B2B selling is expensive.
Sales cycles are long, typically 3 months to longer than a year, sales staff resourcing is high and even just creating the proposal can take hours, or in some cases, hundreds of hours.
For B2B businesses, lead nurturing is important to move leads through the Buyer’s Journey, but Lead Qualification is critical to ensure you only invest your time in the highest priority leads.
Right up front, it’s important to acknowledge lead qualification is a probabilistic task.
You remember the scene from Pretty Woman, I’m sure.
Shop assistant: “Hello, can I help you?”
Vivian: “I was in here yesterday, you wouldn’t wait on me.”
Shop assistant: “Oh.”
Vivian: “You people work on commission, right?”
Shop assistant: “Yeah.”
Vivian: “Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.”
While there is no excuse for the way Vivian was treated in this encounter, every prospect, customer and person, should be treated with respect, the idea that you should focus more time and effort on higher probability prospects is sound.
You may miss the 1 in 1000 leads that didn’t qualify and then bought elsewhere, but you will convert far more overall sales by focusing on the 999 that do qualify.[Read more…]