Keyboard with Qualified Leads tag highlighting customer lead generation. Keyboard with Qualified Leads tag highlighting customer lead generation.

What does the Lead Qualification Process Look Like?

You might have hundreds of leads but only a handful of them convert to closed deals. So, pursuing the right leads is imperative to prioritize your resources and energy.

Moreover, you are more likely to convert prospects who fit your product or service. It also helps you close more deals by focusing on the most promising leads.

However, how do you determine the potential of your leads? How do you know which ones are more likely to convert?

A well-established lead qualification process can help you identify promising prospects. It involves many techniques, strategies, and frameworks that decide the potential of your leads.

Here is a complete guide of the lead qualification process to implement for your business.

How to Qualify Leads

The lead qualification process begins before making the first call to your prospect. It also extends to all the stages of the pipeline as a form of constant evaluation.

You can plan your outreach based on your lead qualification as it establishes the location of leads in the pipeline.

Businesses rely on data to qualify leads and establish contact. They also depend on conversations to understand if the prospect is worth pursuing.

Below are the steps to set up a sound lead qualification process:

Create Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

You must be sure of who your ideal customer is to qualify leads. It is necessary to create a buyer persona or ICP containing the attributes you are looking for. Be specific and add as many traits as necessary to make your lead qualification accurate.

Some attributes for B2B sales would be:

  • Company size
  • Funding and revenue
  • Industry and business type
  • Number of employees

You can pitch your leads against your ICP to filter the ones that don’t match your offerings.

Implement Lead Scoring

Lead scoring assigns scores to your leads based on their interests and activities. You can create a custom lead scoring system or use the ones provided with CRMs and marketing tools.

The exact scoring system will vary based on your product, industry, and how you sell. Whatever your model, the total score of your leads can help you prioritize your efforts.

Let’s say a lead gets 10 points for checking out your service page. They gain another 30 points for browsing your pricing section.

Similarly, watching a podcast on your YouTube channel gives a prospect 25 points.

The leads with top scores are worth focusing on for most conversions. Now, it is time to connect with your prospects to take the lead qualification process forward.

The Icy Whiz team talked to Valentin Radu, the Founder and CEO of Omniconvert, about balancing automation and personalization in lead qualification for adaptive strategies. Here is what he said:

Radu Valentin
Radu Valentin

“In balancing automation with personalization in lead qualification, it’s vital to use technology to segment and manage data effectively, while never losing sight of the human aspect.

In my strategy, automated tools are deployed to handle initial data gathering and segmentation, allowing for an efficient sifting through vast amounts of leads. This sets the stage for personalization, where based on the data, tailored communication is crafted for different segments.

I’ve found that personal touches in follow-up communications significantly enhance engagement rates. For me, the key is in the details—using a lead’s name, and referencing their specific needs or past interactions, which shows genuine interest and establishes a connection.

This approach has made it possible to scale outreach without compromising the personal feeling of customer engagement. It demands a mix of using the right tools and a keen understanding of customer needs to strike the perfect balance.

To keep up with the changing market conditions and customer preferences, I make it a point to stay on top of trends and feedback continuously.

Alongside my team, we comb through customer interactions, purchasing behaviors, and market fluctuations to pinpoint any significant changes. This information helps us tweak our customer segmentation and tailor our communication more effectively.

For example, when we observe a rising demand for eco-friendly products, we adjust our messaging to emphasize those aspects of our offerings. We also engage in A/B testing within different customer groups to fine-tune our approach constantly.

This proactive, data-centric strategy keeps us flexible and in tune with the market, ensuring that our lead qualification remains efficient and responsive to our potential customers’ evolving needs.

Personalizing our outreach is more than a tactic for us; it’s about truly understanding and meeting the evolving expectations of those we serve.”

Establish Contact

Your ICP and lead scoring gives you a shortlist of prospects to pursue. Now you must outreach to your leads to understand where they stand.

You will have a good idea of where to start based on your ICP and lead scoring. You should use those insights to ask the right questions to qualify your prospects.

It’s great if the leads are interested in your product or match your offerings. You can take things forward by engaging in your sales process.

However, some leads may be hesitant or not ready to buy. You must again ask the right questions to determine your next steps.

Some sample questions to ask are:

  • Do you plan to use any solution to achieve your business objectives?
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, how likely are you to buy our product?
  • How much are you willing to invest?
  • Can you make the final decision on this deal?

Nick Robinson, Co-Founder of PickandPullsellcar, emphasized balancing automation and personalization in lead qualification for adaptive strategies. Here is what he had to say:

Nick Robinson
Nick Robinson

“The best way to balance automation and personalized interactions in lead qualification processes is to adopt a hybrid approach. Automation can expedite the initial stages of lead qualification by sorting and scoring leads based on predefined criteria.

This helps save time and resources, allowing sales teams to focus on engaging with leads, which is more likely to convert. However, personalization is crucial to building relationships and understanding the specific needs of each lead.

By combining automated lead nurturing campaigns with personalized follow-ups, businesses can provide relevant information, address unique pain points, and tailor their approach to individual leads.

This hybrid approach ensures efficiency while still delivering personalized interactions that foster trust and increase the likelihood of conversion.”

Final Qualification

You now have a good understanding of which prospects to focus on. Now, you must perform the final stage of the lead qualification process to move the right prospects to your sales cycle.

Doing research will come in handy to form your decision. You may consider factors about a prospect that determine their profitability and intent to invest.

For example, a company with recent hires and strong leadership might interest your salespersons.

However, a business with recent layoffs or insufficient funding may raise red flags.

Additionally, you can rely on frameworks to qualify your leads. Some of them are:

The BANT Framework

The BANT model lets you qualify leads based on:

  • Budget – the capability to buy
  • Authority – the power to make decisions
  • Need – pain points your product can solve
  • Timeline – when is your lead likely to buy

You can use this framework during research and outreach for lead qualification.

The CHAMP Framework

The CHAMP framework is a proven way of qualifying your leads. It lets you decide based on:

  • Challenges – pain points to be resolved
  • Authority – the power to make decisions
  • Money – ability to buy
  • Prioritization – the chances of making a purchase

The MEDDIC Model

The MEDDIC framework is suitable for high-value deals. It looks at several factors to help you qualify your leads accurately.

Moreover, you can make reliable sales forecasts based on this model. The MEDDIC framework facilitates decision-making based on:

Metrics – quantifiable gains from your solution

Economic buyer – the power to make decisions

Decision criteria – Criteria for decision-making

Decision process – how decisions are made

Identify pain – the existence of pain points

Champion– external parties to facilitate the sale

The ANUM Framework

The ANUM methodology prioritizes authority. The factors that help qualify leads are:

  • Authority – the power to make decisions
  • Need – the need for your solution
  • Urgency – how urgent is the need for the purchase
  • Money – the ability to invest

We interviewed Chris Townsend, Expert marketing consultant of Three Movers, on this. Here is an excerpt from the interview:

Chris Townsend
Chris Townsend

“As a sales veteran, I’ve been around long enough to know the balance between automation and personal touch is one of the factors of a successful qualification. Automation is needful to sales as much as speed and volume, but what humanizes sales is personalization. That’s what makes prospects become customers.

I do rely on automation in the early pipeline of the lead qualification process. Utilities like chatbots and systems based on AI can quickly collect prior information and check the applicability of each prospect given our profile of Ideal Client (ICP).

This solution maintains the efficiency of sales agents by verifying that they only get high-quality leads, thus reducing time and money spent.

Personalization is another good strategy to improve the engagement of leads when they have already been pre-qualified. I focus on the idea of personalized interactions at this stage.

This is the point when the human factor becomes the deciding factor.

Through automation, sales representatives can utilize the data collected for their target customers, and such, they can customize conversations with the customers thus giving each interaction a personal and valued touch.”

Final Thoughts

Keep our guide to the lead qualification process handy to serve as a reference whenever you’re confused. Establish and implement a robust qualification process to ensure optimal utilization of resources. You can also expect a boost in conversions and sales.

Guest Author: Saket Kumar

Last Updated on May 12, 2024 by soubhik


  1. I really liked how the process was defined so smoothly. Like you said we need to think and have every details about the process to gain the most benefit from it.

  2. This guide on lead qualification is a game-changer! It broke down the complex process into simple steps, making it easy to understand and implement. Now I feel more confident in pursuing the right leads for my business. Thanks, Soubhik!

  3. The emphasis on research during the final qualification stage is particularly noteworthy, showing a commitment to understanding prospects on a deeper level. The article’s accessibility, coupled with its wealth of information, makes it a valuable resource for both seasoned professionals and those new to the intricacies of lead qualification. This guide serves as a great purpose for businesses navigating the often-intricate journey of lead qualification,

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