How to get from qualifying to meeting with a high potential lead

With a population of almost 450 million, 27 member countries, and 24 different languages spoken, Europe presents excellent opportunities and challenges for North American companies that want to expand to Europe. In the previous blog posts, you might have come across different topics that can help you champion the European markets. This blog will describe how essential it is to understand the strategy behind meeting with highly qualified leads.

Today, we talk to Erdinc Celebi, Business Development Manager at EuroDev. Erdinc emphasizes the importance of qualification. He starts the conversation with a boost: “Oh yeah, qualification is always important. A highly qualified lead is more likely to urge to better deals. Poor leads can be viewed as an unnecessary expense!.”

Five steps to identify a qualified lead

1.Customer profile/journey maps
Erdinc states that having a good lead is designing a customer profile. This step requires your team to answer the following questions (1) how big is the company? (2) where should the ideal customer/prospect be located? (3) What kind of products do they use? (4) how do they purchase those products? (5) were do they buy those products?. 

If the sales team identifies who their ideal customer is, it will be relatively easy for them to narrow down their search for leads.

2.What are the needs of your customers?
List the needs your ideal customer would have and answer questions on how you will fulfil those needs. What is the impact of the product on the company and end users? Knowing the needs of your prospects helps you understand the relationship it has to your value proposition.

3.Who is decision maker
At this stage, you have qualified a list of companies that you think will be interested in your product. You will have to understand how all these companies make decisions. How many people are involved in the decision making process?

4.Who is your competitor in the market?
You need to know who you are competing against and who you are being compared to (players in the industry). If you can find a list of all past and present vendors, it will be easy to know the criteria your prospects might be looking for and enable you to position yourself strategically.

5.Approaching the leads/prospects
After answering all the above questions and going through all the steps, you will know if you have a quality lead yes or not. The last step would be to approach the leads. Based on your customer profile, you will know how the specific lead wants to be contacted. It might be via email, phone, LinkedIn or personal visit. There is no one format, Erdinc states: “I prefer calling before emails, I get faster responses compared to emails". In case I can’t get in touch with the decision-maker on the phone, I connect with them through email or LinkedIn before setting up a physical meeting or an introduction call. This of course it is very dependent on the type of company we work with.

What happens if you don’t take your time to qualify leads?

  1. Waste time and money: Whenever you rush into the qualification process, you will always have an inadequate database. Hence, you will waste time trying to sell, following up and creating tasks on prospects that are not a fit for the product you are trying to sell.
  2. Loss of opportunities: Qualification requires a considerable amount of time. Salespeople who do not qualify very well miss out on identifying the best prospects. Prospects become customers if you invest enough time and effort into them.
  3. Close bad deals: Sometimes, you might be successful in selling to prospects who are not a fit for your product. Selling to the wrong customer is “negative press” for both you and your company.
  4. Poor sale tactics: If you have poor leads, you will most likely not know how to sell to them. How will you understand their pain points? What value are you offering them? If you cannot answer these questions, it will be hard to customize your sales pitch.
  5. Hard/impossible to close deals: It is always better to have 10 qualified leads that can present five opportunities, then having 1000 poor leads that are not good for your product.

If you want your sales team to prevent some of these hurdles, they should learn how to move from qualification to meeting with high-end prospects.

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About EuroDev

EuroDev, established in 1996 with offices in The Netherlands and France, has a single, defined purpose to help mid-sized North American companies expand their business in Europe. We have created a proven, successful business development model and since our founding, have partnered with over 300 companies to help them define and meet their European business goals. Services provided include Sales Outsourcing, HR Outsourcing and Digital Marketing.

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