Qualification of Leads - Sales Funnel

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1740 , Published on 09 August 2014
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Recently a trend has begun where large and mid-market companies are using sales outsourcing to have a competitive advantage over companies and retain their core functionality in house.B2B marketing is continuously evolving as the new technology apprises the sales and marketing techniques. One of the important aspects which links sales outsourcing with the new technology are the sources like whitepapers, webinars and blogs which can be promoted to potential prospects and leads can be generated in the process.

The important step for the companies would be to understand the process of lead qualification which starts with the basic of Sales Funnel.

Image Courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net


Sales Funnel:



Sales funnel defines the different stages of the cycle. The cycle goes from generating the initial contact and ends at final sale. The other name used for this funnel is leaky funnel because seller can drop different sales opportunities into the funnel. While going down the funnel, these sales opportunities changes because potential clients become uninterested and you have to eliminate these opportunities and start again with the new ones. This process is repeated until an initial contact becomes interested and goes till the final sales stage.


The different stages in a sales cycle represent the degree of readiness of potential customers to commit for a deal .In other words; readiness can be termed as probability of a sale occurring at different stages. As you move down the funnel, time to close the deal decreases and chances or probability of sale happening increases. This funnel helps you to track the sales process and manage different sales opportunities.


In order to convert the sales opportunities, we have to remove various barriers coming in the way. When these barriers are removed, the sales opportunity trickles down and next stage comes. Different barriers could be lack of budget or product is not fit or customer’s buying process etc.


Stages in the sales funnel are:

Lead (Suspect): A lead also called as suspect is person with whom we have not had any conversation .He has a profile that matches to our target customer, so we decide to pursue them and follow up with them to generate interest.


Prospect: A prospect is someone who has shown interest in our offering. We have had a conversation and informed the person about our product or services.


Qualified prospect: The qualification is the most important stage.in this process. We verify that the prospect should have a need for our product. He should have sufficient budget to make the deal. There is a fixed agreed upon timeline for the process. Finally the deal is close and a qualified prospect is generated.


It is important to remove the sales opportunities that are not moving down because we want our resources to focus on the opportunities which are inside funnel and have greater chance of being converted.

 

This article has been authored by Nipun Singh from TAPMI



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