January 29, 2015

How to Prioritize Sales-Qualified Leads


Finally, a lead has made it through to sales. What now?

Not all leads are created equal and the same goes for sales-qualified leads. You may believe that once a sales-ready lead finally makes it into the hands of a rep, prioritization is complete. Unfortunately, that isn’t true.

In today's post, you'll learn how to effectively prioritize sales leads in such a way that increases monthly recurring revenue and customer happiness.

5 Ways to Prioritize Sales-Qualified Leads

SQLs aren’t filtered into the sales department one-by-one. Often you’ll have a list of individuals worthy of a phone call at the same time. In order to make the most of your time and focus on the most advantageous opportunities, here are five important areas to take into consideration:

1. Fit Over Interest

When it comes to fit and interest, you should always prioritize a lead whose need fits seamlessly with your solution over a lead who is simply interested in your product/service. At New Breed, we like to follow these four quadrants when prioritizing a lead:


We always prioritize those with a high fit over those with a high interest. While an individual may think what your company does is just the coolest thing ever, this doesn’t mean he or she thinks you're a solution to his or her problem. If you sign on those whose interests exceeds fit, you’ll find yourself experiencing a greater churn rate.

Prioritization Tip #1: Stick to leads whose pain points are seamlessly alleviated by your product/service.

2. Momentum

Say you have 10 SQLs in the queue to contact. If they all fit well with your solution, then you should prioritize them based on momentum. In other words, who do you feel like you could close the soonest? 

As a sales rep, you’re on a timeline and have monthly goals to hit. Therefore, time should be a top consideration. Often, you’ll have SQLs who fit perfectly and are ready to go, but they’re waiting for another round of investment capital. In that situation, they wouldn’t be the ones you’d reach out to first.

Prioritization Tip #2: Keep yourself on your toes and close the deals that are begging to be closed.

3. Lead Source

Prioritizing based on lead source is something I’ve learned through years of experience. I’ve found that past and current customers refer us to our happiest and longest-retained customers, especially when compared with other referral methods (search engines, social media, etc.).  

I find those who are referred by other customers have a better understanding of our services and hold more realistic expectations. Along with that, current customers understand the pain points and problems of your prospects better than you do because they already experienced them firsthand. Because of this, they're able to match you with similar companies.

I would advise keeping track of where customers originate from and their happiness over time. That way you can refine your lead scoring and have a better understanding of which prospects deserve your focus.

Prioritization Tip #3: Listen to your customers. They know you best. 

4. Potential Deal Size

This goes without much explanation, but if you have equal SQLs based on the previous criteria, then reach out to those with the greatest deal size. Why would you ever prioritize an $11,000 contract over a $75,000 contract?

Prioritization Tip #4: The greater the deal size, the greater your attention.

5. Chemistry

Lastly, we may live in a digital world, but tangible relationships still bear significant weight on business transactions. If you have several SQLs in your pipeline that all have a high fit, want to move fast, were referred by a customer and have a large contract amount, then you should be reaching out to those with whom you have chemistry.

What I mean by this is: How is your lead responding to you? Is he or she responsive? Excited? Curious? Objective? Say you have a lead who is very excited and ready to go, but he or she takes forever to answer correspondences. This individual would be knocked down a few notches on the list to call. 

At New Breed, many past deals have heavily relied on personal relationships and chemistry between my sales team and the prospect. Salespeople are intuitive beings and hold a good sense of character, so acting on your gut feeling can really be to your benefit. 

Prioritization Tip #5: Trust your gut. Go with the lead with whom you have the most chemistry.

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Tag(s): Sales

Patrick Biddiscombe

Patrick Biddiscombe is the CEO of New Breed. He also spearheads our Revenue department and his background and skills in sales and inbound strategy has contributed immensely to the success of New Breed and our customers' growth.


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