Qualify hard. Don’t waste time on bad fit leads.
Yes. 100% if you’re doing outbound or deciding which accounts to target.
But what about inbound leads? Specifically, hand raisers?
It’s time to spend less time qualifying them, and spend more time helping them.
Yes, understand if they’re likely to buy. Don’t fill your pipeline with things that are never going to happen. But don’t ignore those leads either.
They might not fit your ICP today, but they’re not setting out to waste your time. People don’t choose to fill in a form and have a call with someone in sales for their own entertainment.
Treat every inbound lead with respect, and if they’re not going to be a good fit for you then be helpful. Explain why. Point in them in the direction of a competitor. Don’t just ignore them.
Treat every inbound lead as a potential future customer.
Even if they’re not going to buy now, what about when they move to a new company, get a promotion, or their business grows? What about when a friend asks if they know a product that can do what you offer? Do you want them to recommend you? Or do you want them to recommend your competitor that treated them better?
Oh, and on price.
Even if a lead says they can’t afford your product, offer a demo if they want one. I learned this from Drift. I up front told the SDR that I had no budget to buy Drift for at least 12 months and even then, probably wouldn’t be buying. They still offered me a demo. I took the demo. Whilst I likely won’t be buying Drift, they’re product is great, and I do recommend them to others. (And their marketing team owe their SDRs a drink for getting them this backlink).
We recently disqualified a lead on price. Six weeks later they came back to us having evaluated a whole bunch of our competitors. They couldn’t find anything else (at any price) that they wanted as much as our solution. This time they were much more engaged, had the budget they needed, and moved fast.
Sometimes you’ll win like this. Other times you won’t. But brand is a long-term game. And it’s not all on marketing. Sales has an important role to play too — by doing everything they possibly can to give every single person they interact with a stand-out experience.
What about resourcing?
Revenue leaders, does your team have enough resources to make this happen or do they have to respond to only the best-fit leads for today and ignore the others in order to hit quota?
I know you have targets to hit today. But we must start thinking longer term too. I’ll gladly give you some of marketing’s brand budget to give every potential customer an outstanding experience.
It’s time to treat our leads better. Spend less time qualifying, more time helping.