The Ultimate Lead Qualification Method

By Lidemta Kawira

Tue Jul 14

Which method are you currently using to qualify leads – BANT, MEDDIC, CHAMP, or none?

Imagine you could get great leads from your marketing efforts that translate to customers every time.

Not only that, but they have such a wonderful experience with your company, that they become repeat customers and refer you to people in their network who also delightfully become your customers. How great would that be?

However, right now, you are stuck – only getting crappy leads that don’t convert to customers and if they do, the conversation rate is dismal. You possibly can’t articulate or don’t know how to begin the process of qualifying your leads. You want better leads.

I listened to one of the Cacao Cup of Marketing sessions where Resa Gooding hosted George B. Thomas, an Inbound Marketer at Impulse Creative, better known as ‘Sprocket Man!’ and I have to confess I got a lot of insight from it – one of the best I’ve listened to.

Here is a summary of the golden nuggets I took away as George, shared passionately about the Radar-Research –Revenue Lead Qualification Method, that will help you to ensure you have great leads every time.

But first, what exactly does lead qualification mean?

In organizations, there are two departments that are usually silo and ought to work together i.e. Sales and Marketing.

Marketing’s job is to get people to notice you, to become a magnet that draws people to you. This could be done by creating content, and providing lead magnet offers like eBooks, guides, checklists, etc.

Marketing needs to understand when leads get to a point when they have enough qualifications, and then pass them to sales.

The sales team is expected to pick up that button and close the deal. However, it doesn’t always work seamlessly. Sometimes marketing or even sales drops the baton. Sales may question how certain leads got to them as they consider the leads crappy. This causes a lot of internal friction between the sales and marketing teams.

In most cases, sales and marketing teams have never sat down and agreed on what exactly needs to happen i.e. data and actual metrics in the system they should pay attention to, for the baton to be handed from Marketing to Sales.

Lead Qualification is being able to look at certain metrics/data points both from the marketing and sales side and understand when a lead is qualified to be passed on from marketing to sales i.e. to be classified as a Sales Qualified Lead(SQL); versus passing on a whole database from sales to marketing.

LEAD QUALIFICATION USING THE RADAR-RESEARCH-REVENUE METHOD.

This is a 3 step specific method for qualifying your leads:

  1. RADAR
  2. RESEARCH
  3. REVENUE

Radar simply means a lead has done enough e.g. filled forms, checklists, read enough website pages, downloaded emails, engaged with emails, etc. to be in your ‘radar’ or to be a person of interest or to watch.

You might not need to take any action yet, but ‘the cream is starting to rise to the top’.

You can create a list in HubSpot to help you pay attention to your ‘RADAR’ list.

What we’ve found is many of our clients have been struggling with lead qualification because:

  1. They don’t have specific data points they pay attention to. Sales and marketing haven’t had the conversation to understand what these data points are. They need to answer the question, ‘What are the 5, 10, or 12 things that need to happen for you to say this would be an amazing lead?’
  2. Some don’t understand what lead scoring is, for example, they can’t explain what a lead score of 5000 in their system actually means. As a result, it’s hard for them to understand the human action needed based on the score they are seeing.

 

This simply means that your next step is to research the leads in your ‘radar.’

For you to add them to your radar list, they met some of the specific data points that you were looking for e.g. read a certain number of your website pages, downloaded an eBook, filled a list, etc.

Next, you need to ‘research’ in order to fill the missing information in your list of required data points. For example, if your list required 5, 10, or 12 data points, you could have half of those filled out.

To find out the remaining information you could:

  • Put them in certain workflows where you ask questions to collect that data
  • Send them a survey
  • Look them up on social media
  • Check out their website or actively find out the information in any other way available to you.

 

After reviewing many of our clients’ portals, we often discover people who would have bought months ago for example those who had high lead scores, high paid score, etc. but there was no internal notification to contact them on time.

This stage of the Radar-Research-Revenue method simply means, knowing when we should drive revenue i.e. building internal and external communication and when human action is required, usually, after a lead hits certain triggers.

Comparison Between Radar-Research-Revenue Method and Traditional Lead Qualification Methods.

There are 3 main differences between the Radar-Research-Revenue Method and Traditional Methods of Lead qualification. These include:

The Radar-Research Revenue Method is:

  1. Customizable to what you need and what you see.
  2. All based on data and not on conversation notes or execution actions.
  3. Built to fit HubSpot.

5 MAJOR PILLARS OF RADAR-RESEARCH-REVENUE LEAD QUALIFICATION METHOD

This method has 5 pillars by which a lead is evaluated or shortlisted. These are:

  1. Buyer Persona.
  2. Informationally Qualified
  3. Engagement Qualified
  4. Time Qualified
  5. Conversational Qualified

Usually, when companies are describing their personas, they only describe their positive personas. However, you ought to describe both your positive and negative personas.

For the positive persona, define the tri-factor authority. For example:

  • Positive persona 1 – Really want to talk to
  • Positive persona 2 – Ah, Ok.
  • Positive persona 3 – We’ll take him if we can get him.

Build out lists in HubSpot for positive persona 1, positive persona 2, and positive persona 3.

For the negative persona, create an email handoff list. People in this category are not a good fit. In your email, let them know when they’d be a good fit and offer free helpful information. When they are a good fit, they’re likely to come back to you because of the value you provided knowing you couldn’t get money from them.

This qualifies a lead depending on the information about you that they have consumed for example the number of your website pages they’ve read. (Don’t worry about how to collect that data. HubSpot is already grabbing it for you.)

Information translates to how educated they are about you, your products and services. From a sales perspective, it’s usually easier to sell to a person who knows more, e.g. has read about 100 pages of your website, vs one who knows less e.g. has read only one page of your website.

This is lead scoring i.e. the part that everyone pays 100% attention to, which is great! but it’s just one part that you should be paying attention to.

It involves things leads can engage with i.e. the number of emails opened, the number of emails clicked, the number of CTA’s clicked, forms filled out, social posts clicked on, etc.

Some things they’ve done could be a negative score, for example, if they used a personal email address and you want business email addresses if they’ve unsubscribed, etc.

When people talk about lead scoring, they typically talk about the positive. You should analyze and pay attention to both the positive and negative, otherwise, you’ll have a skewed view.

Have they opened an email in the last 3, 7, 14, 30 days?

Have they visited your website in the last 7, 14, 30 days?

An example of hot Sales Qualified Leads to pass to the sales team could be people who are positive persona 1, read over 50 pages of your website, have a HubSpot Score of over 75, and have visited your website in the last 7 days.

This is potentially the fifth pillar. (We are still deliberating on if to add it to the pillars). With a lot of happening online today because it has to, we are considering how chat and bots on websites fit into conversational marketing.

How To Define Your Buyer Persona

To define your persona, first, understand who you are trying to sell to. You can do this by answering the questions:

  • What problem out there are we solving?
  • Who typically has that problem? E.g. what type of business, with how many employees, in which location?

Then drill into the decision-maker of that company, business, or sector for example understand their role, goals, and challenges.

Pro tip: In your buyer description, avoid using a sentence description like ‘CEO of a small company.’ Always start with ‘I am…..e.g. I am CEO of ……then continue.

Psychologically, personalizing it makes sense to the way we communicate.

When you start tracking and segmenting based on goals, roles, challenges, positive and negative personas, you are winning.

Data Enrichment – Strategies you can use to get missing data.

Most of the time, we need to limit the questions in our form. In a previous article, we covered how you can ask for less and get more on your lead forms by being strategic with the fields that should be filled. Therefore, putting out a form that will collect data that you need won’t be feasible. You can use 2 strategies to collect the missing data in HubSpot. i.e.:

  1. Use Queued Forms – These allow you to avoid asking repetitive questions in many forms, and can, therefore, collect other relevant data.
  2. Use Progressive Profiling – This allows you to ask questions specific or relevant to a certain persona, depending on the answer they give in the first field in your form.

Finally, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Pick up the phone and talk to people, engage with them on social media, etc. to get the data you need to qualify them. In order to engage with leads as human, you might have to do things that feel un-scalable.

Consider how you can leverage being human, being helpful and tech in a really smart way system like radar-research-revenue to set yourself up for success. Also, consider how your sales and marketing teams can work together as one amazing ‘revenue team’.