is worth the time, or if you’re better off pursuing a different customer? The art of qualifying leads is something every salesperson should be adept at, as it can save you time, resources and aggravation. No one wants to spend their time getting stuck at a dead end, so use this 3-step method to qualifying leads.

 

Make sure they fit your buyer profile.

Sometimes you make contact with someone at a big-name company and you get excited. But, they may not be the best fit for your product or service. First of all, are they qualified to make the purchase? Are they a Director, Executive, etc? If you’re dealing with someone in a position of little decision-making power, it may not be worth the time. In addition, is the company B2B or B2C, and does that match your target market? Make sure that each of the checkboxes on your list are marked off. It’s best to confirm these things sooner rather than later.

 

Find out what they need.

If the lead fits your buyer profile, it’s time to find out what they need. What is the objective of their company, and how would your product help them achieve it? If their goal is not in line with the product or service you are offering, chances are that they won’t ultimately pull the trigger on the sale. Once you know their objective, you can either convey how you can help them achieve that, or find an interested party whose objective aligns more closely with what you can offer.

 

Understand their timing and sense of urgency.

How long is their decision-making process? And how soon are you hoping to close this lead? If your lead doesn’t need your product right away, or if their legal team/chain of command has an extensive process, you can figure out if it will fit into your timetable. Spending 6-12 months on a lead may not fit into your timeline. You can always circle back with the lead at a later time if things aren’t happening in good timing at the moment.