How to Build an Account and Lead Qualification Strategy

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Does anyone out there NOT have a story about working their tail off to reach a Decision Maker only to find out that it was a bum lead? Account and lead qualification strategies and categorization are topics near and dear to my heart because:

  1. Yeah, I’ve done it too
  2. I hate wasting time more than I hate wasting wine
  3. I fancy myself a strategic sales gal

It’s this third point that really struck me in a recent client site.  Reps were calling lists of 800 leads from top to bottom every day. At 8 am the next day, they started again at the top.  That’s actually physically painful to me, is it to you?

Create A Better Lead Qualification Strategy

If they employed a lead qualification strategy (and you bet they do now! :)) then reps would be speed-dialing through all 800 leads with the first goal of NOT reaching the DM, but instead reaching any “live body” to ask 3-4 quick questions and determine the account’s worth.

For this client, it was:

  • Size of company (employees)
  • Size of facilities (square footage)
  • Type of operation (manufacturing, warehouse, etc.)

With the right delivery, these 3 questions net the rep everything they need to know to classify this account as an A, B, C, or D opportunity.  Sure it’s not exactly right, but it’s close enough to build a strategy.

Now, Work Those “A” Accounts

How much harder would you work an A account?  I recommend you call it 15 times.  Odds say that you’ll connect with over 95% of leads after 15 attempts.  A “B” account would net about 10 attempts from me, and I’d throw a few Hail-Mary calls at a “C”.

What else could you capture while on the phone?  An email?  Another contact?

Then, We Have Reasons To Celebrate

Here’s another benefit of a lead qualification strategy:  when we break the cold call down into two stages (qualify it, sell it) then we actually set better expectations for our reps and give everyone more chances to win.  (celebrate the number of leads qualified for the day!)  Best of all, they’ll never call a list “from the top” or “alphabetical order” again.

A strategic seller is a successful seller!

Now, where is that leftover wine?

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