Rather than chasing your tail by following up on unqualified leads, it’s important to use a CRM and lead tracking tool like Base or Zoho vs Insightly to help you qualified leads. Use the following criteria to make sure you get the cream of the crop when it comes to leads and get more tips on closing more deals with Future Simple’s free eBook, How to Win More Deals Faster.
1. What Are Your Company’s Strengths?
Too often we focus on whether the contact is a good fit for the company, but it’s also important to analyze the other side. Is your company a good fit for this project? For many, especially business consultants, it’s tempting to go just a bit beyond your scope to make a little more money. But if a project is beyond your expertise or comfort zone, it might do more harm than good to take it on.
You should know your core products or services. What are you truly comfortable doing? And while it’s fine to stretch that occasionally (this is a great way to learn new skills) you don’t want to train in a new service on your client’s dime. Focus on what you’re good at so that you deliver the best results in your industry.
2. What Are the Deal’s Characteristics?
A project has a scope, timeline and budget. Do they all fit what you’re looking for? Don’t waste your time bidding on projects that you’re overqualified for; more often than not that will lead to disagreements over pricing. Sure, you’re worth more, but if they’re looking to hire a writer, let’s say, for $5 an article, you probably don’t want that kind of customer anyway.
It’s wise to create a document that outlines what you’re willing to do for a given project. This can help you stay on track for qualified leads. Include:
- How fast a turnaround you can provide
- What your price range for work is (could be hourly or per-project)
- What type of work you can provide
- Your process for delivering work
3. Who is the Customer?
Understanding your customer, his industry and his profile can also help you qualify your leads. For example, if he’s from a high profile company but has a small budget, it may be worth it to take the project on just to get your client list beefed up with this brand.
If the customer is in an industry you haven’t worked in before, you have to decide whether you a) want to move into this industry and b) whether you have solid enough experience to get the gig, regardless of your lack of experience in this particular industry.
4. Who Are Your Competitors?
Knowing who you’re up against can help you decide if a lead is worth pursuing. If you’re competing against either the top player in your industry or someone with less experience who can charge a fraction of what you’d charge, you may decide it’s not worth jumping through the hoops if you’re unlikely to win out against the competition.
5. How Much Attention Is the Contact Paying?
If you’re all over the Internet with your social media updates, blog posts and forum contributions, pay attention to who’s commenting and sharing your content. You might notice a pattern of someone who consistently comments on your blog posts and retweets your content. Spend some time researching these people and reach out to them to thank them for their devotion to your brand. Non-invasively, ask if there’s any questions about your services or products that you can answer. If nothing else, they may want to act as brand evangelists and help you spread the word.
Knowing what to look for when it comes to qualified leads can take a lot of the guesswork and dead ends out of the equation. Know what you want in a customer, and weed out the leads until you find it!