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The Lead Qualification Framework

HubSpot certified partner badge darkWhy? The more qualified a lead is, the more likely they’ll help you achieve your revenue goals. Your Revenue team (sales and marketing) need a shared understanding of your ideal lead so that marketing can generate leads that your sales team can close into customers. As a HubSpot Certified Partner, we use a lead qualification matrix to make sure your sales and marketing people are productive and effective.

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  1. What makes someone a good fit for your offering?
  2. Which actions demonstrate that someone is sales ready?


Lets start by identifying the different lead types

  1. Current customers (UPSELL)
  2. Referral leads from current and past customers (TRUSTED)
  3. Previous opportunities that were lost (SEMI-TRUSTED)
  4. Inbound leads (INTENT)
  5. Inbound companies (WARM)
  6. Face to face, events, trade shows (?)
  7. Passive buyers, i.e. they’re not looking for you but match your Ideal customer profile (PASSIVE)


If you have HubSpot Sales Pro or HubSpot Marketing Pro, we’ll use Workflows to automatically remind your sales team to nurture customers, ask for referrals, and check with previously lost opportunities to see if now is the right time.


Creating your Prospect fit matrix

The Prospect Fit Matrix is a list of criteria that helps you determine if a prospect is a fit for your products/services and how good of a fit they are.

How is this used? Take a step back to the different lead types. Before you spend time with the different types of leads, you’ll use the Prospect Fit Matrix to identify the leads that have the best chance of becoming your Ideal customers.


Lead qualification matrix to measure sales readiness

Using the Prospect Fit Matrix, you’ll have a good idea if a company has the right attributes to become an Ideal customer. But, not all good fit companies are created equal so it’s important to identify their sales readiness for your product or service and if your prospects demonstrate that they’re ready to talk to sales. A person can be a good fit for your product or service, but if they aren’t interested in talking to you, you need to leave them alone and give them more time to be nurtured and educated.

To measure sales readiness, we’ll identify the actions people take that are correlated with purchasing your product or service.

We’ll determine the cut-off between good-fit and poor-fit leads; how many checkboxes from your ideal customer profile does a lead have to check off to be a good-fit lead? Are there any boxes that EVERY lead MUST check off, regardless of how many other boxes they check off? And once we have all the answers, we’ll create a matrix that shows what to do with Good fit and Poor fit leads, as well as Hand raisers, Sales ready, and Unready leads.


Strategy to handle leads

Once we have your lead qualification matrix confirmed, we create a strategy for how you handle these leads such as:

  1. Nurturing: How does marketing nurture unready leads to get them sales ready?
  2. Qualification: How do you know when a lead has moved from being unready to sales ready?
  3. Notifications: How does marketing notify sales when a lead becomes sales ready?
  4. Unqualified Leads: How does sales send leads back to marketing?
  5. Lead Details: What information needs to be included when marketing sends a lead to sales?
  6. Data: What data do both teams need to input for the appropriate reports to be run?


Moving contacts through the sales funnel

Part of a good lead qualification framework is to know the stage that each contact is at and when the prioritise them.

For this reason we use some of the tools within HubSpot in the following way:

  1. Lead status is customised to match your sales process - This is used so you know what stage a contact is at in a sales conversation such as Send introduction or Started discussion.
  2. Lifecycle stage is fixed within HubSpot so we explain how you use this property to know the stage a contact is at with your company, such as Lead or Customer.
  3. Working from your Ideal customer research, we’ll use Lead Scoring to help your team prioritise perfect match contacts.


Building a target lead list

Now it’s important to create contacts lists for your sales and marketing teams to work. Taking a look back at the different lead types, we’ll create lists and views in your HubSpot CRM and Marketing so that your sales and marketing teams can easily find the right contacts and include them in their day to day activity. Some of lists and views we build are:

  1. Review of revenue sources - To prioritise your activity in the most successful areas
  2. Customers - For your client engagement activity
  3. Hot leads - Using predictive lead scoring to prioritise your activity
  4. New leads - To prioritise nurturing or contacting good fit leads
  5. Started discussion - For contacts where you’re in 2-way communication
  6. Not right time - If a deal didn’t go ahead but they were a good fit, now might be a good time
  7. And, Prospects - A live list of companies that are on your website but have not yet converted


Once your lead qualification process is in place, we follow the agile approach of 1) theory, 2) action, 3) outcome, 4) learn...


Next, Step 7. Sales and marketing alignment...

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