How To Automate Lead Qualification for Increased Response Rates

You want to know if a lead is qualified well before you even pick up the phone to call them. 

Every data point helps your revenue team (sales, marketing, and customer success) determine if this lead fits your ideal customer profile (ICP). 

It’s not a race — the revenue team isn’t competing to figure it out first. Instead, it’s a chase. The entire revenue team is working to determine if this is a good fit.

Typically lead qualification is done 100% manually, which is a huge problem for companies trying to reach their next growth tier.

What is Automated Lead Qualification?

When marketers look over a lead’s qualifications, they examine their engagement with the brand along with their budget, authority, needs, and timeline (BANT). Afterward, they’re either disqualified or passed onto sales teams.

Sales teams qualify leads a little differently — they’re overseeing that lead’s interest in their product or service and tracking touchpoints with them.

Some things need to be as automated as possible for sales teams to make the best decisions when acting on MQLs and leads.

Lead qualification is definitely one of those things.

Automated lead qualification needs solid qualification metrics from both sales and marketing teams, as well as the right tech stack.

What Does Manual Lead Qualification Look Like?

A hot new lead hits your inbox. Immediately after the lead arrives, you open it up in your CRM, find the website, and then open up the website in another browser tab.

This is, of course, assuming you’re given a lead with website information. After loading the website, you’ll probably:

  1. Open up a tool that can provide you technology information. 
  2. Copy all of the technologies that matter to you.
  3. Paste that data into CRM.
  4. Move over to a different tool that provides lead intelligence.
  5. Proceed to gather the number of employees, revenue, location, and other information you need to make good decisions about the lead.

And this is just for the company. You’ll eventually pop open social channels to learn more about the lead themselves and do the same exact thing in your CRM.

Next thing you know, 15 – 30 minutes have gone by. And that was just on one lead!

Now think about doing this process 100 times and, just like that, a whole day is gone.

How Can I Automate the Lead Qualification Process?

Instead of sending out your entire team on the manual lead qualification chase, there’s actually an easier way.

Some options to automate the entire lead qualification process, and making it operate in real-time includes:

  • Adding more fields in your forms.
  • Adjusting qualification rules and metrics to look at less-important factors.
  • Waiting until leads provide more information through progressive profiling.
  • Setting up triggers based on touchpoint behavior.
  • Utilizing lead nurture campaigns.

Make the chase infinitely easier and faster.

Increasing Lead Response Rates

It’s no secret that companies with the fastest lead response times are the ones that win. In fact, 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.

Bottom line, your revenue team needs to be able to respond to leads, grade, and score, and then properly qualify or disqualify them all within minutes.

Faster, even.

The way high-growth companies are currently doing this is with tools like FormComplete, so sales teams can follow up with a well-informed and timely pitch.

Reducing the clutter between audience engagement and sales outreach can’t be done manually — especially if reactive growth is your priority.

The 4 Main Data Points of Lead Qualification

There are several ways you can improve your lead qualification process. You can qualify by using one, or a combination, of the following types of data points:

Chart showing data points used in lead qualification

Ultimately, it comes down to what would move the needle for you and your teams. What information can help reps draw the best conclusions, and what roadblocks need to be removed to automate the reaction time?

Automated Lead Qualification Example

Let’s say there’s a B2B SaaS company that offers a platform catered to eCommerce companies so they can manage products across multiple different channels.

Like many B2B SaaS businesses, this company has a product demo as part of its marketing and sales funnel. They also find that their sales team isn’t using their time optimally — giving demos to unqualified leads, and not being quick to follow up with their ideal leads either.

This SaaS company finds a 50% drop in response rate from 2 hours after someone requested a demo. They need to figure out whether a lead was a good fit, and take action quickly.

By analyzing their lead qualification process, they discover that sales intelligence is paramount to closing deals.

Without this information, they find it’s impossible to predict how much value they’ll be able to provide to their leads. And therefore becoming harder for sales to close the account.

Now, the first step for this B2B SaaS company is to enrich the new lead with information from data providers like ZoomInfo. It includes data that, if gathered manually, is extremely time-consuming and often impossible to organize.

This enriches the lead with intent information, and then all data points (including behavioral and event tracking) roll up to the lead’s master customer profile. The newly enriched lead can be sent virtually anywhere, but for the sake of sales, the lead is synced to the CRM with all of the pertinent information.

Both marketing and sales teams with this SaaS company receive a new notification in a channel, and instantly see a profile summary of that lead — including links to their full profile and activity. 

The result?

Full visibility over the same unified set of data for sales and marketing teams. 

Accelerate Your Lead Gen with Automation

Your next big deal close depends on your marketing targeting the right audiences, followed by sales reps going after the deal. It’s the constant chase that can be made easier with the right tools.

If both teams waste time on manual tasks, they might as well throw the company budget out the window.

In summation, get out of manual gear and go fully automatic.