Focus on the right leads

Whether you generate leads through inbound marketing or a more outbound approach, there is always one certainty: not every lead you generate is going to be ready to buy your products and services. There'll be varying levels of awareness of your brand, knowledge about your offerings, and intent in making a purchase. So each lead must be nurtured differently based on their qualification and where they fit in the overall sales journey.

Why do businesses need to qualify leads?

Following up on leads and getting them to make a purchase requires your team to invest a substantial amount of time and effort. Focusing on the wrong leads takes your attention away from the ones that have a greater possibility of converting, ultimately affecting your bottom line.

Right fit

Determine if they are in the right industry to benefit from your products and services


Identify whether the lead has a need that your business can solve

Purchasing decision

Determine if the lead has the authority to make a call on the purchase and the budget for it

Value add

Ascertain if you can add more value for their business compared to their current vendor or competitors they are looking at

Establish your benchmark for your leads

The first logical step to qualifying your incoming leads is to decide on your Ideal customer. These descriptions shouldn't be some imaginary criteria you pull out from thin air, but based on actual data about your existing customers. By comparing your incoming leads with these benchmarks you establish, your team will have a clear idea of who to focus their efforts on.

Build your ICP

Your Ideal Customer Profile is the hypothetical description of a person or business that would get the most benefit from your products or services. Different factors go into building your ICP: their role, job title, seniority, company size, industry, location, and more. Apart from these standard factors, there could be factors specific to your industry that you can include as a part of your buyer profile.

Score your incoming leads

Now that you have your ICP, your next step should be to score your incoming leads. By capturing the information you need through your online forms, you can add numerical scores to leads that align with your ICP and subtract scores from leads that don't. This score becomes a great reference point for your sales team when they decide who to follow up on.

Choose the right framework
to qualify your leads

Every business might qualify their leads differently because they prioritize different factors. You might analyze different factors before deciding on which leads have potential that your sales team can explore further. Some of the qualification frameworks you can use are:


BANT is the oldest qualification framework on the list here and one of most popular. The BANT framework puts the budget and authority of the lead ahead of every other factor, including their needs. In the modern sales world where opportunities are built on developing meaningful relationships with your prospects, this method is slowly becoming less popular.

FAINT is a framework where your targets are leads with decent capital and have buying authority. Under FAINT, the primary focus is to educate your leads on how your products and services can help address their needs. Once they've realized a genuine need for your offerings, then you're ready to bring up pricing.

The CHAMP framework is a pretty modern way of qualifying, where the biggest priority is addressing the challenges the leads face. It puts your customers' needs at the center and focuses on identifying whether your business can offer them the right solution. Even if the lead is not someone with the power to make the purchasing decision, your team engages with them meaningfully to try and connect with the decision maker.


What is the lead willing to spend on the solution?


Does the lead have the power to make purchasing decision?


Does your product/service address their needs or help them achieve a goal?


What is the timeframe the lead has in mind for a purchase?

Nurture their interest with care

Through the qualification process, the need and urgency of your leads becomes a little clearer. Following this, consistently engage them with relevant and contextual content that sheds more light on their industry, their challenges, and how your products can help their business. Move your leads through the funnel with newsletters, blogs, infographics, and videos made available across different channels to help educate them.


Qualified Leads

These are leads who are looking into information that addresses their problem. They are researching solutions and would have exchanged their info for a piece of content that directly addresses their issue. These can be considered cold leads and lower on the priority for sales follow-ups. But it is always a good idea to nurture them through offerings like invites to webinars, case studies of customers in their industry, and comparison documents with your competitors.


Qualified Leads

When a prospective buyer becomes directly interested in how YOUR products can address their problems, they are called Marketing Qualified Leads. They might have attended a webinar, watched your videos, or signed up for your blog or newsletter, and they have a genuine interest in your company. They are warm leads who can be followed-up with consultations and demos to push them closer to making a purchasing decision.


Qualified Leads

When your MQL leads decide to move on to the decision stage, they are termed sales qualified or hot leads. As is the case many times, your sales team has already had a meaningful conversation with these leads and has determined that there is potential in exploring this further. The conversation may have helped your team identify the lead's pain points and how your organization is the right fit to address them. Quick follow-ups with SQLs dramatically improves the chances of closing.

Disqualify leads for a healthy sales pipeline

If your leads aren't ready to talk, if their responses are inconsistent, or if your offerings are not the right solution to their problems, there is no use in chasing these leads further. As important as it is to follow up on every promising lead you can, it is equally important to know when to disqualify a lead to focus your efforts on the ones that can benefit from your products.

Deliver highly qualified leads
to your sales team

Augment your sales pipeline by nurturing leads with Zoho CRM. Leverage a wide range of powerful functionalities to consistently engage with your leads with relevant content and convert them to qualified prospects for your sales team.

Meaningful lead engagement
with scoring rules

Assign scores based on the various criteria you judge your leads on, and ensure your sales reps aren't wasting their efforts on junk leads which won't convert. Assign positive and negative scores to your leads based on their demographic data, behavior, and levels of engagement with your business. Lead scoring helps you determine leads that are most likely to close and which ones aren't worth passing on to your sales reps.

Learn More lead engagement with scoring rules

Connect with leads across
different channels

Your leads are everywhere and it is important for you to connect with them across the different channels to nurture them. Leverage email marketing, social media, live chat, and calls to nurture your leads from within Zoho CRM. You can even integrate with multiple webinar solution providers, conduct lead nurturing webinars online, and track all the information inside Zoho CRM.

Learn More
Multi channel CRM for lead nurturing

Launch personalized and targeted
nurturing campaigns

Engage leads at every stage of the sales funnel through effective email marketing campaigns. Create targeted campaigns for strategically important customers in your mailing list based on a variety of parameters such as previous engagement, region, and purchase history. Email analytics in Zoho CRM also help you identify the emails that have worked well and the ones that need immediate course correction.

Learn More Personalized email campaigns for targeted lead nurturing

Measure your results of
lead nurturing efforts

Pouring time and effort into nurturing your leads is meaningless if you don't measure your results and see improvement. Use Zoho CRM's analytics features to measure outcomes like the number of leads that you've brought in, the conversion rates for different lead sources, sales reps who convert the most, and more.

Measure your lead nurturing efforts

Convert raw leads into qualified sales
opportunities for better ROI

Generating a large number of leads is good, but it's not enough on its own. The leads need to be nurtured continuously and qualified before passing them on to your sales team. A good nurturing and qualification process helps establish trust with the leads and gives your sales team the necessary information about the lead's pain points to effectively address their needs.