how to qualify leads

How to Qualify Leads

January 10, 202410 min read

How to Qualify Leads

Statistics show that 50% of marketers view lead generation as a top priority. However, 80% of leads never convert to sales. What gives, and why are you attracting leads only to have them drop out of the funnel at the last minute before converting into a paying custom?

Lead qualification is the key to converting those lackluster leads into loyal customers. By identifying interested prospects, you can focus your time and resources on closing deals with those most likely to convert. Now, you might think, "That's great! But how do you qualify leads effectively?"

We've got all the insight and tips right here. Follow along as we show you how to qualify leads, boost your conversion rates, and ultimately drive your business forward. With practical tips, strategies, and examples, you'll learn everything you need to know to target high-interest prospects with ease.

lead scoring, high-interest prospects, convert sales, high-quality leads, nurture a lead

What is Lead Qualification?

Lead qualification refers to the process of assessing a potential customer's level of interest and likelihood of making a purchase. This crucial step allows teams to focus on the most promising leads, ultimately resulting in higher conversion rates and increased revenue.

Sales representatives gather information about a prospect's needs, budget, and timeline to qualify leads. This can be done through various methods, including phone calls, emails, and surveys. Sometimes, it's as simple as using the right marketing tactics to attract high-interest prospects using targeted ad campaigns and landing pages.

By carefully analyzing the data from these lead qualification efforts, you can determine which leads are worth pursuing and prioritize follow-up accordingly. Not only does this save you time and resources, but it also allows you to focus on providing better value to your ideal customers.

Lead Scoring vs. Lead Qualification

Lead scoring and lead qualification are two key terms you'll hear a lot as you start to learn more about lead generation. While they sound quite similar, the two have some fundamental differences. In short, lead scoring is one aspect or component of lead qualification, but it's not the same.

Lead scoring is a process that ranks potential customers according to their likelihood of becoming a paying customer. This rank is calculated using different metrics like the company's size, job title, or engagement with your brand. The higher the score, the more interested they are in your products or services.

On the other hand, lead qualification is a process that determines whether a lead is worth pursuing in the first place. This means examining their needs, pain points, and budget to determine if they're a good fit for your product or service. If they are, then they enter the sales pipeline.

Ultimately, both lead scoring and lead qualification are critical components of any successful lead generation strategy. By understanding these terms and how they contribute to the sales process, you'll be well on your way to closing more deals and growing your revenue. 


Before you can learn how to qualify leads, it's also important to understand the difference between a sales-qualified lead (SQL) and a marketing-qualified lead (MQL). Understanding the difference could affect the lead generation strategy you implement and, ultimately, how you qualify your leads.

SQLs are leads that have already shown a high level of interest in your product or service and are more likely to convert into paying customers. MQLs, on the other hand, are those leads that have shown some level of interest but may not be quite ready to buy yet.

The main difference between SQLs and MQLs is the level of engagement they have with your business. SQLs are usually ready to buy, while MQLs may need further nurturing.

To identify SQLs, look for leads that have already taken specific actions, such as filling out a contact form or requesting a demo. MQLs, on the other hand, may have engaged with your business in other ways, such as visiting your website or downloading a whitepaper.

The Lead Qualification Process

To effectively manage and convert leads, it's essential to have an efficient lead qualification process in place.

This process involves identifying high-interest prospects, evaluating lead quality through scoring, and ultimately determining which leads are most likely to convert to sales. Here's a quick overview of what that might look like in action.

Identifying High-Interest Prospects

The lead qualification process starts by identifying high-interest prospects. To do this, you need to understand your target audience.

  • Who are they?

  • What do they need?

  • What pain points do they have that your product or service can solve?

Once you have this information, you can explore various lead generation channels, such as social media, email, and content marketing, to reach that target audience.

Analyzing user behavior and engagement metrics will help you fine-tune your approach to focus on the most promising leads.

Lead Scoring: Evaluating Lead Quality

As mentioned, lead scoring is the process of evaluating the quality of a lead based on predetermined criteria. It helps you prioritize your leads to focus on the most promising ones. Depending on the nature of your business, there are different lead scoring models and criteria.

For example, you might score leads based on their job title, company size, or geographic location. Or, you might score leads based on their engagement with your website or marketing materials.

It's important to align lead scoring with the sales team's needs to ensure they have the information to prioritize leads effectively. This might involve regular communication between the sales and marketing teams to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Qualifying Leads to Convert Sales

Finally, it's time to qualify your leads for conversion. This involves determining the readiness of a prospect to make a purchase and assessing their fit within your ideal customer profile.

To determine the readiness of a prospect to make a purchase, you might look at things like their budget, timeline, and level of interest in your product or service. To assess a lead's fit within your ideal customer profile, you may consider factors like their industry, company size, or geographic location.

There are many techniques for effective lead qualification, such as lead nurturing, scoring, and prioritization. The key is to find a process that works for your business and incorporates feedback from your sales team.

How to Qualify Leads

Ready to learn how to qualify leads? While the process might look different from one business to the next, here are tips and strategies to nurture a lead into a paying customer.

Define your Ideal Customer Profile

Targeting potential leads is tough if you're unsure what a "great" lead looks like. So, think about who would benefit the most from your product or service. Consider demographics such as age, gender, location, and income.

Additionally, consider the industry your business serves and the size of the companies you are targeting. What are the pain points your audience is facing? Understanding your target audience's biggest pain points will help your business address their needs and position yourself as a valuable solution.

Leverage Data and Analytics

When qualifying leads, data and analytics are your best friends! Thanks to web analytics tools, you can monitor how users behave and interact with your website, allowing you to identify potential high-quality leads.

Use this data to spot patterns and trends that indicate a user's level of interest and engagement. This information can help inform your decision-making during the qualification process.

For example, if a user spends a significant amount of time on a landing page and fills out a form, they may be more likely to convert into a quality lead. By paying attention to these engagement metrics, you can fine-tune your approach and focus only on high-interest prospects.

Set Clear Lead Scoring Criteria

Now, it's time to develop a lead scoring system that assigns values to different actions and attributes. This is an extremely important step, as assigning values to different actions allows you to determine which lead behaviors and characteristics indicate higher interest levels and likelihood to convert. 

For example, a lead who downloads a whitepaper and fills out a contact form may receive a higher score than someone who only visits your website. Or, if a lead attends a webinar or visits your pricing page, they may be more interested in your product or service than someone who simply filled out a contact form.

Implement Effective Lead Qualification Conversations

Engaging in meaningful conversations with leads allows you to gather relevant information that can better inform your sales strategy and tailor your pitch to their needs.

During these conversations, ask open-ended questions to understand their pain points, goals, and purchasing intent. By doing so, you can effectively position your product or service as the solution to their problems.

Don't just talk, though. Actively listen to their responses and take notes for future reference to ensure you're not missing any important details. These conversations provide a great opportunity to build rapport with your leads and establish trust.

Collaborate with Sales Teams

Establish a strong partnership between marketing and sales teams to ensure everyone is on the same page when identifying and prioritizing leads. Regularly communicating and sharing insights about your lead qualification process will help keep everyone informed and working towards the same goals.

One effective strategy is to collaborate on defining lead scoring thresholds and criteria. By setting clear guidelines, you can ensure that everyone is looking for the same attributes in potential leads. This will also help you avoid wasting time on prospects who are unlikely to convert.

Working closely with your sales team can also help you identify areas where your lead qualification process could be improved. By pooling your resources, you can achieve better results than either team could on its own.

Use Lead Qualification Frameworks

One of the most effective ways to ensure consistency and accuracy in lead qualification is to develop standardized frameworks or questionnaires.

These frameworks help guide customer conversations, ensuring all important aspects are covered and assessed. Using a standardized framework will also clarify each lead's specific needs and interests, making it easier to identify the best possible solutions for those needs.

Additionally, having a set of standardized questions will help you qualify leads consistently across your entire team, which is invaluable for maintaining accuracy and improving your overall sales process.

Continuously Refine Your Qualification Process

Once you've implemented your process, keep an eye on it and collect feedback from your sales team. Ensure the qualifiers are aligned with the needs of your customer base.

But it's not just about feedback. Keep an eye on your data and metrics, too.

Keep a close watch on the conversion rates from each lead qualification stage. This will help you identify areas where you need to improve. For instance, if your number of quality leads decreases suddenly, you might want to revise your buyer persona.

Remember, your lead qualification process is a work in progress. Be ready to make changes as needed. Your patience and diligence will pay off over time.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Lead Qualification

Measuring the effectiveness of lead qualification is crucial to the success of any sales operation. By tracking key metrics like conversion rates and revenue generated, you can determine the effectiveness of your lead qualification process.

But that's not all you should be doing to ensure sales success.

Analyzing the impact of lead qualification on the sales funnel can give you deeper insights into your sales funnel. Did your lead qualification efforts impact the number of leads that moved to the next stage in the funnel? Did you generate more revenue as a result of better-qualified leads?

With the right analytics in place, you can get answers to all these important questions and improve your lead qualification process moving forward.

Use Lead Qualification Software

Learning how to qualify leads is crucial to a successful sales process. However, even with these tips, we understand how challenging this can be for many businesses, so we developed a solution.

Leedly is an innovative software that automatically starts conversations, gathers information, and even books appointments from missed phone calls, website visitors, and social media messages.

Are you ready to qualify your leads efficiently with Leedly? Book a demo to see how it works!

Back to Blog

© 2024 Leedly. All Rights Reserved. Terms Of Service | Privacy Policy | Login

All Rights Reserved.